February 7, 2023

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Washington Huskies Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the season with what you need to know and keys to the season.

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Washington Huskies Preview
Head Coach: Kalen DeBoer, 0-0, 1st year at UW
3rd year overall, 12-6, 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 4-8, Conference: 3-6
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Washington Top 10 Players | UW Schedule & Analysis

Washington Huskies Preview 2022

Is anything interesting happening with Washington football?

The 4-8 clunker of a 2021 season was a blip. It started back, ended worse, and led to the regime change that brought in new head coach Kalen DeBoer from Fresno State along with a new urgency to get back into the Pac-12 championship mix.

The program is known for being nasty-tough on defense, efficient and consistent on offense, and with bowl games and winning seasons a given after the rough run in the late 2000s.

It’s one of only two Pac-12 programs to make the College Football Playoff – Oregon being the other – it’s a terrific academic institution, it’s in a strong media market, and …

It sure as shoot has the profile of a Big Ten institution.

Or, and it’s the big question going forward, can Washington – and Oregon has to be in this mix, too – be strong enough to carry the Pac-12 as two of the biggest anchor tenants in the mall?

Washington might be one of the biggest-name schools rumored in the expansion mix, but for now, the football team has some work to do.

Again, last year was a blip. There’s plenty of talent around, lots of potential All-Pac-12 parts, help from the transfer portal, key guys coming off of injury, and a schedule that misses both USC and Utah.

DeBoer can – and probably will – flip this around fast. Washington should be a factor again, and on the expansion front …

We’ll see. On the plus side, no matter what’s about to shake out, it’s all positive on and off the field.

Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Washington Top 10 Players | UW Schedule & Analysis

Washington Huskies Preview 2022: Offense/Defense

Washington Huskies Preview 2022: Offense

Did you like the 2021 Fresno State offense? It finished 14th in the nation overall, averaged 33 points and 327 passing yards per game, and now the coaches who helped make that all go are in Seattle. Head coach Kalen DeBoer and offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb know how to get an attack moving.

Washington’s offense was 114th in the nation, there wasn’t any ground game, and turnovers were a major problem. So how can the new guys turn everything around in a hurry?

It starts with an offensive from that was a major disappointment and now needs the right starting five to emerge. Jaxson Kirkland is one of the best left tackles in the country, and the right side should be okay if Matteo Mele can handle the tackle job so Victor Curne can work inside. The front five was okay in pass protection, but now it has to start blasting away.

The running backs are there. Leading rusher Sean McGrew is gone after rushing for 434 yards and eight scores last season, and in comes Wayne Taulapapa from Virginia – he ran for almost 1,200 yards with 19 touchdowns over the last three years. Also transferring over is Aaron Dumas, a quick back from New Mexico who ran for 658 yards and two scores for the Lobos.

It would’ve been nice if Jake Haener was ready to run the fun. The one-time Washington star get went to Fresno State, came up with a brilliant season in 2021, was going to transfer over with DeBoer, and then went back to Fresno State. The cupboard is hardly bare.

Leading passer Dylan Morris is back – he threw for 2,458 yards and 14 touchdowns with 12 picks – and Sam Huard is an intriguing options, but Indiana transfer Michael Penix will be the main man as long as he can stay healthy – he hasn’t had a lick of luck with injuries over his career. If he’s 100%, he’s a dynamic veteran playmaker.

The receiving corps has enough parts to make this go, even with deep threat Terrell Bynum leaving for USC. Leading target Jalen McMillan is back after rolling for 470 yards and three scores on 39 catches.

Rome Odunze is the led the team with 41 catches with four scores, and TE Delvin Cup should be able to pick of the slack with Cade Otten gone catching 20 passes for 222 yards and a score.

List

Washington Huskies Top 10 Players: College Football Preview 2022

Washington Huskies Preview 2022: Defense

The defensive coordinator combination of William Inge and Chuck Morrell might need to fill in some gaping holes, but the defense should be okay after finishing second in the Pac-12 overall and No.1. in the nation in pass defense. However …

Yeah, the pass D was amazing, but 1) star corners Kyler Gordon and Trent McDuffie are off to the NFL, and 2) the stats were great because everyone spent so much time running the ball on the front seven.

6-1, 313-pound Tuli Letulgasenoa is a veteran big body on the inside along with 304-pound Kuao Peihope. there’s more size ready to rotate in. The huge plus is getting back star pass rusher Zion Tupola-Fetui on the edge after missing most of last season, if he’s back to form, the line will be better in a big hurry.

The linebacking corps lost leading tackler Jackson Sirmon to Cal, but it’s absolutely loaded. Cam Bright made 177 tackles with 9.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss in four years at Pitt, and Kristopher Moll made 232 tackles with 12 sacks and 27 tackles for loss with five forced fumbles at UAB – but missed most of last year hurt.

They’re good, Carson Bruener is turning into a superstar coming off a 70-tackle freshman season, and the hope is for tackling machine Edefuan Ulofoshio to be back soon from injuries that cost him a bulk of 2021.

And then there’s the secondary.

There’s no replacing what McDuffie and Gordon to do, and losing key backup Jacobe Covington to USC doesn’t help. UC Davis transfer Jordan Perryman was an All-American talent at the FCS level making 63 tackles with a pick and 12 broken up passes last season.

Dominique Hampton will make plenty of big plays as a hybrid safety/linebacker in the Husky role, and Alex Cook and Asa Turner are veteran safeties.

Washington 2022 Preview | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Washington Top 10 Players | UW Schedule & Analysis

Washington Huskies: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT

Washington Huskies: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Washington Huskies: Key To The 2022 Offense

Get physical when needed.

Fresno State bombed away with its fantastic passing attack under Kalen DeBoer, but the running game wasn’t totally ignored. It wasn’t effective enough – it only averaged four yards per carry – but the team was 7-0 when it hit the 120-yard mark.

Washington had no consistency whatsoever with its ground game. It went nowhere in the embarrassing loss to Montana, averaged just 3.2 yards per carry on the season, and it failed to get to 100 yards in six of the last seven games.

However, it ran for over 200 yards twice and won both times.

Like Fresno State, the dangerous passing game should take over, but average 4.5 yards per carry and most of the other issues from 2021 will go away.

And the flip side of that …

Washington Huskies: Key To The 2022 Defense

Stop the run.

The Huskies were hammered on for close to five yards per carry, giving up over 200 rushing yards in six of the last eight games and allowed 21 touchdowns on the season.

There’s too much size up front, too much talent in the linebacking corps, and too much to like overall on a defense that was banged up last season but still shouldn’t have been been crushed for 194 rushing yards per outing.

How bad was it? Washington allowed 200 rushing yards or more seven times. It gave up 200 rushing yards six times from 2017 to 2020.

Washington Huskies: Key Player To The 2022 Season

WR Jalen McMillan, Soph.
Can the Fresno native become the go-to No. 1 receiving star?

The Huskies will figure out the quarterback situation – it’s Michael Penix if he’s healthy – but whether it’s McMillan, or Rome Odunze, or Arizona State transfer Lonyatta Alexander, they need the young targets to start doing more.

McMillan had one monster 10-catch, 175-yard game early on against Arkansas State, and he didn’t get to 90 yards the rest of the way.

Washington Huskies: Key Transfer

QB Michael Penix, Jr.
A big-time get for Indiana, he eventually took over the starting job and led the way to a great 2020 season. He threw 24 touchdown passes and just eight picks over 12 games in two seasons, but last year the team struggled, he wasn’t quite as good, and he got hurt … again.

He’s had no luck whatsoever. He tore his knee twice, missed time with an injured clavicle, and last season was knocked out with a shoulder injury. If he’s ready to go and can be close to his normal form again, he’s a difference-maker.

Washington Key Game To The 2022 Season

Michigan State, Sept. 17
Nothing can be taken for granted considering the loss to Montana to start last season, but for this to be a good year the Huskies have to get by Kent State and Portland State to kick things off.

Will this be a team to worry about in the Pac-12? Coming up with a big, splashy home victory over Michigan State would do wonders.

Win this, and with Stanford, at Arizona State, Arizona, at Cal, and Oregon State coming up before November – along with a trip to UCLA – there’s a chance to come up with a massive turnaround before going to Oregon.

Washington Huskies: 2021 Fun Stats

– Red Zone Scores: Washington 35-of-38 (92%) – Opponents 35-of-45 (78%)
– Penalties: Opponents 82 for 735 yards – Washington 52 or 479 yards
– Rushing Yards Per Game: Opponents 193.6 – Washington 98.4

Washington 2022 Preview
Offense, Defense Breakdown
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Washington Top 10 Players | UW Schedule & Analysis

Washington Huskies Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT

Washington Huskies Season Prediction, What Will Happen

There’s a chance this all comes together in a big hurry and Washington becomes the team we all thought we were getting in 2021.

The additions to the defensive front seven – along with the return of some key parts from injury – should make this group nasty. The offense is a different story with some questions about whether or not the parts are there to do what the coaching staff might like, but as long as the O line is better for the ground game, it should all be okay.

Also helping the cause is a schedule with four home games to start the season and no USC or Utah to deal with.

Set The Washington Huskies Regular Season Win Total At … 7.5

This might be the toughest team in the Pac-12 to call.

The schedule is there to come up with a monster season if both sides of the line can do what they’re supposed to, but will it work, or does the new coaching staff need a season to get up and rolling?

Michigan State, at UCLA, at Oregon. Win one of those, and everything else should be okay. Win two, and it’ll be a run season.

Even if the team is just okay, beating Kent State, Portland State, Stanford, Arizona, Oregon State, and Colorado at home is a must – that’s a base of at least five wins out of those six games.

Road dates at Arizona State, Cal, and Washington State aren’t out of reach.

It’ll be a shocker if this isn’t a winning season, but it won’t be a total stunner if Washington comes up with at least eight wins, maybe even nine.

Washington 2022 Preview
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Washington Top 10 Players | UW Schedule & Analysis

– 2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams



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