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30-Day Countdown Review: Part II

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We look back again at your predictions from the preseason

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

We’re reviewing the predictions that all of you made during our preseason 30-day countdown series and are now on part 2 of 3. If you missed the 1st edition you can check it out right here. Some of the preview articles were more for fun than true predictions so you’ll notice a couple of days where that was the case got skipped.

Day 20- Chaos Monster (Most Chaotic Team)

Results: Oregon State 33%, Stanford 23%, Arizona State 23%, USC 21%

Somehow the options that Gabey put forth almost went 4/4. Both Stanford and Oregon State ended up pulling huge upsets over Washington and Oregon respectively that dramatically changed the race for the Pac-12 North. Meanwhile, Arizona State was a fluke play away from beating USC and winning the Pac-12 South. And USC required that squirrely win over ASU as well as a last second comeback over Arizona to avoid being considered a massive disappointment.

...And in the end we realized the real chaos monster was inside all of us the whole time. The end.

Day 19- Jake Eldrenkamp Award (Most Underrated Subtraction)

Results: Joel Whitford 53%, Benning Potoa’e 17%, Myles Bryant 17%, AJ Carty 13%

We knew the answer to this one by the end of the first drive of the season when Jaden Green’s first career long snap flew over Race Porter’s head and resulted in an Oregon State touchdown. Green had one other high snap which Porter handled but otherwise was fine replacing Carty the rest of the year without the combination of nerves and a rainstorm.

Porter was absolutely serviceable punting except for the aforementioned play so I don’t think it can go to Whitford. The safety play from Alex Cook was definitely a downgrade from Myles Bryant but it wasn’t as if he was noticeably terrible. And the defensive interior was a disappointment this year but it was tough to say that was because of the loss of Potoa’e rather than the loss of Onwuzurike.

Day 18- Ice Bath Time Machine (Draft a Former Husky Player)

Results: QB Marques Tuiasosopo 67%, ILB Donald Butler 15%, DE Daniel Te’O-Nesheim 14%, TE Mark Bruener 3%, LT Senio Kelemete 1%

The uncertainty over the quarterback position and the cachet that Tui has for the fanbase means I’m not surprised in the slightest that he was the pick for most fans. Given the success we saw from Dylan Morris I’m inclined to think that there were other weaknesses that would have been more important upgrades. But Tui’s ability to pick up yards on the ground might’ve unlocked a whole new element to the UW offense.

Otherwise the second place choice in Donald Butler seems like the clear winner in hindsight. The duo of a prime Donald Butler alongside Ulofoshio would’ve completely changed UW’s linebacker play and would’ve been a true difference maker in every game but the Arizona one given UW’s struggles against the run. Otherwise, DE/OLB, TE, and LT didn’t turn out to be positions of urgent need.

Day 15- Husky Prop Bets

Which will be greater?

Richard Newton + Kamari Pleasant Carries (-140)- 44%

Sean McGrew + Cameron Davis Carries (+120)- 56%

It was almost impossible for this race to get any closer as the RN+KP combo finished with 57 carries and the SM + CD combo finished with 58 total. Although if you had told most people coming into the season that Richard Newton would finish 3rd on the team in carries then there’s no way it would be predicted to be as close as it was.

Who will have the longest TD from scrimmage?

Sean McGrew (+150) 10%, Terrell Bynum (+200) 6%, Puka Nacua (+200) 48%, Jordan Chin (+250) 12%, Ty Jones (+300) 3%, Richard Newton (+300) 5%, The Field (+500) 15%

Once again the most popular response ended up cashing in as the overwhelming plurality went with Puka Nacua and got it correct. Nacua’s 65-yard catch and run for a TD against Arizona was one of the few big plays the Huskies got all season as they tended to grind it out on offense. Richard Newton finished with the second longest play and the house would’ve cleaned up big time as he finished with the 2nd fewest bets on any player.

Which group of recruiting classes finishes with more receiving touchdowns?

Upperclassmen (+120)- 38%

Underclassmen (-130)- 62%

Well there were only 4 total receiving touchdowns and 3 of them were by junior Cade Otton so the upperclassmen win it in an upset. With Bynum, Jones, Pleasant, and Otton all finishing in the top-5 of receptions on the short season it was a pretty decisive victory for the old folks despite the hype around the true freshman receivers.

Which position will finish with the most tackles?

Inside Linebackers (-110) 59%, Cornerback (-110) 8%, Defensive Line (+1000) 6%, Safety (+1000) 13%, Outside Linebacker (+2000) 14%

This one was a bit of a stretch in the first place but the results ended up being incredibly lopsided both in the bets and in reality. Edefuan Ulofoshio (47) and Jackson Sirmon (27) finished 1st and 2nd on the team in tackles. That total of 74 ended up being enough on its own to barely top the cornerback position’s combined total of 73. When you factor in that some of the younger ILBs got playing time in the 4th quarter against Arizona it made it a fairly decisive victory at 89 to 73.

What will Washington’s 7-game point differential finish at?

76 or more (+500)- 18%

51-75 (+200)- 42%

26-50 (+125)- 30%

1-25 (+200)- 8%

Less than 0 (+300)- 1%

Obviously we didn’t end up playing 7 games so if the UWDP casino had actually been open then they probably would’ve refunded everyone on this bet. But the Huskies finished with a +21 point differential through 4 games. On a per-game basis that’s 5.3 points which corresponds to 37 points over 7 games so the 26-50 crowd wins.

There are definitely ways that the Huskies could’ve gotten into the next bracket. The snap over Porter’s head for an OSU special teams TD. Playing the 1st team defense for part of the 4th quarter against Arizona. Converting a FG or 2 into 7 points when we got inside the 5-yard line.

Day 13- Draft a Pac-12 Player

Results: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux 43%, QB Kedon Slovis 40%, Other 16%, Amon-Ra St. Brown 3%

The breakout performance of ZTF likely negated the need for Thibodeaux although the thought of having both coming off the edge on a passing down is terrifying. Slovis put up big raw numbers but he wasn’t efficient and didn’t really look healthy all season. Several advanced stats liked Morris better than Slovis and it’s not clear that would’ve been an upgrade this year. Washington definitely missed a little bit of firepower on the outside but it’s not clear that Amon-Ra St. Brown would’ve magically transformed the offense.

This one may hurt a little but the player I probably would’ve gone with is USC (and ex-Husky commit) DT Marlon Tuipulotu. He finished the season with as many pressures as all of UW’s defensive tackles combined and was also at least solid against the run. Having one more absolute dude along the defensive front would’ve been massive for the defense.

Day 12- Rushing Leader

Results: Richard Newton 42%, Sean McGrew 33%, Cam Davis 22%, Kamari Pleasant 1%

It turns out the undervalued asset was definitely Kamari Pleasant as he led the team in total snaps and finished second in rushing yards. There’s a reason that no one saw it coming when Pleasant was listed as the starter at running back on the first depth chart. Literally no one saw it coming.

Most people went with Newton which seemed like the easiest choice. I probably would’ve went with the field if given equal odds in the preseason but Newton deserved to be the frontrunner. He was coming off a year where he was the clear #2 back behind Salvon Ahmed and the guy in front of him was leaving. However, he seemingly was put in the dog house between the Arizona and Utah games and who knows if we’ll ever figure out what happened.

McGrew’s talent has never been the issue as it has been more about opportunity and durability for him. After his 3rd career game with 90+ yards on fewer than 20 carries McGrew was given more of the workload in the final 2 games of the year. There was also a strong contingent who thought Davis’ raw talent might win out and his performance this year didn’t do anything to quell the thought he might be the most complete back despite starting the year 4th on the depth chart.

Day 11- Sacks Leader

Results: Laiatu Latu 50%, Ryan Bowman 24%, Sav’ell Smalls 16%, Edefuan Ulofoshio 6%, Other 4%

Half of the respondents ended up being horribly wrong but I think they were almost certainly right given the information available at the time. It started to leak out a little before the first game that maybe Latu was injured and it turned out that he missed the entire season. When we get around to spring ball timing it’ll be interesting to see if Lake will reveal what the injury was but the rumors around it suggested Latu might’ve been able to return had it been a full length season so more of a 2-3 month injury than a torn ACL.

With Latu’s absence it provided a gaping hole at OLB which Zion Tupuola-Fetui filled with aplomb. The redshirt frosh had one of the more stunning breakouts we’ve ever seen with 7 sacks and 3 forced fumbles in the team’s first 3 games. There was no realistic way for an outside observer to see that kind of monster season coming but we’re all glad it happened. Ryan Bowman also missed a few weeks which ended any chance of him being competitive while Smalls didn’t have the instant impact many fans hoped. I look forward to seeing how this category shakes out next year with all of those players set to return.