Washington Football focus now on Fresno State

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: Running back Myles Gaskin
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: Running back Myles Gaskin /
SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 09: Running back Myles Gaskin
SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 09: Running back Myles Gaskin /

Now at 2-0, the Washington Football team focuses on defeating incoming opponent Fresno State for their week three contest.

The Washington Football team is right where they want to be at 2-0. But this is where the team should be, as their early season contests did not spawn must debate or divisive opinions.  At this point in time, however, it’s important to take every bit of praise with a grain of salt, and every critique with an open mind towards improving for the next game.

After all, the goal is to improve each week so that the team performance peaks in the last game of the year – hopefully in the National Championship.

But to get there, the team must continue to move ahead, and it is in that light that the team now turns  their attention to the Freno

New challenge for the Washington Huskies

The Washington Huskies, for lack of a more appropriate description, have a sequentially more challenging schedule. In short, the first three games have tested the team in new ways. Week one tested the team on the road and their ability to step up to an emotionally prepared opponent. Week two tested the team’s pass defense. Now, the team faces a new test in week three: a battle tested opponent.

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  • The Fresno State Bulldogs arrive at 1-1.  Scheduled for the late game on Saturday, September 16, 2017, the game starts at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

    The Bulldogs opened with a resounding 66-0 victory over Incarnate Word in the season opener. Then came a road trip to Alabama.  While the Bulldogs fared better than expected, they never truly challenged the Crimson Tide on their home turf. While the Bulldogs neutralized the Alabama passing game, they did not fare as well against the run. The Tide’s quarterback, Jalen Hurts, crushed Fresno State with his legs. At the end of the day, he ran for 154 yards on ten carries and two touchdowns.

    Curiously, that was more than half of Alabama’s running attack.

    Washington running game needs a good week three

    Week three is a good week to get some high octane out of the running game. The season opener came in at just 84 yards for the day. While week two was much better for the team as a whole, no one running back delivered more than 54 yards. But the team did assemble a 213 yard, five touchdown performance from the running game.

    But will the team distribute the ball to so many rushers in a tough game? Against superior opponents? That’s the million dollar question right now. Can the team hitch the wagon to one rusher and hope for 100 yards or better? Well center Coleman Shelton certainly thinks so.  After all, the running game starts with him, and he just came off a tremendous game.

    Right now, the Huskies have yet to identify a dominating runner. Myles Gaskin stands at 97 yards rushing so far this season. Lavon Coleman stands at 73 yards. Neither runner has dominated in a game yet.

    Browning needs help

    So far, quarterback Jake Browning has been doing enough to win games. Eventually, teams will shut down the passing game, forcing the Huskies to run. Will some runner make them pay? I expect Fresno State to adopt this strategy. The first two opponents took away the Washington running game, and neither had an answer for the reliable arm of Browning.

    Fresno State held Alabama to under 200 yards passing. I expect them to try carrying that momentum against the Huskies and force the Washington Football team to run the ball.

    Next: Will Dante Pettis break NCAA punt return for TD record this year?

    So this week it’s doubly important to get a running back in the groove.  Not only will it be needed to defeat the Fresno State Bulldogs, but it is necessary as this team faces the Colorado Buffaloes the following week.  While this is the week for the Washington Football team to focus on Fresno State, it’s never too early to look ahead to matching up with a Pac-12 rival.