The Washington Huskies enter the 2020 season ready for a new era in the program but they have big questions, including who will start under center?
A Disappointing 2019 Season
Washington is coming off a tough year. Their offseason didn’t go as initially expected either. An 8-5 record in 2019 isn’t good, for their standards and then they had to see head coach Chris Petersen announced his retirement.
Former defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake was promoted as Petersen’s and it remains to be seen if he can maintain the bar of high standards that the program has set for years.
It’s easier said than done. While Lake has a terrific defensive mind, as evidenced in his time working with Petersen, he’s never had a job that demands so much pressure. It also doesn’t help that he is taking over a Washington team that has to figure out who will take over for Jacob Eason.
Who Will Answer the Call to Replace Jacob Eason?
Jacob Eason was the starting quarterback for one year and he was drafted by the Colts in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Eason completed 260 of 405 passes for 3,132 and 23 touchdowns with eight interceptions in 13 games last season. He leaves huge shoes to fill. Eason’s talent is undeniable, particularly his arm strenght.
As far pure talent is concerned, no one on Washington’s roster can replace him. When it comes to productivity and effectiveness, some players have a decent shot of matching Eason.
“I want to thank everyone at the UW — my teammates, the coaching staff and the fans — for making these last two years so memorable,” Eason said in a statement. “I’m very happy that I was able to come home and play for the Dawgs, and will always be grateful.”
Jacob Sirmon, Dylan Morris or Kevin Thomson?
Eason’s talent was never into question. His effectiveness wasn’t always perfect though. Playing under pressure was not his strength. Now it will be up to Jacob Sirmon, redshirt freshman Dylan Morris or former Sacramento State quarterback Kevin Thomson to embrace the starting role.
Jacob Sirmon and Dylan Morris haven’t exactly been on the field much. Sirmon attempted just three passes and had two carries in three games last season and Morris hasn’t played for obvious reasons.
Thomson completed 265 of 450 passes for 3,216 yards and 27 touchdowns with eight interceptions in 12 games last season. He finished third in Walter Payton Award voting, the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
Sirmon is a former four-star recruit and the talent is there, he just needs the opportunity. Lake can put him in a position to succeed, as he’s expected to win the starting job. Now it’s up to him to take advantage of it and the position is his to lose.
The Washington offense will probably rely more on the running game, at least at first, in order to ease Sirmon along. This can definitely help him.