Huskies Insider Blog

Huskies links: More on the running game, plus Pac-12 power rankings

It’s Thursday, which means Huskies coach Chris Petersen will meet with reporters one last time before UW’s 11 a.m. Saturday game against Sacramento State at Husky Stadium. Until then: links ‘n things.

--- Our story in today’s newspaper examines the Huskies’ running game through the words of offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith and tailback Dwayne Washington. An excerpt:

As Washington Huskies offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith explained Wednesday afternoon, Boise State didn’t exactly stack the line of scrimmage to stop UW’s rushing attack during Friday’s season opener.

The Broncos, Smith said, were content to remain in Cover 2 — a simple coverage in which two safeties drop deep — until the Huskies forced a change.

Twenty-two rushing attempts and just 29 yards later, no defensive adjustment was necessary.

“They were going to live in Cover 2 until we proved we could run the ball,” Smith said. “Well, they were playing Cover 2, and we couldn’t run the ball.”

The responsibility for such failure, Smith said, is shared.

“We definitely need to create more of a crease for the back, but at the same time, we’re not going to be able to block everybody,” Smith said. “The back needs to be able to make some guys miss, and we’ve got some guys that can do that.”

One of them is Dwayne Washington, the fourth-year junior who led the team in 2014 with 697 yards rushing and nine touchdowns — five of which came on runs of 51 yards or more.

He entered the season as the team’s No. 1 tailback but finished the Boise State game with just eight carries for 14 yards with a long of 5 (though he led the team in receiving with seven catches for 53 yards).

It wasn’t just him: UW’s other runners — Myles Gaskin, Lavon Coleman and receiver Chico McClatcher, the Federal Way grad who had two carries — combined to net just 9 yards on eight attempts.

“It was kind of a disappointment, but you’ve just got to move on,” Washington said after Wednesday’s practice. “As a running back group, after watching the film, we’ve just got to be patient, be more explosive and just play football. At the end of the day, all you can do is just play football and know your assignment as an individual.”

--- We also have our first Pac-12 power rankings of the season.

--- Former UW quarterback Troy Williams threw for 217 yards and four touchdowns in his debut for Santa Monica College.

--- From new Seattle Times sports columnist Matt Calkins: Huskies kicker Cameron Van Winkle didn’t let his late miss at Boise State get him down for long.

--- More on Dwayne Washington and UW’s running game from Adam Jude.

--- Dante Pettis’ punt-return touchdown was the Pac-12 Networks’ Fundamental Play of the Week.

--- The Sacramento Bee wonders who might be more likely to win this weekend: Sacramento State against Washington, or Andre Berto against Floyd Mayweather?

--- The quarterback who threw BYU’s successful Hail Mary pass against Nebraska was heavily recruited by Chris Petersen at Boise State.

--- Interesting story here about the NFL’s “quarterback problem.”

--- USC receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is going to have to learn to defeat double-teams.

--- Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams has seen high stakes before, and he will again this week as the Ducks travel to play at Michigan State.

--- Stanford lost a defensive tackle for the season to an ACL injury.

Christian Caple can be reached at christian.caple@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

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