Not much is expected of the Washington Huskies' offense this season; losing two key cogs tends to lower the bar.
Without quarterback Keith Price and running back Bishop Sankey, the Huskies might need to prepare for a challenging season. However, if they can somehow overcome the obstacle of loss, the results would be astounding and would demand attention.
Price and Sankey accounted for the majority of the team’s touchdowns last season, with Price throwing for 21 and running for five more, and Sankey finishing second in the Pac-12 with 20 rushing touchdowns. Sankey caught one touchdown pass last season as well.
With those two gone, the team will need to rely on other players who preferably have some experience already. This is possible, but it doesn’t seem likely that the Huskies will blow anyone out of the water this year on offense. The Huskies might have to rely on their defense instead and hope for consistent scoring from the replacements at quarterback and running back.
Those replacements figure to be Cyler Miles as the the primary passer and one of three tailbacks who saw significant playing time last season. Miles was just reinstated by the team following a suspension because of an alleged assault. He shares a similar skill set to Price, so every returning starter on offense should feel somewhat acclimated already to Miles, even though he wasn’t the main signal-caller in 2013.
Meanwhile, Dwayne Washington, Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper are all capable tailbacks who could step in for Sankey. Running the ball by committee until one emerges as a standout player would be the best option, but looking at last year’s statistics alone, Washington has the edge with 47 carries for over 300 yards, four rushing touchdowns, and a scoring reception.
Another problem, though, for the Huskies is that they do not have tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins anymore, either. This is a huge blow to the receiving unit in that Seferian-Jenkins led the team in touchdown receptions last season, so the team is without its three best scorers of 2013.
There is hope for the Huskies because Jaydon Mickens, who was second to Seferian-Jenkins in touchdown catches last season with five, is still on the roster. The Huskies also still have tight end Joshua Perkins to step in for their lost tight end, but once again, it is a matter of time to see if he truly can be a viable replacement.
The Huskies have depth to utilize this year, and if the players waiting in the wings can perform, this team could stay afloat and even make an impact. However, the uncertainties lie at three of the most important positions on the field, so while the reward is high, the risk is even higher.