Chipping away. …
Q: I realize this is very premature, but I’m curious to know how the other Pac 10 schools are looking for returning depth in 2010. Considering how few graduating seniors the Huskies have after the 2009 season, 2010 figures (on paper, anyway) to bring back approximately 16 starters or so. Based on the latest spring depth charts, is anyone else in the Pac 10 likely to return as many starters as the Huskies?
A: As you say, it is a little premature to start assessing returning starters for 2010 since so much can change between now and the end of the season concerning who is starting for which team. But for the sake of the question, here’s how many seniors each team has as likely position starters heading into fall camp:
Arizona — 9
Arizona State — 12
Cal — 11
Oregon — 6
Oregon State — 7
Stanford — 11
UCLA — 8
USC — 8
Washington — 6
Washington State — 8
So yes, the Huskies would rank at the moment as one of the most experienced teams heading into 2010, though tied with Oregon and not that far ahead of teams currently ahead of them on the pecking order like OSU, UCLA and USC. ASU looms as the team with the biggest turnover, though it’s a little deceiving as it includes two WRs and RB, positions where ASU has good underclassmen waiting in the wings, as well as QB Danny Sullivan, who is a new starter this year and it’s uncertain what will happen there.
Speaking of which, the one thing the Pac-10 could have a lot of in 2010 is experienced QBs — ASU and OSU could be the only teams starting senior QBs in 2009, though fans of each will tell you there are some pretty good possible replacements. So all those stories about the conference’s weakness at QB this year could have a different tone in 2010.
Q; Wondering if you have any stats for Pac-10 teams of the past and how they fared in their first season with a new QB? Asking due to the fact a handful of Pac-10 teams will have a new quarterback and that could be a plus for the Husky defense, hopefully.
A: There isn’t a stat like that readily available, and there’s also the matter of how you would define it — teams that had a new QB for part of the year, the entire season? You’d kind of have to have a list of every team andn which QB started which games and all that to really make it accurate. So I’m not sure I can come up with an exact number. What is obvious is that in general, experience at QB is better than no experience at QB — there are all kinds of examples of that. But it obviously hasn’t hurt USC to have a first-time starter at QB lately — that’s happened three times since 2003 and the Trojans won the Pac-10 title all three seasons. Billy Joe Hobert had never started a game at QB before leading the 1991 Huskies to the national title. So as is always the case, it also depends on the guy — I’d rather play an experienced bad QB than an inexperienced good one. And playing a first-year starter in game one is obviously a lot different than doing so in game 10. That could be the real key for the Huskies — UW could be facing first-year starters or guys with very minimal experience in most of its key early games (LSU, USC, Stanford, Arizona and Arizona State could all QBs with very little starting experience). What that indicates is that it will be particularly critical for UW to stop or at least contain the run. Teams with young QBs tend to try to run more than they might usually to take some pressure off that QB. UW will need to do a much better job on the run and force those QBs into making plays, especially in games held at Husky Stadium.
Q: I heard Roy Lewis on Dawgman.com radio Saturday talking about working out with the Dawgs during the summer. Do you know if there are any other alums working out with the team as well?
A: I heard that Marques Tuiasosopo was there one day. But the day I watched, Lewis was the only other former Husky there. I don’t think real common for a bunch of former guys to come back, really. The point of the workouts is for the current team to work on what it needs to, running the plays, that sort of thing,. So I think you sometimes see a few older guys come back — usually pretty recent former guys who may have a working knowledge of the current system — but not a ton. Lewis is helping out because he’s in town nfor the summer until camp begins and obviously was a player until 2007 so he still knows most of the guys
All for now.
Chipping away. …
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