Neuheisel wants balance, but how can his passing game possibly be more effective? Quarterback Cody Pickett completed 60 percent of his passes for 4,458 yards and 28 touchdowns. Wide receiver Reggie Williams caught 94 balls for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns, and he has Charles Frederick on the other end of the formation to draw away some of the attention.
Linebacker Marquis Cooper, the team's co-leader in
tackles last fall with 100, heads up eight returning starters on defense.
Hopoi is back after posting a team-high 17 tackles for loss. Derrick
Johnson and Roc Alexander are lock-down corners;
Johnson nabbed five errant aerials last season.
Aerial circus: Washington put the ball in
the air 621 times last fall, third-most of all D-IA teams.
Two-year wonder: Reggie Williams is the school's career leader in
both receptions and yards after just two years.
New standard: In 2002, quarterback Cody Pickett became the Pac-10's
first-ever single-season 4,000-yard passer.
2002 results: 76 (44 Pac-10)
2002 Bowl Game: Lost to Purdue 34-24 in the Sun Bowl
Returning starters: 8 offense, 8 defense, no kickers
A. 30 at Ohio
S. 6 Indiana
S. 20 Idaho
S. 27 Stanford
O. 4 at UCLA
O. 11 Nevada
O. 18 at Oregon
O. 25 USC
N. 1 Oregon
N. 8 at Arizona
N. 15 at California
N. 22 Washington
Schedule Analysis: The Huskies will have a tough time winning
their opener in Columbus. The next five games will give Washington some
momentum heading into a two-game stretch vs. Oregon State and USC that
will ultimately determine if the Huskies can contend for the Pac-10
title. November looks do-able, especially with the Apple Cup at home.
Final Word: Washington desperately needs some offensive balance
if they want to win the league as they did in 2000. The temptation to
let Cody Pickett keep chucking it is there, but Rick
Neuheisel knows he went 7-6 with a 4,000-yard passer a year ago.
Defensively, the Huskies obviously need to improve on last year's
performance, and the guess here is they will. Whether or not it will be
enough to win a Pac-10 title remains to be seen, but remember USC has to
travel to Seattle this year.
#12: The Washington Huskies
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