What has been one of the clear themes of the season is the improvement of Washington’s defense.
How much did the defense improve this season?
UW’s official game notes for the Las Vegas Bowl matchup with Boise State has this breakdown of it:
Washington’s defense made tremendous improvements in 2012 as compared to the 2011 totals. The Huskies were better on defense across the board, but most notably improved against the pass, where they went from the 116th (out of 120 teams) ranked unit in the nation to the 16th through the end of the 2012 regular season. Here’s a look at where the UW’s per-game average and NCAA rank in all of the major team defense categories:
2011 Avg. (NCAA Rank) 2012 Avg. (NCAA Rank)
Rushing Defense 168.69 (76th) 164.33 (67th)
Passing Defense 284.62 (116th) 188.92 (16th)
Pass Eff. Defense 137.57 (87th) 110.58 (16th)
Total Defense 453.31 (106th) 353.25 (30th)
Scoring Defense 35.92 (108th) 23.83 (37th)
As you saw in the comments from UW defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox yesterday, though, is still looking for continued improvement. We’ll see if he gets it against Boise State.
By the way, nice and sunny — if colder than you might think — in Las Vegas this morning. I hope to pass some video along at some point, but at the moment we are having some issues with that so not sure what I will be able to do there.
In other news. …
— The latest on touted JC DT Lavon Hooks is that he may announce later today. At the moment, though, there have been enough stops and starts in the announcements about his announcements that it may be best now to just wait until it happens.
— The Times is hosting a live chat with Hugh Millen today at 1:30 p.m.
— I also had a UW notebook.
— CBSSports.com has a preview and analysis and a pick of Boise State to win a shootout, 34-30.
— FantasyCPR also has a breakdown, including a look at the NFL prospects for each team.
— Steve Sarkisian is the fifth-most popular coach on Twitter.
— 247Sports.com says UW is compiling one of the five most surprising recruiting classes of 2013.
— UW commit Troy Williams was named the LA Times’ Back of the Year.
— The Idaho Statesman has a scouting report on UW.
— The Statesman also writes about Boise State’s offensive line overcoming a slow start to the season.
— Here are some Boise State links.
— The Oregonian’s Ken Goe examines the shelf life of coaches.
— Boise State is among the schools where the salaries for assistants have increased.
— WSU QB Jeff Tuel said yesterday he will give up his attempt to get a fifth year of eligibility and will prepare for the NFL Draft.
— Here’s the daily Pac-12 Rundown from The Oregonian.
— And some more Pac-12 links from Christian Caple.
Finally, some Tweets this morning that Chris Polk will start for the Eagles this week at fullback. The Eagles host the Redskins Sunday.