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Washington Huskies 2010-2011 Season Preview

2009 Total Offense Rank (yards per game): 62
2009 Total Defense Rank (yards per game): 79

A five win season may seem like a disappointment for most teams, but for the 2009 Washington Huskies, it was a giant step forward. The 2008 Huskies were 0-12, so last season’s 5-7 record is promising for a team returning all of its offensive production.

Washington’s chances revolve around senior quarterback Jake Locker. The preseason Heisman Trophy candidate and potential first overall draft pick made great strides in his passing ability in 2009. He increased his completion percentage by a full 10 percent over his previous two years, finishing with 2,800 yards, 21 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. Even though he ran the ball less, he still proved he has skill with his legs by rushing for 388 yards and seven touchdowns.

The player that may have been most important in Locker’s improvement is running back Chris Polk. The freshman rushed for 1,113 yards and gave the Huskies a balanced attack. The top three receiving targets return, led by Jermaine Kearse who had 50 catches for 866 yards. He is a dangerous deep threat (17.3 yards per catch average) and will be in the discussion as one of the best receivers in the country. The offensive line returns four starters but will be rearranged to make up for the loss of the left tackle.

Washington Huskies College Football Cheerleader

The biggest room for improvement is found on the defensive side of the ball. They improved last year giving up just 27 points per game compared with 39 the year before. To compete for the Pac 10 title, they will need to be better still. Defensive tackles Alameda Ta’amu and Cameron Elisara are solid in the middle. Both planned starting defensive ends were injured in the spring and hope to be healthy by the season opener, leaving the line with little depth.

Mason Foster returns at weakside linebacker after finishing second with 85 tackles and leading the team with three interceptions. He will be joined by Cort Dennison and Alvin Logan. The secondary must force more interceptions this year. Desmond Trufant is a strong starter at corner, but the other spot is up for grabs.

Washington has high expectations this season, Locker’s last at the helm. With their offense in good hands, this season’s success will likely be determined by the defense.

Washington’s odds to win the PAC 10 : + 350

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