I AM SO FULL OF RAGE RIGHT NOW! WASHINGTON! HUSKY! TOSH!
Remember the unyielding anger otherwise known as January? Well, it's back! Today, we are talking UW football. Oh, good old, UW foodtball. They hurt everyone we love (with the exception of this site, because apparently DLine coaches leaving for rivals is traffic gold) in January by stealing a baker's dozen of our coaches. Well, they are back! Mostly, because we asked them to.
Good old, Washington. Recently, the red headed step child of the Pac-12, they are finally working towards respectability. No more 0-12. They've beaten USC more than we have in the last 8 years (which is to say more than once). They've beaten us more than we've beaten them in the last few years. And now, they have our DLine coach and our WR coach. We have GOT to beat them this year. We haven't beaten them since 2008.
To find out more about the UW team, we spoke with TheCassino at UWDawgPound. They are SBNation's Husky fans and have all the information we can be really angry about. Their answers to our questions after the jump. Many thanks to the guys over at UWDawgPound. GO BEARS! BEAT THE HUSKIES!
1. What were the core questions that you had hoped would be answered by Spring Practice? Were conclusions reached?
1. The biggest question heading into the spring was how the defense would look under new coordinator Justin Wilcox, and more importantly, would there be improvement? The early returns look promising, but then again, it's spring ball, so you never really know.
2. Any major style changes coming our way in the fall? New offense or defense installed?
2. UW replaced both coordinators, and as mentioned above the defense is getting a (much needed) complete schematic and stylistic overhaul. Nick Holt's no-tackle, no-cover system is gone, and Justin Wilcox brings a system that will show more 3-4 looks.
Offensive coordinator Jeff Nussmeier is gone as well, having taken a promotion to coordinate for National Champs Alabama. Replacing him is Eric Kiesau (who I'm sure you're familiar with), though the offense shouldn't change much: it's Steve Sarkisian's baby and he's still calling the plays.
3. What players emerged on offense? On defense?
3. On offense, there wasn't really anyone who emerged in a big way. The younger guys who are stepping into more prominent roles (Kasen Williams, Bishop Sankey) were known commodities heading into the spring.
Defensively, moving Nate Fellner from safety to linebacker has some people pretty excited, and it looks like he's going to be a starter there. Redshirt frosh Marcus Peters may find himself a starter at corner.
4. What are your biggest worries coming out of spring ball for the fall?
4. The biggest worry has to be the offensive line. Heading into the offseason it looked like 4 of 5 would be back, but Colin Porter retired after medical concerns about his shoulders, Erik Kohler wasn't healthy over the offseason and is still working his way back into shape, Colin Tanigawa is still recovering from a torn ACL and didn't participate in the spring, and Drew Schaefer had a minor knee injury during camp.
5. Project your season. Contender? Pretender? Middle of the pack?
5. Contender for the top of the middle of the pack. The team is still probably a year away from competing with Oregon and USC every week, but should be favored in more games than they're the underdogs.
6. Any frosh you can't wait to get on campus?
6. Without rubbing too much salt in the wound: Shaq Thompson. Also Pio Vatuvei, who Sark has gushed about every chance he's had, and could contribute right away on the defensive line.
7. Who will you miss the most from last season? Who will be stepping up to fulfill those shoes?
7. It's going to be strange to watch someone other than Chris Polk taking most of the handoffs after the career he had. Sankey and Jesse Callier will split the lion's share of the carries and have the talent to produce a decent facsimile of what Polk did as a ballcarrier, but I don't envision anybody being able to do what he did as a pass catcher out of the backfield.
8. Any particular Pac12 match-up/rivalry you are looking forward to this Fall?
8. To be honest, the Cal game seems like it might have a bit more animosity surrounding it with Lupoi-gate and all. But the Oregon game will be the biggest game on the schedule every year until the losing streak against them ends.
9. What are the specific injury concerns coming out of this spring?
9. Aside from the noted issues on the offensive line, the recovery of Kevin Smith, Hau'oli Jamora and Deontae Cooper from torn ACL's is worth keeping an eye on. Smith was a contributor last year at WR, and if healthy is a likely starter, Jamora is perhaps the team's best defensive end, and Cooper has yet to play a down. He's torn an ACL both of the past offseasons, but he blew the socks off of everyone in the one spring he was healthy. If he can get back to that form, he'll get carries at runningback this season.
10. Based on what you've seen, who is ready to take a major leap this fall?
10. The player most likely to take a big leap forward on offense is Kasen Williams. With a better handle on the offense and not playing behind Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar, the former Parade Player of the Year could become an All-Conference caliber player.
11. Who do you want to punch in the face?
11. Whoever negotiated the old Pac-10 TV deal. Tom Hansen? Let's go with Tom Hansen.
12. Who's got the best nickname on the team?
12. I'm not really very familiar with many nicknames for players other than the over publicized "Teeth Price".
13. Which one of your assistant coaches is in the hot seat?
13. Can't say any assistant is on the hot seat. The ones that were got pink slips after last year.
14. I hate you so much right now. This isn't a question. Just wanted to say that.
14. Can't imagine why.
15. What is a reasonable expectation for the defense this year after last year's tire fire? Bend but don't break? Give up points but come up with a few turnovers? How much improvement can be reasonably expected?
15. I think that the frustration from the Nick Holt defenses stemmed from the fact that there are (and have been) good players on that side of the ball, which lead just about everybody to think that the problem was the coaching and the scheme. If the talent level is where it seems to be, then a big leap from garbage to respectable wouldn't be unthinkable. The biggest expectation though, has to be that the defense is competitive in every outing. No more giving up 67 to Baylor. No more getting steamrolled by Stanford. Nobody's expecting a bunch of shutouts, but the hope is that they can give the offense a chance to win a couple more games than they did last year.
We'll get some questions together for you, and I'll send them over whenever that is.