2) The running game for Washington is key heading into the Pac-12 schedule
As mentioned, Gaskin managed just 53 yards on the ground. That is uncharacteristic of the active leader in career rushing yards in the nation at the start of the season. The Huskies are without potential first-round pick LT Trey Adams, for the rest of this season. That may be the cause of some of their early issues running the ball.
In the first two games, Washington’s skilled wideouts have generated the bulk of the offense. For the Huskies to succeed in the Pac-12, they will need more from Gaskin and the running game.
The stats from Saturday may be a little deceiving as North Dakota has showcased a solid run defense early this season. The Fighting Hawks kept Mississippi Valley State to -27 yards rushing last week. They did an excellent job of filling gaps and being stout at the line against Washington.
The Huskies will compete against very strong defensive teams beginning on Saturday. Utah is currently 21st in the nation in rushing defense, allowing only 81.5 yards per game. Conversely, UW is just 92nd in rushing offense.
Utah has allowed16 points so far this season and is coming off a 17-6 win at Northern Illinois. This will be a more difficult game for Washington as the Utes should be looking to avenge last year’s tough loss. This game would be huge for their bowl potential.