2021 Preseason Ranking
AP (20), Coaches (21)
Final Record: 4-8
What Went Wrong?
To be a little bit fair to how much Washington was hammered for its 0-2 start last year, Montana turned out to be terrific – yeah, yeah … beat the FCS team, U-Dub – after coming with a 13-7 shocker in Seattle, and the blowout loss to Michigan is far more acceptable in hindsight.
The defense did its part, It was No. 1 in the nation against the pass – granted, it’s partly because everyone was so good running the ball against the front seven – and overall it was the second-best in the Pac-12.
The offense, though, didn’t find a turnover it didn’t like to give away, it finished tenth overall in the conference, and it failed to get past 21 points eight times.
Why 2022 Will Be Better: Returning Talent
The defense suffered a slew of key injuries – and it was still terrific – and the offense is about to get a jump-start. The Husky attack that was 114th in the nation overall, couldn’t run, and couldn’t stop making mistakes now gets head coach Kalen DeBoer and a system that made Fresno State shine.
The line should be better around top left tackle Jaxson Kirkland, the running backs are fine if they get room to move, and the passing attack will take to the new coaching staff in a hurry.
On the other side, the defensive front will be a rock around a big group of tackles, and the linebacking corps will be among the best in the country despite the loss of Jackson Sirmon to Cal.
And why? UAB’s Kristopher Moll and Pitt’s Cam Bright will rock from the transfer portal, and getting back Edefuan Ulofoshio at some point this season – hopefully – from a knee injury will help.
The first four games are in Seattle – even if the date with Michigan State is dangerous – there’s no USC or Utah to face from the South, and getting to at least eight wins is a must.
The road run of UCLA, Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, and Washington State has its problems, but there are a few winnable games in there if 2021 really was just a blip.