Cal Football: Washington Reporter Answers 5 Questions About the Huskies
Each week during the football season we go in-depth on Cal’s opponent by asking the opposing team’s beat writer to answer five questions.
Our guest today is Terry Hollimon, who operates one of our sister outlets, Husky Maven. Terry played for the Huskies from 1994 through 1996 as a running back.
Hollimon created “The Barbershop,” a radio show with Hollimon and former Seattle Seahawks legend Marcus Trufant that covers sports, current events, politics, etc. -- conversations you would find in a barbershop. You can find it on iHeartRadio:
Here are the five questions we posed to Terry about Washington, which hosts Cal in a 7:30 p.m. on Saturday:
1. How did quarterback Jacob Eason play in his first game for Washington, and what are his strengths and weaknesses?
Eason definitely lived up to the hype in Week One. His 349 passing yards were the most ever by a Husky quarterback making his debut start in the history of the program. His biggest strength is obviously his arm. He has incredible arm talent and can put the ball anywhere on a dime. Weakness: He’s not the most fleet-footed QB in the Pac-12.
2. Do you think Washington is as good as it was last season? Why or why not?
Are the Huskies as good as last year? It’s still too early to call. There is a lot of potential on this team. There will be a bunch of redshirt freshman and true freshman who will take the field vs. the Bears this weekend, so we will see how they fare against Pac-12 talent. The Huskies lost eight players to the NFL draft in 2019, including the Pac-12 defensive player of the year (Ben Burr-Kirven) and the most prolific quarterback (Jake Browning) and running back (Myles Gaskin) in Husky history. That’s tough to improve upon.
3. How good is Washington’s defense considering all the starters they lost on that side of the ball?
After Week One, some questions still remain about this Husky defense. The pass rush in 2018 was abysmal, and the Dawgs had hoped to improve this year with the emergence of outside linebacker Joe Tryon. Tryon was virtually invisible vs. Eastern so he looks to improve this weekend vs. Cal. The defensive backfield is a group of young, super-talented athletes who showed flashes of how good they COULD be this past weekend. Elijah Molden and Byron Murphy are probably the best DBs on the roster and redshirt freshman Kyler Gordon will be a force at the corner position for the Dawgs. Up front, the Huskies look to replace Greg Gaines (fourth-round pick of the L.A. Rams) by using a committee of big bodies. Josiah Bronson and Levi Onwuzurike played well against a pretty good Eastern Washington O-line, but will have to step it up when the Bears come to town this weekend.
4. Will last season’s surprising loss to Cal give Washington any extra motivation for Saturday’s game?
Although they would probably tell you differently, I’m sure the coaching staff and the players have had this game circled on their calendars since last year’s upset in Strawberry Canyon. It was a strange day for the Dawgs -- a 12-10 upset kind of a day that featured a struggling Jake Browning getting benched for backup Jake Haener, who wasted no time in throwing a pick-six to Evan Weaver of the Bears. The Huskies definitely have revenge on their minds.
5 What is your impression of redshirt freshman running back Richard Newton, who rushed for 91 yards in his debut Saturday?
Richard Newton was impressive vs. Eastern Washington. He is a player than I predicted would have a breakout season in 2019. Big (6-0, 215) with decent speed, Newton runs with purpose and power. With 91 yards and a TD this past weekend, expect to see more Newton vs. the Bears.