Five Numbers to Remember

Some numbers I’m predicting (wildly guessing) Husky fans will be very familiar with by the end of the season.

1,200: The number of receiving yards Kasen Williams will rack up in his breakout sophomore season. Devin Aguilar and Jermaine Kearse are gone, and someone has to replace their 1310 combined receiving yards from 2011. Why not Kasen? After a freshman campaign in which he steadily gained steam, Williams spent the offseason adding 15 pounds of muscle to his 6’2" frame, and his connection with Keith Price will only continue to strengthen.

11: The number of sacks sophomore pass rush specialist Josh Shirley will earn. Playing as a freshman last year, Shirley finished strong, as in 6.5 sacks in the last four games, including 3 in the Alamo Bowl, and finished the season with a total of 8. Now, with new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox planning to use him as the focal point of the pass rush both with a hand on the ground and standing up as an outside linebacker, there is no reason to assumed a more seasoned Shirley won’t improve on that number.

7: The number of rushing touchdowns Keith Price will pick up over the course of the year. In the buildup to last season, Price was often talked about as a dual threat quarterback, and while he is really more of a pocket passer with the athleticism to escape the rush than he is a Mike Vick style scrambler, balky knees kept number 17 standing in the pocket like a statue for much of last year. Fully healthy and around 10 pounds heavier, it is to be expected that Price will be able to use his legs much more often, just as he did in his brilliant Alamo Bowl performance that included three rushing touchdowns.

28: The number of points per game I predict the Huskies will allow in 2012. This is a significant improvement over the atrocious 35.9 allowed in 2011, good enough for 108th in the nation. 28 points per game still isn’t an elite number, but it is progress, and with an offense like that, who needs elite defense? This is the Pac-12.

0: The number of tight ends who will finish ahead of sophomore Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the voting for the John Mackey Award for the best collegiate tight end. This guy is a monster. He will have over 1,000 yards receiving. He will have double digit touchdowns. He will be a first team All-American. In a few years, he will play on Sundays.