FROM SAN FRANCISCO — A week of sunshine has given way to a pretty overcast day here at AT&T Park, where in a little more than two hours the Washington Huskies will conclude their season against Brigham Young in the Fight Hunger Bowl.
As usual, we have our three keys to a possible Washington victory.
1. Hit a big play early — A methodical first drive would qualify, too. But the Huskies need to do something early to prove to themselves that even after the long layoff and coaching change and all, they’re still capable of being the same kind of team that averaged more than 500 yards per game this season. A big play or two early in the game would go a long way toward establishing some momentum and allowing the Huskies to settle into a rhythm.
2. Don’t forget what works — There’s a new coach calling the plays — Eric Keisau, who coaches receivers — but I’d be surprised if the gameplan was a whole lot different than what it’s been all season: give the ball to Bishop Sankey at least 25 times and use his running ability to open up the pass. New wrinkles tend to come up during bowl games because of the long wait between games, and the extra time teams have to work on different things. But Sankey should still be the focal point.
3. Keep track of Taysom Hill — BYU’s sophomore quarterback is fast, tough and can throw, too. He’ll get his yards on designed runs, but when BYU calls pass plays, the Huskies have to keep an eye on him and prevent him from turning broken plays into big gains (anyone remember Marcus Mariota?). The Cougars are already a good rushing team, with Hill and Jamaal Williams both averaging more than 100 yards per game. The Huskies can’t afford to add to their total by forgetting about Hill on passing downs.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple