Can the defense keep pace?
Everybody knows how explosive last years Huskies offense was, and this year should be the same, at least I’m hoping that will be the case.
But the real question lies in the defense. Can they keep the Huskies in ball games early, so we don’t need to go into shoot out mode like in the Alamo Bowl last year.
Here is my list of five players that will make an impact on the defensive side of the ball for the Huskies in 2012.
#5: CB Gregory Ducre. Jr.
After playing in all 13 games last year, and earning starts in 6 of them, Gregory Ducre had a few huge games last year, including the Apple Cup against our hated rivals the Cougars.
With four tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble against the Cougs, plus big games against the Utes (4 tackles, 1 pick), and Hawaii (6 tackles, 1 FR) Ducre is ready to make a name for himself on the Huskies defense.
#4: S Nate Fellner. Sr.
Looking to bounce back after injury kept him out of four games last year, Nate Fellner is a senior this year, and will want to make the best of his last year in the purple and gold.
With huge games against Easter Washington, Oregon State, Washington State, and Arizona, plus a huge stop in the Alamo Bowl against Baylor, Fellner is set to have a great year in the Huskies Secondary.
Career high 9 tackles against Eastern, and the late pick against the Arizona to maintain the lead, I think Fellner starts every game this year, barring another injury.
The secondary is the last line of defense before the endzone, and Fellner is just the guy we need back there patrolling to keep the offense at bay.
#3: LB Princeton Fuimaono. Jr.
Another one who saved his best for the Apple Cup, Princeton Fuimaonao had 9 tackles, 4 for loss and a forced fumble. Another big game for him was against USC where he recorded 12 tackles.
As a starter for all 13 games last season, Fuimaonao was a big part of the defense, and should be the same this year. Look for him to start all 12 games again this season and up his numbers for the defense.
#2: DE Hau’oli Jamora. So.
After starting the first four games of the season Hau’oli Jamora suffered a season ending injury, in what was looking to be a very promising season.
Big games against Nebraska and Eastern before the injury, look for Jamora to be back in the mix at DE for the Huskies this season.
#1: LB John Timu. So.
Starting 8 games for the Huskies last year, John Timu still saw action in 12 of their 13 games. With his biggest game against Oregon where he recorded 8 tackles and a forced fumble, Timu will look to be a big part of the linebacking corps for the Huskies against this season.
Lot’s of young talent on the defensive side looks like a good thing for the Dawgs, but we still will have to compete with Oregon in the Pac-12 north, and with the hopeful emergence of Washington State, it isn’t going to be easy to win the division for the Huskies.
Plus we need to fucus on getting back to a bowl game again!