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Five Husky Takeaways From The Eastern Washington Game

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Whether or not we learned anything about the offense, Hau'oli Kikaha's role and play, UW's execution of zone coverage, Shaq Thompson at tailback, and Beau Baldwin's future.

Otto Greule Jr

1. It's hard to make much of the offense we saw on Saturday. While it was definitely improved, the quality of the defense it faced also took a step backward. There were encouraging signs, but the offense certainly doesn't look explosive at this point.

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2. Hau'oli Kikaha was not only misused frequently by being asked to drop into coverage, but he was a lot more ineffective rushing the passer than you'd expect against an inferior opponent. Too many times he was stonewalled by Eastern Washington's offensive tackles and stopped dead in his tracks without even getting in a counter-move. He looked a lot like Josh Shirley, who so many were exasperated with because of his inability to do much other than speed rush.

3. Vernon Adams was really good, but the Huskies helped him out a lot. I noticed the trend against Hawaii, and it showed up again against Eastern, that UW's defenders when in zone coverage are far more concerned with the zone they're assigned to than covering the guys who enter it. The result is defenders defending grass, and wide receivers open for easy completions. This is a troubling trend as nobody covers that way any more, because with the proliferation of spread offenses and the sophistication of modern passing attacks it simply doesn't work.

4. I'd like to see Shaq Thompson get more work at tailback for the simple reason of seeing if he's UW's best running back. In his admittedly small sample of carries on Saturday, that didn't seem like a ridiculous idea at all. The Huskies have the depth and talent at linebacker to spell him if he plays more offense, plus if the defense can't get stops with him on the field what's the difference anyway.

5. I can't imagine it's going to be very long before someone hires Beau Baldwin away from Eastern.