The Arizona Wildcats are focused on a visit to Seattle after a heart-breaking loss in the final 95 seconds of Saturday’s game against USC. There are several positive takeaways from that contest but the Huskies are no slouch. This will be another challenging contest.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. MST and will be televised on FOX for the second consecutive week.
Here’s a first look at the Huskies:
- 2020 Record: 1-0 (Week one at Cal canceled, week two win versus OSU 27-21)
- Key Offensive Players: Dylan Morris (QB), Luke Wattenberg (OL), Sean McGrew (RB), Terrell Bynum (WR)
- Key Defensive Players: Ryan Bowman (LB), Edefuan Ulofoshio (LB), Elijah Molden (CB), Trent McDuffie (CB)
Washington entered the 2020 season without head coach Chris Petersen for the first time since 2013. However, Petersen’s success on the recruiting trail lives on through this roster.
The Huskies have put a number of players in the NFL over the last few years but the 2020 draft was the first since 2016 where they only had two players or fewer drafted.
This was largely to do with the upperclassmen that made the jump in 2019 and the outstanding youth from the the 2018 and 2019 recruiting classes. Those two classes alone produced 26 four-star recruits per 247Sports and they are beginning to blossom.
Washington’s offense lost a lot of production from last year’s team. Graduate transfer Jacob Eason ran the offense in 2019 which allowed Dylan Morris (former fourth ranked Pro-Style quarterback) the chance to redshirt and acclimate to the next level.
With Eason now in the NFL, Morris is responsible for the offense. However, he does not have the luxuries that Eason had with running back Salvon Ahmed and pass catchers Hunter Bryant and Aaron Fuller. All three skill position players have moved on to the NFL.
The offense will rely heavily on running backs Sean McGrew and Richard Newton who combined for 840 rushing yards in 2019. As for the pass catchers (headlined by Terrell Bynum), their top four returners combined for 73 catches for 978 yards and eight touchdowns.
Offensive line has very much been a strong point for this program in recent history. Luke Wattenberg started 27 games at left guard over the past two seasons. However, he has made the move to center. Tackle Jaxson Kirkland is another key and experienced piece to this line.
The best part of this team is their secondary. This has also been a strength of the program for several years running now. Senior cornerbacks Elijah Molden and Keith Taylor are the anchors but Trent McDuffie is possibly the most talented. You can expect to see all three of them on the field simultaneously for most of the game.
Linebackers Ryan Bowman and Edefuan Ulofoshio provide stability for their respective group and lineman Josiah Bronson does the same upfront.
Arizona has not beaten the Huskies in Seattle since 2007. This will be a good test for the defense as Washington’s offense is not as potent as seasons past.
The biggest test will be for Gunnell against this secondary. You can probably expect Arizona to find success again with its running game but if there’s any chance of escaping with a victory, Gunnell will need find a moderate level of success in the air.