Washington Football: Sarkisian explains Huskies' defensive improvement

Steve Sarkisian explains Washington's defensive improvement

4/24/13 in NCAAF   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian took action and made some major changes on the defensive side of the ball following the 2011 season, including the hire of coordinator Justin Wilcox.Blog Photo - Washington Football: Sarkisian explains Huskies' defensive improvement

The Huskies went from No. 106 in total defense to No. 31 in 2012 and No. 108 in scoring defense to No. 39, holding eight different opponents to 24 points or less.

“We became a very opportunistic defense,” Sarkisian said while on The Tim Brando Show. “In this conference, you have to understand people are going to move the football. Your ability to create turnovers has to be apparent. We were able to do that last season.”

Six members of the Pac-12 Conference averaged more than 32 points per game last season, so what Sarkisian and Wilcox were able to do over one offseason is pretty impressive.

Washington went from No. 49 in turnovers gained to No. 7 in 2012, while also finishing No. 15 in opponent red zone touchdown percentage from No. 98 only a year before.

“We created an abundance of turnovers, and we continued to that this spring, because I think that’s what you have to do,” Sarkisian said. “You have to recognize the fact that there are really good offensive players in this conference. …it’s those teams that can create turnovers, create some short field for your own offense to score points is what’s key.”

Hopefully Sarkisian can do the same thing with the offense, which sputtered for just 21.0 points per game in conference play last season.

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