Can the line protect the quarterback when the game is on the line?
Against Auburn, the offensive line did a good job for the most part against a fast and aggressive defense. However, on the last drive, with the win still within reach, Browning was under siege by a relentless pass rush.
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The Utes do not have the speed on the rush that Auburn does, but it will be vital for the line to protect Browning throughout the game, especially if the Husky running game is still sputtering.
Without Adams, Browning’s blind side is of major importance. The Huskies will need to pass block so Browning isn’t rushed into bad throws, as he has done on occasion in each of the first two games.
Against Auburn, Browning threw a bad first quarter interception and fumbled on an option play that was blown up in the backfield. Last week, Browning threw two careless picks and was critical of himself and the offense after the game.
Offensive line coach Scott Huff mentioned after the North Dakota game that the line did not play to their standards. He thought it needed to be better. The Huskies came into the season with 97 starts on the offensive line making them the most experienced in the conference. It’s football, injuries happen. The Huskies depth and experience will continue to be tested.
Washington has lofty goals for this season. Their goal is to win the PAC-12 and take one of the four national championship playoff spots. Much of accomplishing their goals will hinge on the play of the offensive line. Adams will not return this season, but Harris should be back soon. If the line can continue to gel, the Huskies should win this week in Utah.