Friday, May 2, 2014
Washington spring wrap
By Chantel Jennings
Three things we learned in the spring:
Three questions for the fall:
- 1. Despite losing so much, Washington’s offense will be OK. It’s hard to lose a 3,000-yard passer (Keith Price), a Mackey Award winner (Austin Seferian-Jenkins) and a 1,800-yard rusher (Bishop Sankey) and imagine the offense will be anything other than catastrophic. Since those three players took most of the game reps at their positions, there will certainly be growing pains. But with the depth and players who learned from Price, Seferian-Jenkins and Sankey, there is a lot of potential for this team.
- 2. Shaq Thompson could be a two-way player for the Huskies. The inside linebacker made tons of huge plays for Washington throughout the spring and did enough on the offensive side of the ball to have the coaches consider him as a RB. The Huskies will need a few guys to tote the ball, so having the ILB jump to offense a bit as well doesn’t seem too crazy.
- 3. Chris Petersen likes a good joke, too. The new coach decided to prank his team on April Fool’s Day by bringing in hideous uniforms and telling the Huskies that these were somehow representative of the team’s attitude and play. Players were less than impressed before realizing that the coach was pulling a fast one over on them.
One way-too-early prediction: Washington goes 5-2 at home. The three nonconference games should go Washington’s way, leaving the Huskies to go 2-2 against Stanford, Arizona State, UCLA and Oregon State. Best guess? The two wins come over ASU and OSU while the losses will be to Stanford and UCLA (this one will be close though). Give the offense time to gel and there’s a chance they could pick up a third win in that conference group over UCLA in November.
- 1. What will Petersen do about suspended players? Damore'ea Stringfellow was sentenced to five days on a work crew after pleading guilty to three misdemeanors and ordered to pay restitution following a post-Super Bowl assault. Cyler Miles was also connected to the event but not charged. Petersen already dismissed one player from the team, freshman cornerback Patrick Enewally, for punching a teammate. Could more dismissals be coming? Or will Miles and Stringfellow be reinstated?
- 2. Who will be the starting QB? Petersen spent the spring evaluating Jeff Lindquist and Troy Williams and following the spring game, Lindquist seemed to be the front runner for the job. But that doesn’t factor Miles in and it’s a long way off until the Huskies’ season opener. If this is a three-man race, who starts against Hawaii?
- 3. How big will the learning curve be for the offense? The Huskies have four games to get it together before Stanford comes to Seattle on Sept. 27. The offense needs to be running smoothly by then. Can Petersen turn the potential into efficient talent by then? Last season the Huskies were No. 2 in the Pac-12 in total offense (499.3 yards per game). But will they even finish in the top half of the Pac-12 this upcoming season with the yardage Washington can put on the field?