After finishing one of the toughest four-game stretches in all of college football, the Washington Huskies (6-4, 4-3 Pac-12) look to finish their season strong with games against Oregon St. (2-8, 2-5) and Washington St. in the next two weeks.
The Beavers have struggled mightily so far this season, with only two victories coming against Arizona and Washington State. They are coming off of a 23-6 road loss to the Cal Bears. Redshirt freshman starting quarterback Sean Mannion leads the 20th best passing offense in the nation at 281 yards per game for the Beavers. Also starring for the Beavers is senior wide receiver James Rodgers who is three catches away from becoming the school's all-time leader in career receptions.
The team's performance so far this season was expected as most experts pegged them finishing near the bottom of the Pac-12. Head Coach Mike Riley's squad has suffered a litany of injuries with their starters missing a combined 47 games so far this season.
Husky fans should keep their eyes on these players this weekend:
Offensive Player to Watch:
Markus Wheaton (Jr.), Wide Receiver
The Biletnikoff preseason watch-list candidate has made 15 straight starts for the Beaverse and is currently fourth in the Pac-12 with 6.4 receptions per game. Wheaton and James Rodgers have made life easy for their freshman quarterback Sean Mannion. If Wheaton can help expose the weaknesses in Washington's pass defense, the Beavers could keep this game close going into the fourth quarter. Wheaton has burned opposing defenses with 64 catches and 822 yards.
Defensive Player to Watch:
Dylan Wynn (Fr.), Defensive End
Wynn is only a freshman, but he has already set the Oregon St. season record with five fumble recoveries (also first in the NCAA). The Huskies offensive line has struggled the past couple of weeks in protecting their quarterback, and their struggles may continue with Wynn as a part of the Beavers pass rush. Though he was only a three-star recruit out of high school, Wynn helped lead football powerhouse De La Salle in California to three state championship games during his time there.
Washington fans, head on over to UW Dawg Pound for in-depth pre-game analysis leading up to Saturday. For more on Oregon St. football, check out Building The Dam.