Five keys to UW's season
1. Jake Locker Everything revolves around the freshman quarterback, whose debut might be the most anticipated in the school's history. He's sure to make...
1. Jake Locker
Everything revolves around the freshman quarterback, whose debut might be the most anticipated in the school's history. He's sure to make some mistakes, but he has the athleticism and Tuiasosopo-esque demeanor to make a smooth transition to being the starter. He also appears to have addressed the accuracy problems that plagued him in the spring, while gaining a better grasp of the passing game.
2. Handling the schedule
Washington faces what many are calling the most difficult schedule in the country. That's good for the fans, who will get a steady diet of attractive opponents at Husky Stadium. It's not so good for a team that has won just eight games in three years. The Huskies need to win one or both of the first two games to get some confidence for the meat of the schedule.
3. Offensive line
Tyrone Willingham believes this is the most important unit on the team. If so, the Huskies have reason for concern — the line was in flux for much of fall camp. Center Juan Garcia and right tackle Chad Macklin are set, but the other spots could be manned by new starters and/or redshirt freshmen. This group needs to jell quickly.
Senior Roy Lewis is solid at one spot, but the other was up for grabs entering fall camp and became even more uncertain when senior Jordan Murchison was suspended after running into legal trouble and UCLA transfer Byron Davenport injured a hamstring. Inexperienced players such as walk-on Cory Nicol and freshmen Matt Mosley and Vonzell McDowell will be counted on greatly, not a comforting thought in the pass-happy Pac-10.
What has haunted the Huskies as much as anything the past few years is finding the right player to make the right play at the right time. Locker is an obvious place to turn, but he will need help from guys like Louis Rankin, Marcel Reece and Greyson Gunheim. The special-teamers also need to come through, as the Huskies will need to take advantage of every scoring opportunity they get.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 10:18 PM
Washington State's Klay Thompson will play Thursday against Huskies
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