By Monica Lee
GoHuskies.com Staff Writer
In the flurry of Husky Football’s transition into a new coaching era, the defense is staying focused on the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco and playing against Brigham Young University’s very similar fast-paced, no-huddle offense.
“They have a Stanford offensive line and they have an ASU playbook,” defensive back Marcus Peters said.
“So it’s going to be a real fast game, but a fiercer game at that.”
BYU is ranked 10th in the nation rushing for 274.6 yards per game and 14th in total offense with 495.3 yards, running an average of 84.5 plays per game.
In comparison, Washington is 14th with 243.1 rushing yards per game and eighth in total offense with 514.3 yards per game. The Huskies run an average of 79.4 plays per game.
“It goes fast,” senior Sean Parker said of BYU’s offense, “so that’s the huge emphasis going into this game due to the strength of the opponent. We have got to do a good job of lining up and executing.”
A challenge for the Huskies’ defense will be stopping two 1000-yard rushers: Cougar quarterback Taysom Hill (1,211) and running back Jamaal Williams (1,202). Hill and Williams are the 21st and 22nd-ranked rushers in the nation respectively.
“We’ve seen this offense all year, so (there’s) nothing really big to expect, except for that these guys are big,” nose tackle Danny Shelton said. “The cool part about it is we run a no-huddle, too and it’s going to be a battle back and forth.”
To prepare, the Dawgs have been meticulously studying film of BYU’s offense including their performance in the Cougars’ 40-21 win over Texas.
“They ran the ball down their throats and that was it,” Peters said. “Texas wasn’t that physical and we just want to come out there and establish (how physical we are) and still execute on the back end.
“We’ve been studying film really hard and we’ve just been working hard throughout the week with preparations. We want to go out there so we have no lumps in our game plan.”
Interim head coach Marques Tuiasosopo is satisfied with how the team has been practicing.
“I think we’re right on track. We’ve had a lot of time to watch the film and we’ll continue to watch and critique what we have to see if we need to make any changes,” he said.
“I think what’s right in front of us is in their sights and the excitement builds by day. These guys are doing a great job of plugging through. We had a good (practice) today. It wasn’t perfect, but Tuesdays aren’t perfect.”
Shelton sums up the anticipation: “I haven’t been to San Fran, but I’m pretty excited to go against a group of guys who – they’re experienced, these guys are older than us and some of them have families of their own. I’m really excited to see how we do against these guys.
“We have talented guys, they have talented guys and we’re playing in San Fran. It’s a big bowl game.”
As for any other special preparations for the BYU offense?
“Have fun,” Shelton said definitively.