Washington Football turnover kings, and we’re not talking apples

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Defensive lineman Vita Vea
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Defensive lineman Vita Vea /

Washington Football led FBS schools in defensive turnovers. With six returning starters, can they repeat as leaders?

Defenses love turnovers. It’s a game changer. It steals what could be a touchdown from your opponent and places the ball back into the hands of your offense. Washington football fans love turnovers for another reason. The Washington Huskies are very good at it.

If a defense is truly measured on points allowed, or yards surrendered, then the third true measure of a good defense should be turnovers generated. That would make last season’s Huskies a top tier defense.

2017 defense should be more of the same

Washington Football is not finesse. It’s in-the-trenches-smashmouth-grind-it-out football.  That offense is tough to crack. There’s Jake Browning, coming off an incredible season. Wide receivers Chico McClatcher and Dante Pettis stretch the field.   Running backs Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman churn out the yards. And if neither can get going, tight end Drew Sample is projected by some to have a stellar season.

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  • That means offenses will need to take chances. And the riskier the play, the more likely an opportunistic defense of the Washington Football team will pounce.  As the Huskies prepare for a new season, we have been preparing too.  Recently, we had analyzed the defense in several key categories.

    2017 defense analysis

    On one hand, we looked at pass interceptions, and tried to project how the 2017 defense would manage to pick the pockets of the opposing quarterbacks. On the other hand, we examined the team’s pass rush, and tried to connect the dots of who would step up to get pressure on the quarterbacks.

    Finally, while we have not yet taken a look at how the defense will handle causing and recovering fumbles, that is another topic for a future article worth exploring.

    Start with turnovers

    The Washington Football team has six returning starters. Thanks to injuries across the defense, plenty of players saw the field last year. This season, that all comes together to give the team a deep and versatile defense.

    Next: 2017 Washington Football opener Huskies at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

    Even so, 33 turnovers is huge for for an NCAA football team.  With just 14 games played last year, that averages better than two per game. And after this article published, former cornerback Sidney Jones IV had this to say:

    And nobody did it better than Jones last year.

    And so, the team must rebuild their proficiency in many areas to challenge for the Pac-12 title again this year. But on defense, turnovers is a very good place to start. Just because the Huskies led the nation in turnovers last season is no reason to believe they will do it again this year.

    But like any journey. Ending up at the destination is much simpler when you know the way.