In this edition of Behind Enemy Lines, I chat with Dawgman.com's Chris Fetters to break down Saturday's tilt between California and Washington.
Here's what we talk about this week:
- What stuck out most to us about the weekly press conferences? For Chris, it's how head coach Chris Petersen is treating true freshman quarterback Jake Browning, and last year's win over the Bears at California Memorial Stadium. On the flip side, Cal is certainly looking at that game for motivation.
- Earlier this fall, Jared Goff talked about how happy he was that Hau'oli Kikaha was gone from Seattle, bound for the NFL, along with three other Huskies defensive draft picks, but the Bears may be without perhaps their best pass rusher in DeVante Wilson.
- Who's done well in Wilson's stead? Who will replace him?
- How much of a concern is Washington's running game (led by Myles Gaskin), and how does it affect Browning?
- How much of a factor will pass-catching running back Dwayne Washington be for the Huskies? He had 131 receiving yards last week, so he could be a multiple-vector threat, but from where?
- How green is Washington's offensive line? They're starting a true freshman in Trey Adams at left tackle, and a redshirt freshman at right tackle in Kaleb McGary. We go over the different offensive line combinations that the Huskies have used this season, and bat around how that may play out on Saturday.
- How is Washington's running game similar to another Pac-12 team of the recent past?
- Pay attention to the Huskies' tight ends in Josh Perkins, Darrell Daniels (out of Freedom HS in Oakley, Calif.), Drew Sample and David Ajamu.
- How well has the offensive line -- and the tight ends -- protected Browning? Could they be a weak point?
- The Huskies have had heavy hitters on defense of late in Kevin King, Azeem Victor, and two defensive tackles Cal should be very familiar with.
- How much of a role will the veteran outside linebackers play for Washington? They're not the biggest, but, as Chris says, they're "cat quick."
- Obviously, the Huskies miss the John Timu's of the world, but who's stepped up to replace him and the other departed members of that defense?
- Of course, Cal's running game is going to be matching up with that linebacking corps. Even if Daniel Lasco can't go for the second straight week (find out from our press conference thread below how he did at practice), the Bears have some other options, including Khalfani Muhammad.
- Who's the biggest surprise along the Cal offensive line, which will face Washington's 3-4 base defense?
- Stat to remember: The Huskies tallied 12 quarterback hits on Chuckie Keeton last week against Utah State.