Washington football is looking for an offensive resurgence in 2019, but how can they get back to peak 2016 form?
When Washington football made the College Football Playoff in 2016, they averaged 456.9 yards of offense and 41.8 points per game. In 2018, they averaged 414.6 yards and 28.6 points per game.
Brock Huard said this yesterday on Brock and Salk, “This is for (2019’s presumptive starting quarterback) Jacob Eason, in particular,” Huard said. “What kind of system do you want to be? To me, you’ve got to be a power run, play-action team. If you’re going to play to Jacob Eason, or Jacob Sirmon, or Colson Yankoff, I think you’ve got to be that kind of team.”
Personally, I disagree. The Huskies tried establishing themselves as a power run team with the best back in school history this past year with Myles Gaskin. The Huskies need to run a pro-style offense, but they need to let Eason sit back and sling it. The offense showed off great success against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl when Jake Browning was able to sit back and sling it, so imagine what the potential 2020 number one overall pick in Eason can do with the same cast of weapons.
Reports came in all year that Eason was tearing it up with the scout team offense, and that was against future first round picks in the secondary in Byron Murphy and Taylor Rapp. Even when they knew it was coming, they couldn’t stop him. So imagine what he could do to those poor Pac-12 corners with the talent that he’ll have around him.
Hunter Bryant is going to have an unreal season in 2019. Eason is the kind of player that can make everyone around him better. He seems to have developed some chemistry with freshman receiver Marquis Spiker. Aaron Fuller had a huge breakout season during his junior campaign and Ty Jones established himself as a major threat.
Of course, the Huskies will have to find a way to run the ball, my prediction is that Kamari Pleasant will take the brunt of the carries. We’ll still see Salvon Ahmed in there a lot, Chris Petersen has found some great ways to use his speed, and he’s got good hands so why not spread the field out and use both on a screen play?
The offensive line should have another solid season, especially with Trey Adams returning and Jared Hilbers sliding over to right tackle. Center Nick Harris looks to be in line for another all-conference selection, and right guard Jaxson Kirkland is an exciting piece to build the line around. Kirkland was named to The Athletic’s freshman All-American team for the 2018 season.
Browning’s career high in attempts came in the Rose Bowl, and especially in the fourth quarter, the offense was humming when they were able to pick up chunk plays throwing the ball. Eason is a much more talented quarterback than Browning, and Chris Petersen needs to unleash him while he has him.