Recently, DubLife published an article asking Husky fans which power-up they would choose if the 2018-2019 season were a video game.
The Huskies had their bye week this past week and it was a time for the Husky coaches to make honest assessments, as to which areas needed to be improved for the final stretch run.
What the bye week also did was give Husky fans the opportunity to gather their thoughts and make their own judgments, on what they think should be improved as well.
There were five power-up choices that we presented in our former article:
- Perfect Red Zone Efficiency
- Complete Roster With Optimum Health
- Flawless Play Calling
- Highest Rated Special Teams Unit
- Elite Team Pass Rushing
Every one of these options has played a role and affected the Husky Football team this season, which has been the difference between a 10-0 and 7-3 overall record.
THE PICK – POWER-UP OPTION #2: COMPLETE ROSTER WITH OPTIMUM HEALTH
Let’s face it…the Huskies entered Fall Camp and the regular season with a roster perceived to be elite, and loaded with talent on both sides of the roster. A big reason for that perception was the assumption that all their vital pieces would be intact, with the benefit of having a full roster.
Rewind back to last season, where the Huskies were stricken with injuries all over the roster throughout the season, which may have been the difference in making it to the College Football Playoff and winning another Pac-12 Championship.
With the end of the season almost near, the Huskies are experiencing the same fate this season with a ton of injuries along the way, that have affected their production on the field.
Players like Trey Adams (LT), Shane Bowman (DL), Quinten Pounds (WR), Jordan Miller (DB), Hunter Bryant (TE), DJ Beavers (ILB), Myles Gaskin (RB), Salvon Ahmed (RB), Jordan Chin (WR) and Chico McClatcher (WR) have been injured throughout the season which has seriously tested the depth of the roster.
This type of attrition has caused the team to play without a consistent rhythm throughout the season, which has caused the coaches to constantly search for answers.
If the “Complete Roster With Optimum Health” issue were solved and the Huskies had everyone at their disposal, then a lot of the other issues would seem to work themselves out.
A complete roster would help with Red Zone efficiency because a healthy Trey Adams, Hunter Bryant, Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed, Quinten Pounds, Jordan Chin and Chico McClatcher should provide more options to score.
The coaches have tried various combinations on the offensive line this year in the absence of Trey Adams. If Adams had been there for the start, would the line be even more solidified? Would it have been enough to pull out the win against Auburn? Probably!
Breaking in a first year offensive coordinator in Bush Hamdan hasn’t been easy this season and there has been a definite learning curve there. Would a full and healthy roster have helped Hamdan with play calling along the way and settle in earlier?
When you have multiple weapons on the field with so many threats to defend, it would seem that choosing the right formations and plays should come smoother and easier.
In terms of special teams play, head coach Chris Petersen‘s mindset is to always play your best players because of how much emphasis he values that phase of the game.
With so many injuries, it causes the coaches to sometimes hold back their best players on special teams because they are already injured, or they want to save them for their primary position duties.
The only option here that may not be affected by a complete and healthy roster is the elite pass rush option. Generally, the Huskies have been pretty healthy at the rush end position this season and defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake has brought disguised pressures from all over the field, to find any kind of possible spark.
Hopefully the bye week has helped put a bandage on some of the injuries that have hampered the team throughout the season. The Huskies have so much to play for during the final phase of the season.
It would have been nice to see what this 2018-2019 version of Husky Football would have looked like with a complete and full healthy roster. But in reality…that’s not college football. It just seems like the Huskies have been bitten by the injury bug more severely than others the past two seasons.
In the end…this power-up option seemed to be a root problem fix and address a lot of the other issues plaguing the Huskies this season.
The Huskies are playing the hand that has been dealt right now and it should still be enough for them to finish with an excellent season, topped by a Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl berth.