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Washington Huskies football gears up for Eastern Washington

Washington's seasoner opener in Hawaii wasn't what coach Chris Petersen wanted in his Huskies debut, but they won, so it still was kind of what he wanted. Now the UW gets FCS power Eastern Washington. What can we expect?

Dwayne Washington (12) eludes two Hawaii tacklers in Washington's 17-16 win in Hawaii.
Dwayne Washington (12) eludes two Hawaii tacklers in Washington's 17-16 win in Hawaii.
Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

It took until a first down on the ground to seal the Washington Huskies' victory in Hawaii, a result that was a bit of a stinker even though the UW pulled out the win. The Huskies (1-0) fell from the Top 25 and aren't even close following a victory, the first time in recent memory the UW won and moved down or out of the rankings.

But they don't have much time to dwell on it, because they get a very, very good Eastern Washington team that almost came out of Seattle with a win a few years ago.

That game was a bit similar to last week's. It took a Desmond Trufant interception in the end zone to clinch that one, a game I had already thought the UW was going to lose.

This Eastern Washington team isn't any worse than the one in 2011, actually it's better.

Since that game Eastern Washington (2-0) has been one of the best programs in all of the Football Championship Subdivision, and, at times, has looked like they can compete with or even beat an FBS team.

They'll certainly get their chance this Saturday at 12:05 in Seattle.

The Eagles come into this game with blowout wins over Sam Houston St. and Montana Western, averaging 48.5 points in the process. When you put those figures next to a Washington defense that gave up 424 to a creative offensive scheme and inferior talent, it makes one wonder what Eastern is going to come up with to frustrate the Huskies.

But the biggest story of the Hawaii game, at least in my mind, was the massively inconsistent play of sophomore quarterback Jeff Lindquist. In the beginning of the game, Lindquist looked comfortable -- almost bored in the pocket. But in the second half he looked scared, rushing every throw and missing targets horribly.

It's assumed the quarterback play will be hugely improved with fellow sophomore Cyler Miles returning from his one-game suspension.

As written in the Seattle Times, Miles is bringing a different attitude to the Huskies' offense that looked just plain bad in the second half in Honolulu.

"This team, it seems a little more confident — no, (we have) a lot of confidence," junior receiver Jaydon Mickens told The Seattle Times Tuesday in a piece that ran Wednesday. "Because we know this guy. You've seen him at Oregon State; you've seen him come in at UCLA and almost win it for us. And it's a different swagger when he's out there. He's another Keith Price. He's changing plays, he's reading coverages, he's faking the defense out with this, that. It's amazing to see him do. When he rolls out, he's still looking down the field, keeping his arm square. If he has to run, you know he can run. He's making everybody else play better."

The Huskies will need its offense to show up against Eastern. As tricky and creative Hawaii coach Norm Chow was calling plays, Eastern will be just so, but with the athletes and confidence to match Washington. Don't let the FCS monicker of Eastern fool, they're the real deal. And Washington needs to be ready to be tested, because they will be.