It is Saturday morning, and no UW game on the slate. Must be nice for the players to wake up, relax and get to WATCH college football on their bye.
On Friday, I detailed my MVP's so far through five games - quarterback Keith Price on offense, cornerback Desmond Trufant on defense and a few candidates on special teams.
So what about the players who need to pick up the pace heading into the next part of the schedule, starting Oct. 15 against Colorado?
* OFFENSE: Jesse Callier, running back - Sure, he has broken a few long kickoff returns, which has been encouraging. But, say Chris Polk somehow comes up lame in the next couple games (knock on wood) - is Callier trustworthy to carry the load in his stead?
I have contended for much of Callier's tenure at the UW, as much as he is a nice change-of-pace tailback, he is not a grinder, between-the-tackles running back. But in some cases, he has to be - and it would be beneficial for him to show that on a more consistent basis in relief of Polk.
Or will he just be tagged as the fly-sweep runner, the man breaking for the outside? The 4.4-yard-per-carry average is fine (91 yards on 20 carries, no TDs), but more production is going to be needed heading into the meaty part of the Pacific-12 Conference schedule.
* DEFENSE: Whoever starts next to Alameda Ta'amu at defensive tackle - Yes, a strong case for the UW pass defense, especially struggling cornerback Quinton Richardson, could be made here. I sort of give Richardson a pass because of the fall-camp ankle injury, and his track record the past month of 2010.
This nod is not so much a knock on the lack of production - the ever-valuable Everrette Thompson has held up, for the most part, wherever defensive coordinator Nick Holt has asked, including at tackle - but more of a recognition that the Huskies not only desperately need to get healthy at that spot, they need to stay healthy.
The Semisi Tokolahi sighting the past two games - and especially the 30 snaps against Utah - is very encouraging. He had quite a run up until his ankle injury in last year'sApple Cup, and he seems to not only fit well next to the beastly Ta/amu, they play well off each other.
True freshman Danny Shelton (foot) needs to get on the field. Yes, he is a newcomer, but his non-impact, even in short spurts, has been alarming. Lawrence Lagafuaina is a big body. Coaches rave about his physical presence. He does have one of the team's eight paltry sacks. More, Lawrence, more!
* SPECIAL TEAMS: The punting tandem - I won't harp on this aspect, because honestly this has not really been a point of weakness (Rasp has averaged 42.9 yards per punt, and two of Mahan's three punts have pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line.)
But suddenly, as soon as Kiel Rasp booted that rugby punt in the back of a teammate at the end of the Hawaii game, and then struggled a tad at Nebraska - Will Mahan, come on down! Mahan has been pretty good.
There is a bit of tension surrounding this topic, particularly with UW coach Steve Sarkisian. Right now, it appears Rasp is the driver, and Mahan is the chipper - so to speak. But it is fair to ask the question - can't just one guy fill the role permanently?