Musical quarterbacks is the name of the game at the University of Washington. Junior Casey Paus (6-5, 220) started the first three games of the season going 41 of 93 for 313 yards with three interceptions and two touchdowns. But Paus was benched in the second half against Notre Dame due to his sporadic play and has not started a game since.
Redshirt freshman Carl Bonnell (6-3, 200) played the entire second half in South Bend and did not perform that well either, but his play earned him the start against Stanford. Bonnell is a dual threat quarterback with a strong arm and quick feet. In his first start of his career he completed an unimpressive 9 of 25 for 188 yards and an interception. Paus spelled Bonnell going 8 of 14 for 93 yards and one touchdown.
|Carl Bonnell is questionable for Saturday.|
Despite Paus’ better performance, Bonnell received the start against San Jose State. His second outing was even worse then his first as he completed just two of seven passes for 20 yards and two interceptions. Paus once again came in and performed decently finishing with 55 yards on 5 of 9 passing while helping setup two touchdown runs.
Neither quarterback has been impressive this year. Bonnell has a tremendous amount of potential, but is still adjusting to college ball. Plus, he injured his groin muscle and could not play this weekend. Paus has taken care of the ball, not throwing an interception since the season opener, but has not shown he can make the big play. Head coach Keith Gilbertson has given Paus the starting node this weekend, but don’t be surprised to see sophomore Isiah Stanback (6-3, 205) in the game if Paus is struggling. Stanback has not played in a game since Fresno State.
All of the Husky gunslingers are mobile as they often run the option. Bonnell is third on the team in rushing with 104 yards and one touchdown on 28 attempts. Paus is not on the positive side on the ground. Stanback has seven carries for 17 yards and one touchdown.
Sophomore Kenny James (5-10, 215) is coming off a career high 189 (179 in the second half) yards and two touchdowns against San Jose State. His 470-yard season total is 132 more than the Oregon State team total and his five touchdowns lead his team.
James likes to stay between the tackles and has the speed to make the white blur. He has good hands, having caught five passes for 31 yards, and is a threat out of the backfield. Playing with James is junior fullback James Sims (6-1, 205) who is second on the team in rushing with 105 yards on 25 carries.
Sims reportedly has good hands, but he has caught just two passes. Sophomore Shelton Sampson (5-11, 205) who has a nice balance of speed and bulk enters the game when James needs a breather.
As the team’s fourth leading rusher Sampson operates more as a fullback more than a running back picking up 94 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries.
The offensive line was supposed to be one of the Huskies weaknesses, but the young group has been impressive allowing just seven sacks in five games. As a unit they have good size and power and are only getting better.
The physically gifted and game prove left tackle Khalif Barnes (6-5, 310) anchors the purple and gold. The senior has started 42 consecutive games since his redshirt year in 2000 and will be up for postseason awards. He is equally skilled at run and pass blocking as his athleticism allows him to move well. If Barnes starts every game this year he will become the only UW offensive lineman to start every game four straight seasons.
To the left of Barnes is another experienced player in sophomore Clay Walker (6-4, 300) who can play either the guard or tackle position. Snapping duties belong to junior Brad Vanneman (6-3, 300) while the right guard portion of the line is protected by Stanley Daniels (6-4, 305) and Tusi Sa’au (6-2, 320).
Daniels has played in all five games this year, starting all but the Notre Dame game. Sa’au took over the starting role against the Irish, but relinquished the spot against San Jose State. Junior Robin Meadow (6-6, 300) and senior Ryan Brooks (6-6, 305) fill the right tackle position.
If Washington wanted to print “Tight End U” t-shirts they could – there are four former Husky tight ends in the NFL, the most out of any school. This year UW lacks a star, but still posses a pair of talented players.
|Joe Toledo will get the start over Jon Lyon.|
Senior Jon Lyon (6-6, 265) usually starts, but splits time with junior Joe Toledo (6-6, 285). Lyon injured his knee in practice this week and will receive limited reps. Toledo will start in his place.
Neither have outstanding speed, but both are effective blockers with good hands and run disciplined routes. Lyon, who is on the John Mackey list, has five catches for 55 yards while Toledo has six catches for 66 yards. Keeping the big tight ends in check will be one of keys to the game in Seattle.
Oregon State fans are all too familiar with senior Charles Frederick (6-0, 185) who ran all over the field in Corvallis last year racking up 371 all-purpose yards. Frederick leads the team with 15 receptions for 246 yards and one touchdown. Quick, elusive, and dangerous in the open field Frederick is hard to keep in check.
Unfortunately, he is fighting a hamstring injury that forced him to sit out the Stanford game and much of the San Jose State contest. He is questionable for the match up this weekend.
Sophomores Sonny Shackelford (6-2, 180) and Corey Williams (6-1, 195) are the team’s second leading receivers. Williams had 10 catches for 128 yards before an injury sideline him against Notre Dame and Stanford. In his absence Shackelford has stepped up as the possession receiver catching 10 passes for 108 yards and one touchdown.
Sophomore Quintin Daniels (6-1, 195) and redshirt freshman Anthony Russo (5-11, 180) finish out the playing receiving core. Daniels is the fourth leading receiver with seven catches for 98 yards (45 yards long) while Russo, who already has high expectations to meet, has four catches for 35 yards and one touchdown.
Notes of the offense:
- Kenny James 189 yards last weekend against SJSU were the most by a UW tailback
since the 1997 Aloha Bowl.
Washington has had five turnovers in two games this season.
- In the last three games the Huskies have scored 7 of 9 times when inside
their opponents 20-yard line.