2014 Top 10 UW Football Stories

There were plenty of highlight moments in 2014 for Washington Football, but these 10 stand out among the crowd. Included is the beginning of a new era on Montlake, the passing of the Dawgfather, the amazing seasons of three All-Americans, the emergence of some young playmakers, and a loss that should’ve been a win.

1. Beginning of the Chris Petersen Era at UW - There’s no doubt the biggest story of 2014 (actually started in December of 2013) was the ushering of the Chris Petersen Era to Montlake. The former Boise State head coach moved to UW in a major shakeup of the Pac-12 coaching carousel, as Steve Sarkisian chose to go back to USC.

2-4. Three All-Americans on defense - It’s the first time Washington ever had three consensus All-Americans on one team (not even the 1991 National Championship team could make that boast), and they all happened to be on defense. Shaq Thompson was named as an All-Purpose player, but his greatest impact was as a linebacker, where he accounted for four defensive touchdowns.

Danny Shelton was the first All-American defensive tackle since Larry Tripplett earned first team honors in 2001, while Hau'oli Kikaha set just about every single season and career mark for sacks.

Danny Shelton -

Hau’oli Kikaha -

Shaq Thompson -
5. Loss at Arizona - If Washington’s 2014 season was put into a time capsule, the only one that would most likely be remembered is their one-point loss at Arizona, a game where the Huskies dominated statistically on both sides of the ball, yet let things slide at the end. UW had a chance to take a knee to finish the game, but ran the ball one last time. Deontae Cooper fumbled the ball, allowing the Wildcats one last chance to steal the win.

6. Cyler Miles at QB - If there was one player during Washington’s 2014 campaign that had fans debating endlessly, it was sophomore quarterback Cyler Miles. He of the funky arm motion and delivery, the highly recruited Miles, from Denver, won the starting spot despite missing all of spring football dealing with a suspension. Those praising Miles talked about his ability to run the ball and be a gamer when the Huskies needed a play. Those criticizing Miles talked about his lack of arm strength and play-making ability in the passing game downfield.

Miles, in one of Washington’s best games versus Cal -
7. Marcus Peters’ dismissal - Washington had never had three All-Americans on one team before, but there was a good chance they could have had four if Marcus Peters had kept his nose clean. The junior from Oakland is as talented as they come, but early in the season showed his petulance during an sideline tantrum during the Huskies’ seven-point win over Eastern Washington. Eventually Peters was tossed for the dreaded violation of team rules, but rumors have pointed to altercations with the coaches (the coaches have since vehemently denied any run-ins with Peters).

Marcus Peters scout tape versus Hawaii -
8. John Ross’ move to DB - It’s been a long time since Washington has had player as explosive as John Ross. Early in the season the sophomore receiver was averaging a touchdown every four or five touches, but as his touches waned on offense and Peters’ dismissal opened up a big hole in the Huskies’ secondary, Ross moved to cornerback and started the very week he was moved. Ross still has a custom offensive package to take advantage of his unique physical talents - and he’s still their number-one kickoff returner - but it will be interesting to see in spring whether or not his main position with the Huskies is on offense or defense.

Ross/Mickens/Legion of Zoom highlights -
9. Budda Baker Frosh All-American - No true freshman came to Washington in 2014 with as much fanfare or expectations as Bishard ‘Budda’ Baker, and the Bellevue safety looked very much the part of a true frosh right out of the gate as a starter. But over the course of the year he made big improvements to the point where he was named a Freshman All-American by season’s end.

Baker’s first UW media interview, 12/13/14 -
10. Losing the 'Cascade Front' after this season - In 2010, Washington signed seven offensive linemen; Colin Porter, Erik Kohler, Ben Riva, Micah Hatchie, Colin Tanigawa, Mike Criste, and James Atoe. Porter and Kohler had to retire, leaving the other five to soldier on. The last two years they have been a big reason for Washington's record-setting 2013 and ability to break in a new starter at quarterback with minor growing pains.

UW OL Coach Chris Strausser, talking about the OL back in April -

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