Hawai'i Football: Previewing the Washington Huskies

John Zsiray-AP Photo/Herald Journal

The Warriors look to improve off a forgettable 2013, opening the season against the Washington Huskies and a familiar face on the opposite sidelines.

After a 1-11 finish in 2013, Norm Chow and Hawai'i will look to climb out of the Mountain West cellar and possibly back into bowl contention this fall. The Warriors return 13 starters on offense and defense when the open the season August 30th at Aloha Stadium against the Washington Huskies, the first of three Pac-12 Opponents the Warriors will take on in 2014. Here's what you need to know about the Huskies before Kickoff:

CONFERENCE: Pac-12 (North)

LOCATION: Seattle, Washington

STADIUM: Husky Stadium

COACH: Chris Petersen

After eight seasons at Boise State, leading the Broncos to a 92-12 record and five conference championships in that span, Chris Petersen traded in his Blue and Orange for Purple and Gold and the Head Coaching Job at the University of Washington. The two-time Coach of the Year award winner made an immediate impact on the College Football world in his debut season with the Broncos, capping the year off with an iconic upset over heavily-favored Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. BSU became a perennial top-ranked team over the next few years, finishing with seven straight double-digit win seasons and four Top-10 finishes. In his final year at Boise, the Broncos went 8-4 and were invited to play in the Hawai'i Bowl in Honolulu, but Petersen would resign and accept the Washington job in early December, ending his historic tenure at Boise State.

2013 Schedule/Record: 9-4, 5-4 Pac-12

DATE

OPPONENT

RESULT

RECORD

Sat. Aug. 31

Boise State

Win 38-6

(1-0)

Sat. Sept. 7

BYE

N/A

Sat. Sept. 14

@ Illinois

Win 34-24

(2-0)

Sat. Sept. 21

Idaho State

Win 56-0

(3-0)

Sat. Sept. 28

Arizona

Win 31-13

(4-0, 1-0 Pac-12)

Sat. Oct. 5

@ Stanford

Loss 28-31

(4-1, 1-1 Pac-12)

Sat. Oct. 12

Oregon

Loss 24-45

(4-2, 1-2 Pac-12)

Sat. Oct. 19

@ Arizona State

Loss 24-53

(4-3, 1-3 Pac-12)

Sat. Oct. 26

California

Win 41-17

(5-3, 2-3 Pac-12)

Sat. Nov. 2

BYE

N/A

Sat. Nov. 9

Colorado

Win 59-7

(6-3, 3-3 Pac-12)

Fri. Nov. 15

@ UCLA

Loss 31-41

(6-4, 3-4 Pac-12)

Sat. Nov. 23

@ Oregon State

Win 69-27

(7-4, 4-4 Pac-12)

Fri. Nov. 29

Washington State

Win 27-17

(8-4, 5-4 Pac-12)

Fri. Dec. 27

Brigham Young*

Win 31-16

(9-4, 5-4 Pac-12)

*Game vs. BYU was at AT&T Park in San Francisco as the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

FIVE PLAYERS YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING OUT FOR:

1. Hau'oli Kikaha, Senior Outside Linebacker (6-3, 250), 2013 Stats: 70 tackles, 13 sacks, 2.5 Tackles for Loss

After missing the final nine games of 2011, and all of 2012 due to injury, Kikaha returned with a breakout 2013 where he finished among the Top 5 in sacks and landed a spot on the All-Pac-12 Second Team Defense. Now back for his Senior year, and moved from Defensive End to Outside Linebacker, the returning sacks leader in the nation will look to improve off his performance last year and lead the Huskies Defense this fall.

2. Kasen Williams, Junior Wide Receiver (6-3, 221), 2013 Stats: 29 receptions, 421 yards, 1 TD

Williams led Washington in both receptions and receiving yards in 2012, and looked like he would repeat that accomplishment last season, until a horrible foot and leg injury against Cal in late October knocked him out of the rest of his Sophomore injury. Although he missed all of spring practice rehabbing his injuries, Petersen said Williams should be "full-speed, rocking and rolling" this summer. With the departure of Austin Seferian-Jenkins to the NFL, the former top-50 recruit should be the #1 Receiver target this fall.

3. Shaq Thompson, Junior Outside Linebacker (6-2, 231), 2013 Stats: 78 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 INT

Along with Kikaha, offenses this fall will have to worry about Shaq Thompson. The Junior from Sacramento, California has accumulated 152 total tackles, 12.5 Tackles for Loss, and 4 Interceptions in his two years with the Huskies. Although he has made his home at OLB for the Husky D, fans may see Thompson come out of the back-field this fall and play both ways for Washington.

4. John Ross, Sophomore Wide Receiver/Kick Returner, 2013 Stats: 16 receptions, 208 yards, 1 TD, 31 Kicks Returned, 720 return yards, 1 KRTD

While he didn't make a significant impact at Wide Receiver in 2013, Ross emerged as a threat at Kick Returner as a Freshman for the Huskies, returning 31 kicks for 720 yards. In the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against BYU, Ross scored on a 100-yard Kickoff Return, only the second 100+ Kick Return TD in Washington history. He may very well be one of the fastest players on the roster as well, clocking a 4.29 40-yard dash at UW's annual Husky Combine, a Pro Day style event where the Coaches run players through tests and drills for the general public.

5. Marcus Peters, Junior Cornerback, 2013 Stats: 55 Total Tackles, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 5 Interceptions, 14 Pass Breakups

In the secondary, Peters will lead a relatively inexperienced group of players, with possibly two freshman getting the call to start this fall after the losses of Sean Parker, Will Shamburger, and Gregory Ducre. Still, the experience Peters brings to the field should keep the Husky secondary on pace against the passing attacks of the Pac-12.

OFFENSIVE OVERVIEW:

Losing stars like Keith Price, All-American Bishop Sankey, and Mackey Award winner Austin Seferian-Jenkins will have its' effect on the Huskies offensive production in 2014, but the seven returning Offensive starters, including an Offensive Line that has combined for 124 career starts (5th in FBS this year), should be able to score the ball for the Huskies efficiently.

DEFENSIVE OVERVIEW:

Seven starters are back for new Defensive Coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, who followed Petersen from Boise State after four years heading up the Broncos Defense, including Hau'oli Kikaha, Shaq Thompson, and Marcus Peters. The Huskies Front Seven is loaded with experience and size, but the secondary has questions with the inexperience surrounding it.

EARLY PREDICTION:

While Hawaii returns almost as many starters as the Huskies, Washington's front seven should cause problems on the front line and make it difficult for guys like Joey Iosefa to get anything going for the Warriors run game. A young QB in Ikaika Woolsey could be easy pickings for Marcus Peters and the Huskies secondary if he gets rattled early on. Only six defensive starters are back for the Warriors, so if Cyler Miles and the Huskies offense make big plays, and can make them often, it's Washington's game to lose. Washington 38, Hawaii 17.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mountain West Connection

You must be a member of Mountain West Connection to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mountain West Connection. You should read them.

Join Mountain West Connection

You must be a member of Mountain West Connection to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mountain West Connection. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker