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Dots: Gaines and Gardenhire Breaking Out

Two young players stepping into their roles, bowl projections, Pac-12 picks, and info on the trip to China.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

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Football Dots

  • Why not start with a little bit of angst? I was surprised and a little annoyed to see that four out of five Pac-12 Blog folks picked ASU to beat UW. Then I remembered the fact that UW hasn't won at Arizona State in years. What do you all think? For me, the fact that UW has looked really similar on the road as compared to at home has prevented me from being very intimidated by venue. 

  • To make matters worse, the Pac-12 Blog has also brought us a reminder that WSU is good! And specifically that the defense has improved enough to complement that ridiculous offense. 

  • Glad to see I am not the only one super jazzed about Greg Gaines. Elijah Qualls, Greg Gaines, and Vita Vea represent outrageous, SEC-type interior defensive line depth. So few teams have even one reliably good 310+ pound tackle. The Huskies might just have three, all underclassmen. 

  • Speaking of emerging players...Darren Gardenhire! Heading in to spring practice I figured that Naijel Hale was the most likely player to step up as the second starting corner alongside Sidney Jones. Then during practice we starting to hear about Gardenhire. Now he is Hale longer with the program and Gardenhire has played at least to the level of an average Pac-12 starting cornerback. 

  • Jon Wilner believes the Huskies will sneak in to a bowl game, meaning he thinks UW can win two of three at ASU, at Oregon State, and vs. WSU. 

  • The Times has a piece focusing on senior wide receiver Jaydon Mickens and his chemistry with Browning. Mickens may never have put together that one big season, but he's always been on board and vocal, and he has stuck around through multiple changes in coach and quarterback. 

Basketball Dots