Bye week is when you rest your veterans and give your youngsters and players buried in the depth the opportunity to identify themselves to help you the rest of the year. Bye week is a mini camp where the coaches can experiment with what they are doing and change things around to give the team a new look.
Washington has some challenges to face with four games remaining over the next six weeks. First of all they need to find more depth and diversity from within. Second of all they need to mix things up better on offense and defense so they are they can put less predictable game plans together going forward to keep opponents off balance. Finally they need to rest their veterans to let them heal up and get healthy for the stretch run. If any team ever needed a bye week it is Washington after playing the nation’s toughest schedule over the first eight weeks of the season.
Defensively the Huskies could use a lift and a couple of players have stood out in new positions this week. WR Anthony Boyles was one of the stars of his recruiting class three years ago. Experts felt he could give the receiving corps an immediate boost. It didn't work out that way because he ended up being a late qualifier. The extra year didn't help him climb the depth chart when he arrived on campus and he redshirted last season. Despite the RS season he might have been the best receiver on the squad at the end of the year based on scout team performances.
Most of us expected Boyles to emerge over the spring and fall but he has been mired in the depth because he simply had too many drops in practice and he hasn't been able to grasp the offense as well as the guys ahead of him. Washington is pretty solid at receiver and even though the coaches like his athletic ability they have better choices ahead of him so a position change was in order if Anthony ever wanted to see the field.
Washington tried Boyles out at CB this past week and the 6'3 athlete has shined enough so far that coaches are leaning towards making the position change permanent. it may be permanent enough that he could see time against UCLA next week. Tall CB's are a rare premium in college football. If Boyles can make the full transition it will be good news for him and the team. Rumors are even floating around that he could start opposite Desmond Trufant but I think that may be quite a stretch. It may be a stretch but Nick wood who was mired in the depth at DL earlier this season moved over to the OL and became a starter after only a couple of weeks so stranger things have happened.
Alvin Logan is another highly recruited athlete in search of a position. He was a steady WR for his first two years and this fall he moved to safety. The new coaches saw the same things we saw. Alex can ring some bells on defense but the nuances of the position have not come quickly for him despite his obvious athleticism. The coaches moved him to OLB this week and they really like the extra speed he brings to the position. While he may not be the optimum safety the move to OLB might be for good move since the Huskies are desperately seeking speed on the outside for this season and have lot of holes due to graduation at LB to fill next year.
Jason Wells is a compete stud when healthy. the defense dropped a couple of notches two years ago when he went out with a knee injury. UW was tempted to play the safety who has sat out for almost two years with injuries last week against Oregon be decided to debut him nest week against UCLA in the depth. Wells is moving around now about as he will get this season. Expect him to play an important part on the defense over the last four games.
To finish the season strong the Huskies need some added speed, depth, and experience and getting these three guys on the field should give a boost to a defense that is struggling with those types of issues.