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Previewing the team to the north on I-5

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NCAA Football: Oregon at Washington Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The hype train has certainly found the Huskies this year. Not only are they many’s pick to win the Pac-12 North and the conference title, but some have them in the College Football Playoffs.

Quick facts:

League- Pac-12

2015 Record- 7-6 overall, 4-5 in league

2015 Points Per Game: 29.5

2015 Points Per Game Allowed: 17.8

Head Coach: Chris Petersen, 3rd season

Offensive Coordinator: Jonathan Smith, 3rd season

Defensive Coordinator: Pete Kwiatkowski, 3rd year

Trends:

The hype is certainly all around this team entering this season. With many of the conference turning over the offensive keys to a new quarterback, they are given the pass in the fact of returning starting quarterback Jake Browning as a junior. It helps to have leading rusher Myles Gaskin return alongside as he had a breakout year as a true freshman last season.

Defensively however is where this team will be deadly. Last season, the points allowed per game cracked the top 15 in the country as they were one of the nations stingiest units. Returning many key players from this group as well as a very talented incoming freshmen group, the defense might be the best in the conference.

Key players:

Jake Browning, #3, sophomore quarterback, 6’ 2”, 209 lbs.

As just one of a handful of returning starting quarterbacks in the Pac-12, Browning will be expected to play a large role in this season. His nearly 3,000 passing yards last season put him on the list for fifth most in school history. The touchdown to interception ratio wasn’t great though as he had 16 TD’s to 10 INT’s.

Myles Gaskin, #9, sophomore running back, 5’ 10”, 195 lbs.

After a stellar freshman campaign, the running back made many lists last season for all freshmen. With his over 1,000 yard campaign he was first to do so in school history.

Budda Baker, #32, junior defensive back, 5' 10", 192 lbs.

Last year the safety jumped his way into the all Pac-12 first team. He’s a very talented safety who has great instincts in both the run and the pass. One concern moving forward may be his durability as he has missed some brief time in both of his first two season.

Azeem Victor, #36, junior linebacker, 6' 4", 232 lbs.

Another strong player for the Husky defense in the junior linebacker. Victor was an all conference honorable mention player last year and will look top improve on that. Finished the season in 10th for total tackles in the Pac-12.

What to watch:

Offense. We have a pretty good idea that the defense will be stout, but what we don’t know is how good the offense will be. A lot of people are assuming that Browning will take the jump from okay to great but there’s a lot to be shown before that judgement can be made. In the meantime expect the Huskies to run the ball and employ a similar gameplay to the city partner Seattle Seahawks in a run the ball and play lights out defense style.