2018 Washington Football Auburn opener punctuates solid season

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images /
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GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 30: Running back Myles Gaskin
GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 30: Running back Myles Gaskin /

Husky offense versus Tigers defense

As the Tigers scramble to find a new star for their running game, the Huskies will be searching for a new featured wide receiver. With the departure of Dante Pettis, the team must hope that 5-foot-7 Chico McClatcher is ready to assume a larger role in the offense.  For now, the other receiver role is up in the air.  It could be that Quinten Pounds steps up this year, or that the team finds an altenative in tight end Hunter Bryant.  But this year the team is welcoming freshmen receivers Austin Osborne, Marquis Spiker, and Devon Cump.

So while the name is not yet identified, the role certainly is.  The Washington passing game loves to challenge defenders deep, while creating secondary targets in their wake. So look for Jake Browning to test the Auburn secondary early.   In fact, the opener could be a surprising game for fans nationwide, as the now-comfortable Browning exploits the height of incoming receivers for a 300 plus yard passing game.

Myles for miles

Meanwhile the nation will turn their eyes upon early-Heisman-candidate Myles Gaskin and his performance against the Tigers defense.  While the first thought is to diminish his role, I heartily expect the 2018 Washington offense to be far more bold in running it down their opponents throats. With Gaskin, returning rusher Salvon Ahmed, and newcomer Richard Newton, the Huskies have an infantry of collegiate rushers.

In each of his three season, Gaskin has put up over 1300 yards rushing, 10+ touchdowns, and over 5.7 yards per carry.  But in 2017, his number climbed to an average of 6.2 yards per carry and 21 touchdowns for the season.   Both the Washington Football coaching staff and Myles Gaskin understand the importance of showcasing the best talent under the biggest spotlight, and that means the team must prepare to feature Gaskin against the Tigers. He can do so. In fact, he averaged 7.0 yards per carry against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Fiesta Bowl. So you can expect to see 100 plus yards and a pair of scores from the Washington running game.