After a dominating, and I mean dominating, performance against Stanford, Washington should be expecting a huge jump up the rankings. Just how high should they be put? I don’t care if it’s an overreaction, but I like them as a Top 3 team. They obviously will never be put there, as the winner of Louisville vs. Clemson will gladly fill that spot, but if that weren’t an issue, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them right up there.
Where do you start when talking about this team? Let’s start a Quarterback, where we have the pleasure to watch true-sophomore Jake Browning. In watching Browning, I noticed three things. First, his accuracy, particularly on the deep ball, is impeccable. Second, his decision-making is his best attribute. Third, he has NFL size. The only flaw that I noticed with him was his lack of arm strength, but that is something that can be fixed in the year-and-a-half that he has before he is draft eligible.
At the running back position, Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman have both had their breakout games, and both of them are capable of torching defenses. Receivers John Ross and Chico McClatcher combine to form one of the speediest receivers duos in college football. Let’s also give some love to the offensive line, who kept Jake Browning’s jersey clean the entire game against Stanford.
The offense is great to watch, but the defense is something else. Two years ago, it was the year of Shaq Thompson, Marcus Peters, Hau’oli Kikaha, and Danny Shelton, and after they left for the NFL, Washington had trouble reloading on defense. Well, Consider them reloaded, as their defense boasts several top names. They have two Senior Defensive Ends in Psalm Wooching and Joe Mathis. If you watched the Stanford game, you should already be acquainted with these two, as they were practically living in Stanford’s backfield.
Azeem Victor is a tackle machine at linebacker, as he has 42 to his name. Jo-Jo McIntosh is another impact player on that defense as well, although the stat sheet may not show it.
How could I talk about this defense without mentioning Budda Baker and Sidney Jones? Baker is the classic in-the-box type safety, always around the ball, and even though he is a little on the shorter end, it’s never been an issue when quarterbacks throw to him. Sidney Jones is a lockdown cornerback on the outside, and he is likely to be first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. The same goes for Budda Baker.
Now, a team can have great players but not perform. That isn’t the case for this Huskies team. Playing out West, many people are already asleep by the time that Washington is playing, so they won’t get that recognition that they deserve. The best thing that could’ve happened to them was playing Stanford in Friday Night Primetime. People were finally able to watch the Huskies play, and like me, they liked what they saw.
Washington has their signature win, along with the players, to succeed. Facing Oregon next week looks to be their only big test for the rest of the season, so Washington looks like it could roll to the College Football Playoffs. I could see them winning it all too. Quote me on that.