Friday, September 2, 2011

Washington Huskies take on Eastern Washington in season opener

By Kshell

The Washington Huskies officially start life without Jake Locker tomorrow when they take on the defending FCS National Champions Eastern Washington Eagles. The Huskies are looking to go 1-0 for the first time in the Steve Sarkisian era. The Huskies for the first time in school history will be playing a non Div-1 opponent this Saturday at Husky Stadium. The Huskies are playing the #1 ranked team in the FCS and for the past couple of years Eastern Washington could make claim they were the second best team in the state. The Huskies will begin the Keith Price era hoping to go 1-0 for the first time since 2007 when the Huskies won in Jake Locker's first career game with the Huskies. The Huskies won't be taking the Eagles lightly as they feature plenty of weapons that could present problems for the Huskies secondary.

The Huskies will most likely be without starting senior cornerback Quinton Richardson and will be starting a true sophomore at safety in Sean Parker. The Eagles will look to exploit the young secondary and young linebacking core with their passing offense led by quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell who transfered from SMU. Mitchell said the Eagles can walk into Husky Stadium and leave with a victory. You don't win a national championship without having confidence. Mitchell has plenty of reason to be confident as last season he completed 300 of 505(59.4%) of his passes for 3,496 yards. He threw for 37 touchdowns to 15 interceptions. The Eagles like to throw quick passes which makes it hard to create a pass rush. Mitchell's main weapon will be 6'5"  junior wide receiver Brandon Kaufman who last season caught 76 passes for 1,214 yards with 15 touchdowns. The Eagles will also have former Kentwood high school standout and Washington Husky Demitrius Bronson. Bronson didn't play at all last season and in 2009 carried the ball 19 times for 89 yards(4.7 YPC) as a true freshman. Bronson will try and show the Huskies fans and Sarkisian what he is missing out on. The irony is that Bronson could easily be starting for the Huskies this Saturday against Eastern Washington given Chris Polk's playing status. The Eagles will have plenty of weapons and if the Huskies defense takes the Eagles lightly they will make the defense pay with plenty of big plays.

The Huskies will probably be playing without junior running back Chris Polk this Saturday. Polk did practice Wednesday and Thursday and if this were a Pac-12 game I'm sure he'd play. As is Polk still might play but even if he does look for backup running back Jesse Callier to receive plenty of carries this Saturday. Last year as a freshman Callier ran for 433 yards(5.6 YPC) most of those runs coming on fly sweeps which the Huskies have put into their offense which is so effective. When you add up the receiving yards and kickoff return yardage Callier accumulated 1,285 all purpose yards last season.  The Huskies have a very capable back in Callier who in high school during his senior season at Warren High School in Downey, California he rushed for 3,010 yards and 43 touchdowns. Due to playing a non conference opponent and knowing Callier can handle being the starting running back is why Sarkisian will most likely hold Polk out.

This Saturday the Huskies will be featuring a highly touted recruiting class which will see plenty of true freshman playing in their first ever college game. This freshman class will feature five-star recruit  wide receiver from Skyline High School Kasen WIlliams. Williams was named the Parade Magazine National  Player of the Year and player of the year as well. He was named first team All-American by USA Today, ESPN and as well as being named the state player of the year. During his senior season at Skyline Williams caught 86 passes for 1,579 yards and 21 touchdowns. During his four year career which saw Skyline play in four state championships, where they won three championships Williams was the star. Williams in his career caught 235 passes for 4,121 yards and 56 touchdowns. Having Williams will make it hard for teams to double team Jermaine Kearse who caught 63 passes last season for 1,005 yards with 12 touchdowns. Even without Chris Polk the Huskies should have plenty of weapons for Price to give the ball to. The Huskies have brought in some other talented players besides Williams which should be fun to see what Sarkisian does with all these weapons while still featuring Polk when he finally returns.

Another Husky who will be playing in his first career collegiate game is five-star recruit tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins from Gig Harbor. Jenkins who was first-team all-state as a junior and senior gives the Huskies a receiving threat they haven't had at tight end in a while. Jenkins like Williams was also named to the US all-american bowl game for the best high school players. While at Gig Harbor Jenkins caught 126 passes including as a Junior catching 62 for 1,152 yards and 11 touchdowns. Another Husky who will be playing in his first career game is Bishop Sankey who Sarkisian announced won't be redshirting this season. Sankey the talented four-star running back from Gonzaga Prep had originally committed to the Washington State Cougars but then he realized he actually wanted to win. While at Gonzaga Prep Sankey rushed for 4,335 yards which is the most in the Greater Spokane league history. The Huskies will be featuring plenty of young players which will have the fans excited. If you want to read more about the young players you can by clicking my piece about signing day .

In conclusion, whether Chris Polk plays or not that shouldn't matter against the Eagles. The Eagles will present some problems for the Huskies defense because they are a good program with a good passing attack. The Huskies offense should have a field day with the Eagles defense and look for plenty of breakout games for the Huskies youngsters like Keith Price, Jesse Callier, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams. The Huskies will be bigger and stronger than the Eagles as they'll show that as the game goes on. The Eagles don't have athletes like Callier, Kearse, Williams or guys the size of Almeda Ta'amu who should all have big games. The Huskies will try to do whatever they can to make sure this game isn't memorable. Everyone brings up the few times a FCS team has beaten a D-1 school but what isn't brought up is the hundreds of times a D-1 school has destroyed that FCS school. The Huskies will come out to make a statement that they are for real this season. Just remember even if Polk doesn't play this Saturday the Huskies still have more than enough talent to take care of the defending FCS national champions.

No comments:

Post a Comment