clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ASU Football Opponent Primer: Washington Huskies

Chris Peterson’s squad appears ready to make noise in the Pac.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Penn State vs Washington Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State 2018 Schedule

UTSA (Sept. 1) - Read

Michigan State (Sept. 8) - Read

At San Diego State (Sept. 15) - Read

At Washington (Sept. 22)

Oregon State (Sept. 29)

At Colorado (Oct. 6)

Stanford (Oct. 18)

At USC (Oct. 27)

Utah (Nov. 3)

UCLA (Nov. 10)

At Oregon (Nov. 17)

At Arizona (Nov. 24)

Washington’s 2017 Season

After making the College Football Playoff in 2016, the Huskies regressed a bit in 2017. The Huskies lost to Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl after finishing 10-3 and second in the Pac-12 North. The Sun Devils upset Washington last season in a 13-7 slug fest at Sun Devil Stadium, where the ASU defense turned in their best performance of the season by making life difficult for Husky quarterback Jake Browning. The Huskies will return a lot of their roster that won 10 games a season ago, and are expected to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Key Returners

Quarterback Jake Browning — After throwing a remarkable 43 touchdown passes his sophomore season, Browning took a step backwards in 2017. Heading into his senior season Browning will be expected to rediscover his 2016 form in order for the Huskies to have a good season and to improve his NFL Draft stock. The one attribute of his game that has improved throughout his collegiate career is his accuracy. He completed 68.5 percent of his passes in 2017, making home one of the most accurate passers in the nation.

Running back Myles Gaskin — Gaskin exploded onto the national scene in 2017. He totaled 45 touchdowns as a runner and a receiver, while also making a few appearances on defense. Gaskin will be the focal point of the UW offense in 2018, being utilized in both the back field and as a receiver.

Linebacker Ben Burr-Kiven — Washington’s leading tackler a season ago, Burr-Kiven will be the leader of the defense in his senior season. The defense only allowed 16.1 points per game last season good for fifth best in the country. Burr-Kiven busted onto the scene last season to take the job from then senior Azeem Victor, the Huskies defense will most likely dominate again in 2018 and Burr-Kiven will be a driving force

Key Departures

Defensive tackle Vita Vea — The Huskies won’t miss too much in 2018, but Vea will be missed up front. Vea was taken with the No. 12 selection in this year’s NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 43 tackles and 3.5 sacks last season. The Huskies do have a capable replacement in Greg Gaines, but losing a first round talent never helps a team.

Wide receiver Dante Pettis — Serving as the Huskies’ Swiss Army knife, Pettis was dynamic as a receiver and in special teams. Pettis was dynamic during his tenure in Seattle, including scoring seven total touchdowns in 2017. Pettis will be more difficult to replace for the Huskies, but it will be crucial for them to find a capable replacement. Pettis was drafted No. 44 overall in the second round by the San Francisco 49ers.

Why ASU could win

This won’t be easy. The Sun Devils stunned the Huskies when they were a top five team in the country last October in Tempe. Washington will want revenge at home in front of their fans. The timing of the match up does help ASU, as they will travel in late September when the weather should be more favorable for the Sun Devils. The defense will need to apply pressure to Browning as they did at Sun Devil Stadium, if ASU is able to pull back-to-back upset victories against the Huskies.

Why ASU could lose

The Sun Devils don’t have near the talent that Washington possesses. On paper, this should be one of the Huskies’ easier match ups on the schedule and one they must win in order to accomplish the team’s lofty goals. Washington will be motivated to win for a number of reasons, and payback might be at the top of the list.