Good morning again from beautiful Honolulu. We’re just under 10 hours away from kickoff to Washington’s 2014 season here against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. Anyone excited?
Programming note: I’ll be hosting a live chat from our GameDay Center starting at 6:30 p.m. PT, an hour before kickoff at Aloha Stadium.
Here’s my game preview story from today’s paper, focusing on the dual debuts of Chris Petersen and Jeff Lindquist, among others for UW. This is a primetime platform for Lindquist, the lifelong Husky fan, to prove the quarterback job should be his fulltime.
“He’s always the same, and same positive, optimistic way,” Petersen said of Lindquist. “Whether he makes a bad play, he wants to hear us, he still wants to be coached. Half the time we’re in his ear when things don’t go just right, he already knows it, but he’s still willing to listen. He gets an opportunity, he’s not over the top. If it doesn’t go well, he’s not going to go in the tank. I think we all appreciate that about him.”
And here’s Jerry Brewer column on the start of the Petersen era. Jerry writes:
Now, after eight months of small talk, you get to meet the real Chris Petersen.
Prepare to be impressed.
He owns Saturdays. He tolerates the rest of the week, at least when it comes to publicity.
From Sunday through Friday, he’s a rigid coach with a high standard for preparation. On Saturdays, he has as much fun as any coach in America.
During the week, he’s the strife of the party. On Saturday, he and his team are the life of the party.
That’s the way it worked at Boise State. That’s how it’s eventually going to work at Washington.
UW GAME DAY
Huskies at Hawaii
7:30 p.m. PT Saturday at Aloha Stadium
TV: CBS Sports Network TV. Radio: KOMO AM-1000 (97.7 FM
Latest line: Huskies favored by 17 points.
Budda, Budda and more Budda: The much-anticipated debut of former Bellevue High star Budda Baker is scheduled to kick off with, well, maybe the kickoff. In addition to starting his first collegiate game at free safety, Baker is also a kickoff return man (alongside WR John Ross); Baker could also be a factor on either kickoff coverage or punt coverage. He’ll be busy.
Washington’s time: Sophomore Dwayne Washington, at 6-2 and 219 pounds, is UW’s fastest and most explosive running back, and he’s expected to get the first carry in the post-Bishop Sankey era. Redshirt freshman Lavon Coleman should play a key role in the backfield for UW, too.
Dominate D? UW’s front seven on defense boasts six returning starters and four potential high picks in next year’s NFL draft. Shaq Thompson’s switch from strong-side linebacker to weak-side linebacker puts him more in line to stop the run, and Hau’oli Kikaha’s move to ‘buck’ end should put him more in space to make plays — both moves allowing the defense to be less predictable and, perhaps, more dynamic overall.
No-so-dominant D: Hawaii and California were the only FBS programs in the country to allow at least 28 points in every game last season. Hawaii finished 2013 ranked 117th in the nation in total defense.
Humbling history: In what is considered one of the most surprising losses in UW history — the Huskies were reportedly a 50-point favorite — Hawaii opened the 1973 season with a 10-7 victory at Husky Stadium. The Huskies threw five interceptions and fumbled five times (losing two) that game.
UW PLAYERS TO WATCH:
QB Jeff Lindquist: Starting debut for UW
RB Dwayne Washington: 332 yards, 4 TD in 2013
WR Kasen Williams: Sixth all-time at UW with 142 catches
LB John Timu: 14 tackles, sack, INT in Fight Hunger Bowl
HAWAII PLAYERS TO WATCH:
QB Ikaika Woolsey: Making third career start
RB Joey Iosefa: 586 yards in final 4 games of 2013
WR Marcus Kemp: 11 catches for 110 yards in 2013.
S Taz Stevenson: Ex-Husky to start at safety
WHAT CHANNEL IS THE GAME ON?
Comcast: Channel 412, 633 (HD)
DIRECTV: Channel 221
DISH Network: Channel 158
Wave broadband: Channel 508, 788 (HD)
Here is the uniform the Huskies will wear today: