Midseason Grades - Offense

We're at the midway point of the 2013 football season and Washington is sporting a 4-2 record. Here's a look at each offensive position group and how they've fared so far this season as well as what to look forward to during the second half of the season...

Quarterbacks: Keith Price, for the most part, has looked like the 2011 version of himself. He has made plays with both his legs and his arm. He looks accurate most of the time and he hasn't made the mistakes he was prone to in 2012. Now, that being said, there are still a lot of plays he's been leaving on the field as he's had open receivers available and time to make the throws, but he's just missed them. If the fifth-year senior can sharpen up his reads just a little bit more and continue to stay away from turnovers or hold the ball too long, he should be able to lead UW to it's best record since 2001 when they went 11-1 and won the Rose Bowl, finishing third in the country.

Midseason Grade: B+


Running Backs: You cannot talk about the best players in the Pac 12 without considering Bishop Sankey in the top two or three. He's leading the nation in rushing with 899 yards and is tied for the lead with nine touchdowns. He's tough, he's a workhorse, averaging 26.5 carries per game, and he's Washington's best player. Behind him, Jesse Callier has had his moments and Dwayne Washington looked good early, but neither has shown the ability to step in without missing a beat. Washington has struggled with fumbles and seems unsure of himself while Callier is serviceable and a good blocker, but definitely not as dynamic as Sankey with the ball in his hands. This is basically a one-man show right now and the Huskies need him to remain healthy if they want to be dynamic on offense the rest of the season. The fullbacks have been a non-factor for the most part, but when Psalm Wooching has seen the field he's been an adequate blocker when called upon.

Midseason Grade: A-


Receivers/Tight Ends: Kasen Williams has all of the skills necessary to be a big-time playmaker to be an All-Conference performer, but he just hasn't seen that many throws his way in the first half of the season. Your best receiver needs to get more than six targets a game. The play of Jaydon Mickens has been eye-opening, but he has struggled the past couple of weeks as the competition has gotten better. The sophomore leads the team with 34 receptions, but most of his yards have come on short passes that allow him to use his open-field running skills. Senior Kevin Smith has been a revelation this year. Up until now, Smith hadn't been much of a factor as a receiver, but he is currently tied with Williams for second on the team with 24 receptions while leading the team with 389 yards receiving and he also has two touchdowns as well. Freshman John Ross has had his moments, but with the play of Mickens, his chances has been limited. Both Williams and Smith have been great at blocking down the field and have been the reason that Mickens and Sankey have found so much room outside and down the field. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the other All-Conference or even All-American candidate, but the junior has yet to really hit his stride after serving a one-game suspension for an off-field incident during the spring. He leads the Dawgs with three touchdowns receiving, but, like Williams, he just isn't seeing that many targets. Both Price and Steve Sarkisian as well as offensive coordinator Eric Keisau need to feature ASJ more as the season moves along. A nice find during the first six games of the season has been Josh Perkins and his blocking skills on the perimeter. He also has two touchdown receptions. Michael Hartvigson, for all of his size and talent, just hasn't found a way to get on the field much now that Seferian-Jenkins is back and appears to have fallen to third on the depth chart behind Perkins.

Midseason Grade: B-


Offensive Line: Considering that last year's line rated about a D for their productivity in the running game and pass-protection, this line is miles ahead. They haven't seen many injuries although the possible loss of Dexter Charles for at least one game if not more could cause some problems. Rating them up until now though, they definitely have a solid grade. Sure, there have been some mistakes and they've struggled to keep Price upright vs. the two best teams they've faced (Stanford and Oregon), but overall they have been solid and Micah Hatchie has shown why the Huskies were so high on him coming out of high school. He is likely the most improved Husky considering the way he's played so far this season compared to last year, which was his first as a starter. The return of Colin Tanigawa from injury has really helped although he's struggled some with false starts. Mike Criste has definitely been an upgrade over last year's center Drew Schaefer. Unlike Schaefer, Criste can handle a nose tackle one-on-one occasionally and he's athletic enough to pull when called upon. Ben Riva and Charles have been Washington's best two lineman and with Erik Kohler's experience, he was able to step in when Charles went down against Oregon and the offense didn't seem to miss a step. OT Jake Eldrenkamp and OG James Atoe both seem ready to step in and provide depth along with OG Shane Brostek. They've paved the way for Sankey to put up big numbers and they've only allowed 12 sacks, but Price has been hit quite a bit the past two weeks so that's an area that needs to be shored up.

Midseason Grade: B


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