What You Need To Know About The Washington Offense
– New offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan gets eight starters to play around with from an offense that averaged over 405 yards and 36 points per game. There might be a few big losses from the receiving corps, but overall, there’s no reason for this not to be one of the most efficient, effective, and dangerous offenses in the country.
It all starts with the return of Jake Browning for one more year. This might be Georgia transfer Jacob Eason’s offense next season – he’s not eligible this year – but Browning is a fantastic three-year starter who knows the offense, knows the team, and should be in for a massive year.
He doesn’t have to throw for 43 scores like he did two years ago – he threw 19 touchdown passes – but as long as he’s efficient, accurate, and keeps Washington as the No. 1 team in the Pac-12 in third down conversions, he’ll be doing his job. But …
– Browning loses his main man to throw to, Dante Pettis. The tight end combination of Hunter Bryant and Drew Sample is terrific – Bryant finished second on the team with 331 yards – and Aaron Fuller and Andrew Baccellia are quick wideouts who’ll play bigger roles. If and when Chico McClatcher is back and healthy after suffering a broken ankle, the receiving corps will be deep and dangerous.
– The running game is loaded, too. It was a pleasant surprise when 1,380-yard, 21 touchdown back Myles Gaskin decided to return for his senior season, but he’s not alone. Salvon Ahmen and Sean McGrew are smallish home-run hitters who’ll rotate in with Gaskin.
It’ll all work behind the Pac-12’s best offensive line – if Trey Adams is back and healthy. The 6-8, 331-pound star NFL prospect suffered a torn ACL and might need a little while to get back to 100%, but even without him, the line is still loaded.
Nick Harris was an all-star guard who’ll work at center, and 6-8, 325-pound Kaleb McGary is an All-Pac-12 tackle who can work on either spot, but should lock in on the right side.
Biggest Key To The Washington Offense
A more consistent running game would be a big help. The 2016 team hit 199 yards or more nine times. Last season, the Huskies managed 200 yards or more six times, but when the O stalled, it couldn’t run a lick.
How did Washington lose to Arizona State? Running for 91 yards and getting stuffed for under three yards per carry didn’t help. In all, there were three games with fewer than 100 yards on the ground, and five times it averaged four yards per carry or fewer.
With this O line, and with Gaskin and this group of backs, there’s no reason not to be far more powerful.