FACTS AND FIGURES
Colors: Purple and gold
2014 record: 8-6, 4-5 Pac-12 North
Last game: Lost to Oklahoma State 30-22 in the Cactus Bowl on Jan. 2.
Perhaps you are vaguely familiar with him: Chris Petersen, 50, went 92-12 as Boise State’s head coach from 2006 to 2013 after serving as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator the previous five seasons. He reached 100 wins in 117 games, the fifth-fastest for any FBS coach (tied with Knute Rockne).
As was the forte at Boise State, the Huskies will trot out multiple looks with consistent shifts and motions based around a solid run game. As for who Washington will start at quarterback ... only the Huskies know. It could be true freshman Jake Browning (national record 229 TD passes in high school), redshirt freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels (scout team MVP last season, and former Boise State recruit) or junior Jeff Lindquist (30 pass attempts in 2014). Petersen and offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith (formerly with Boise State and Idaho) are open to playing two, but won’t unveil the starter until kickoff of Friday’s game.
Behind whoever it is, the Huskies have some talent at running back — juniors Dwayne Washington (697 yards, nine TDs) and Deontae Cooper (440 combined rushing/receiving yards) form a solid 1-2 punch. The receiving corps is led by senior Jaydon Mickens, who had 617 yards and four TDs as a junior. However, none of the projected starters on the offensive line started more than seven games last season, a tough task against Boise State’s deep, talented front seven.
Under former Boise State coordinator and Hall of Fame player Pete Kwiatkowski, the Huskies allowed 24.8 points per game, third-best in the Pac-12. But four players from that defense were taken in the NFL Draft. Three defensive linemen who combined for 57 tackles for loss and 40.5 sacks graduated. Junior defensive end Joe Mathis had two sacks last season, most among returning players.
Using a hybrid 3-4 base defense, the Huskies have a versatile option in their BUCK (similar to Boise State’s STUD), senior Travis Feeney. Last season, Feeney had an interception return for a TD, 60 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery. The Huskies had seven defensive TDs last season, but only Feeney returns among those who scored.
In the secondary, former Oregon commit Budda Baker made a big impact as a freshman last season with 80 tackles, a 44-yard interception return and two forced fumbles. Washington yielded 286.6 passing yards per game last season, but has three starters back in the secondary.
Junior kicker Cameron Van Winkle returns after making 20-of-23 field goals last season, but has seen some tough competition from sophomore Tristan Vizcaino, the kickoff specialist last year. Baker and Mickens are the likely kickoff returners, trying to replace the injured John Ross, who had two TD returns last year. Pettis is the punt returner. He had the Huskies’ first punt return TD in 11 years last season when he went 87 yards at Colorado.
DID YOU KNOW?
Love it or hate it, “The Wave” is often believed to have originated during a Washington football game at Husky Stadium on Oct. 31, 1981 against Stanford and QB John Elway. The Huskies won that day. Initially, it was intended to go from the front row to the back, instead of sideways around the stadium.