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The Good, The Bad & The Unknown: Eastern Washington

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A roller coaster ride of a game ends with the Huskies sneaking away with a close win.

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

They won... again - For the second-straight week the Huskies struggled against an underdog opponent but... took over when it mattered most and took home the win. Once again, it was ugly, but the Huskies are still 2-0 and averted disaster again by playing their best football of the day in the fourth quarter.

The offense can score - After coming into the season with major questions at skill positions and last week's painful 17-point performance against Hawaii, I was a little bit worried that the Husky offense would struggle to put up points against anyone, but they proved that they can in a big way. Obviously Eastern Washington's defense is more than suspect, but seeing the Huskies score at ease against anyone was reassuring.

Ground game - A week after getting stonewalled regularly by a Mountain West defense, the offensive line and running backs bounced back about as well as possible. 356 yards with Lavon Coleman hinting at being "the guy" at the position with 118 yards, Shaq Thompson looking like the X factor everyone hopes he can be and Cyler Miles looking refreshingly mobile at the quarterback position.

Danny Shelton - Dear god, Shelton has looked like the best defensive tackle in the nation thus far this season. 12 tackles and four sacks as a defensive tackle, let alone a 330-pound one? That is simply ridiculous. He has a great shot at the Outland Trophy if he can keep this level of play up against better competition.

Shaq Thompson - This is the first game where I truly noticed that Thompson looked like the five-star superstar we have all expected him to be. Admittedly, I don't re-watch games anymore, so I haven't given his games an in-depth analysis, but this is the first that truly jumped out at first glance.

Vernon Adams - VA was the real deal. There was simply no defending a handful of those huge throws that he made. For all of the hype that is out there, Adams was as impressive as any quarterback I have ever seen in Husky Stadium. He made more big difficult throws in one game than the hype machines of Brett Hundley and Marcus Mariota have made in their entire career combined.

The Bad

Pass defense - Even with all of the praise I heaped on Adams in the previous paragraph, the amount of yards and especially touchdowns that the Husky pass defense surrendered was simply inexcusable. The defensive backs frequently looked helpless in defending Eagle receivers and showed some more of the prevent looking defense we saw against Hawaii. Might be a nitpick, but especially painful were dropped interceptions by Budda Baker and Kevin King that could have kept 14 points off the board for the Eagles.

Marcus Peters situation - Peters' penalty that kept Eastern Washington's drive alive after the Huskies' first real stop of the day easily could have cost them the game, especially since it resulted in him getting pulled for the rest of the game when they really needed him. Making matters worse, it appeared he didn't react well and could be suspended (*editor's note: he has indeed been suspended) against Illinois and the Huskies' young and struggling secondary cannot afford to be without his services.

Downfield passing - Overall, Miles looked like an improvement from Jeff Lindquist, but not really much as a downfield passer. Miles looked reluctant to throw downfield and really struggled when he did. Hopefully this is something that Miles, a healthier Kasen Williams and the staff can improve as I think they will have a very tough time in Pac-12 play if they are limited to more lateral passes.

Scheduling Eastern Washington - Please stop f****** doing this. The Eagles could easily be 4-0 against the Pac-12 (and 2-0 against Washington) the past four years and could regularly beat more than half of the FBS teams in the country. Plus, Eastern's team is always going to be loaded with players from the state of Washington who want nothing more than to beat their in-state superiors, turning the game into a second quasi Apple Cup against a team with a massive chip on its shoulder.

The Unknown

Which game is more accurate? Against Hawaii, the Husky defense hunkered down and kept the score low, but the offense couldn't do much of anything. Against Eastern Washington, the Husky offense rolled, but the defense couldn't make a stop against an FCS opponent. Which one of these is a better portrait of the team that the Huskies will be in 2014? Hopefully neither.

Starting running back? The Huskies are still heavily employing a running back by committee strategy but I have a feeling that they are looking to have a feature back ready for Pac-12 play.  After a great performance coming off his excellent final drive against Hawaii, is Lavon Coleman that guy?

Growing pains? It appears that the Husky staff might be using their non-conference slate to do some experimentation with players and see what works. It has been a bit difficult in some places, especially the very young secondary, but what matters most is if the process ends up helping these players and it concrete starters emerge, and that, we will have to wait for.

Ready for the big time? Most Husky fans knew that the strangely, the Huskies' non-conference game against an FCS opponent in Eastern Washington would actually be their most-challenging, but regardless of how Illinois' true strength, Saturday will be Washington's first game against a team from a major conference. I don't have high expectations for the Illini, but I also didn't for Hawaii and for the first time this season, the Huskies will be facing off with an opponent that can match them in size. How will they respond?