Washington football enters a new era in 2020 but not without big questions.
Suffice it to say that the Washington football program isn’t coming off of the year and the offseason that they were initially expecting. The Huskies went a disappointing 8-5 in 2019 and then saw head coach Chris Petersen announce his retirement. Now, former defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake has been promoted as the replacement and looks to maintain the high standard that has been set in Seattle.
That won’t be the easiest task, though. Yes, Lake has established himself as a terrific defensive mind throughout his time working with Petersen on that side of the ball, he’s never had a job of this magnitude. And to make things tougher, this is far from a perfect Washington team that he’s taking over.
So what big questions does Washington football need to answer under the watch of a new head coach? Let’s dive in and figure out exactly that.
Washington football questions: 5. What is the answer at quarterback with Eason gone?
After one year as the starting quarterback, Jacob Eason is now gone from Washington and leaves a huge hole in terms of his talent. Eason has all the arm strength and ability you could ask for. There’s no one on the Huskies roster right now that is going to be able to replace him from a pure talent perspective. But in terms of productivity and effectiveness, that might be a different story.
For all of his talent, Eason wasn’t always the most effective player. He struggled under pressure and off script and didn’t put up the biggest of numbers, throwing for 3,132 yards, 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Now it’s up to Jacob Sirmon — the likely starter — or redshirt freshman Dylan Morris to step into the starting role.
Neither player has seen the field in any meaningful capacity as Sirmon threw just three passes last season. But as a former 4-star recruit, he has plenty of talent and has college football bloodlines, which is normally a positive thing. That could put him in a spot to succeed if he does win the job, which he’s expected to.
The big key is that the offense is likely going to rely less on the quarterback than it did last season because of Sirmon’s inexperience, at least early in the season. The Huskies will likely load up on the run game to begin with and then ease the quarterback along. However, the potential for him to be a steadier option than the uber-talented Eason is there.