Over/Under: Husky Rushing Yards Per Game

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Huskies are tasked with replacing the most productive back in school history. Can they improve as a team?

A year ago, powered by the legs of Bishop Sankey, the Huskies ran for 228.1 yards per game, good for 16th in the country. The teams that ran for more yards were primarily teams that ran some option variant much more frequently than the Huskies did -- be it a triple option as with the service academies, or the zone read for teams like Oregon and Ohio State. It's something most already knew: the Huskies were really good at running the ball in 2013.

In 2014, there are reasons to believe that that production should continue. The entire offensive line is back, and all starters are now upperclassmen. While Bishop Sankey has moved on, the Husky stable is packed with talent, and has a running backs coach with a track record of turning out quality NFL backs. Whichever QB wins the starting job will offer more mobility than the position had a year ago, which could mean more explosive runs from both QB and RB (see: the Oregon State game from a year ago) as well as more rushing attempts as the starter grows into the passing game.

There are also questions though. Though the backfield is deep, it's unlikely that any player can replicate the consistent excellence we saw from Sankey a year ago. An inexperienced QB could lead to defenses stacking the box more often. We don't yet know exactly how Jonathan Smith's offense will look come Saturdays; if they don't go at the same pace they did in 2013, there will be fewer attempts to go around.

Over/Under: 228 rushing yards per game. The Husky rushing attack should be good, but can it be at the level it was a year ago? It's a tall task, but not one that seems out of reach when all factors are considered.

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