College Football News Preview 2020: Washington Huskies Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Washington Huskies Offense
Get things moving already on third downs. The offense ripped it up when it was able to convert in the big moments – the team scored 38 or more four times when it converted 50% or more of their tries. They also won all four games.
When they converted fewer than 40% of their chances? 4-5.
On the season, the offense was last in the Pac-12 converting 35.7% of the time – almost two percentage points worse than what Cal was able to do – after converting over 45% of the time in 2018.
There’s going to be a focus on a big passing attack and more big plays, but merely being consistent could be enough. Own third downs, control the tempo of games, and let the defense do the rest.
Biggest Key To The Washington Huskies Defense
Take the ball away. A lot. Overall, takeaways weren’t a problem – the Huskies finished 23rd in the nation in forced turnovers and third in the Pac-12 with 22. However, when those didn’t come, there were problems.
Washington came up with two fumble recoveries against Utah, and lost. However, the defense came up with three or more against Hawaii, BYU, USC, Arizona, Washington State, and in the bowl win over Boise State – and went 6-0 in those games.
Forget the FCS game against Eastern Washington, against Cal, Stanford, Oregon, and Colorado, Washington came up with a grand total of no takeaways – and went 0-4.
In 2018, the Huskies failed to generate a takeaways against Auburn in the opener, Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, and during the season against Cal – and went 0-3.
Going back to the middle of 2016 after a win over Utah, Washington is 0-10 against FBS teams when it doesn’t generate at least one takeaway.
Key Washington Huskies Player To A Successful Season
OT Nate Kalepo, RFr.
The Huskies have turned into a factory for top offensive linemen, and the 6-6, 342-pound redshirt freshman needs to – and should be – the next star up. The line loses two starters but should be good on the inside. Junior Henry Bainivalu should be a decent tackle on one side, and Kalepo has to lock it down on the other – most likely at left tackle.
Key Game To The Washington Huskies Season
Michigan, Sept. 5
The road game at Oregon on October 3rd is far more important overall, and dealing with Utah and USC on the road and Stanford at home will be a big deal, but the Jimmy Lake era will be rebuilt fast with a win over Michigan.
It’s a winnable home game over a brand name program. Among all the Pac-12’s other big non-conference games, this is a big deal for national attention. Beat the Wolverines, and the rebuilding job – at least offensively, might be instantly complete.
– Washington Huskies Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Washington Fun Stats
– 1st Quarter Scoring: Washington 121 – Opponents 23
– 4th Down Conversions: Washington 23-of-32 (72%) – Opponents 14-of-23 (61%)
– Red Zone Scores: Washington 49-of-54 (91%) – Opponents 34-of-43 (79%)