The Washington Huskies will likely stroll past the Idaho State Bengals unless they have a complete meltdown. There is no question about who has the most talent on the field, and the Bengals should be a tune up win for the Huskies before they open Pac-12 play next week against the Arizona Wildcats. If everything goes smoothly for the Huskies, many players will get a chance to prove themselves to the coaches during the second half and fight for their right to more playing time. Here are some of the players who have a big time chance to prove their spot on the depth chart on Saturday.
Dwayne Washington, RB - I was one of many Husky fans who was extremely impressed by Dwayne’s back up work in the opener against Boise State. After rushing for 52 yards and a touchdown against Boise, Washington looked like he had a strong hold on backing up Bishop Sankey. I was also one of many Husky fans who were extremely disappointed by his two carry, two yard, two fumble performance against Illinois. UW should have been able to blow out Illinois early on but due to Washington’s fumbles, the Illini were able to hang in the game. Jesse Callier stepped up against Illinois, rushing for 66 yards on six carries and a touchdown, and now seems to hold the spot behind Sankey. Washington will have a chance to prove himself against Idaho State and show that coaches that he can be trusted when given the ball.
Demore’ea Stringfellow/Darrell Daniels, WR - Out of the Stringfellow/Daniels/John Ross trio, many fans thought that Stringfellow and Daniels would get the most opportunities to begin the season. After two games, Ross has emerged as a speed burning slot receiver and Stringfellow and Daniels have had few chances to prove their worth. With the emergence of Kevin Smith and Kasen Williams playing almost every snap, Stringfellow and Daniels have had limited opportunities in two games. Against Idaho State, the two freshmen will have chance to prove why they were so highly rated out of high school and show off their physical receiver skill sets.
Trevor Walker/Kevin King, DB - Out of all the freshmen who have played so far this season, I would have to say I am most surprised that Walker and King have both seen the field. Going into the season, I thought safety was a spot where few players would see much playing time besides the starters, Sean Parker and Will Shamburger. King and Walker have obviously proven to the coaches that they are able to fight for a starting spot and key playing time. Even though his athleticism is through the roof, Shamburger has been known to blow his fair share of coverages during his time at the UW, and if this continues King or Walker could find themselves inserted into the starting lineup. Whether or not King or Walker become starters this season, the future of the safety position at the UW already looks bright.
Cyler Miles, QB - Unless he is injured, everyone knows that Keith Price will take every meaningful snap at QB for the Huskies this season. After a rough year in 2012, Price seems to have bounced back and regained his old form and no quarterback competition is in sight. Miles is listed as the back up on the depth chart, but needs to prove he belongs when given the opportunities this season. Miles was a high rated recruit out of high school, but the two other quarterbacks, Jeff Lindquist and Troy Williams, fall into the same boat. Miles is a dual threat quarterback who likes to get out of the pocket to make plays, and against Idaho State, Miles will most likely be able to use his feet to his advantage. Even if Miles is able to prove himself in limited opportunities this season, the quarterback job will be the hot topic of spring camp once Keith Price is gone.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE - It sounds ridiculous to include him on this list, but after being suspended for the first game against Boise State for his DUI, and recording just three catches for eight yards against Illinois, ASJ needs to prove to Husky fans and coaches that his mind is back on football and that he is past the distractions. Not only was ASJ held quiet against Illinois, he was the culprit of multiple penalties that killed some big plays. ASJ should be able to dominate with his size and skill against Idaho State, and should be targeted every time UW is in the red zone. If the Huskies want to be successful during Pac-12 play, ASJ will need to command double teams, take advantage of mismatches, and be a go to target when they need him the most. While he might not get much playing time, ASJ needs to prove that he is in football shape and ready to show his worth for the Pac-12 season.
With a blowout most likely coming on Saturday, plenty of Huskies will see the field and show their worth to coaches and fans. The Huskies have shown that they have improved depth on both sides of the ball, and will have to continue to build on their depth to be successful during Pac-12 play. With the Pac-12 opener nearing, the excitement for the UW program is building and fans can’t wait to see what this season holds.