Up Front: Washington returned a pair of starters in defensive tackles Alameda Ta'amu (6-3, 348) and Cameron Elisara (6-3, 275), but must replace departed end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, who had 11 sacks last season. Starting on the outside of the line last week were ends Everrette Thompson (6-6, 244) and Talia Crichton (6-3, 246). Crichton recorded one of the team's seven TFLs against Syracuse, while the line helped hold the Orange to 3.6 yards per rush.
The Middle Men:Mason Foster (6-2, 244) leads the linebacker corps, which had to replace OLB Donald Butler, who led the Huskies with 94 tackles and 15.5 TFLs last season. Foster has done his part, recording a team-best 24 tackles with two TFLs, one sack, a PBU and forced fumble in UW's first two games. Also in the middle with Foster, Victor Aiyewa (6-1, 219) and Cort Dennison (6-1, 236) rank third (18) and fourth (15) in tackles, respectively, this season.
In the Back: The Huskies returned four starters in the secondary from last season, including three who started as freshman last year. Senior SS Nate Williams (6-0, 221) is the only upperclassman in the group and is second on the team with 19 tackles this season. Sophomores CB Desmond Trufant (6-0, 172) and FS Nathan Fellner (6-1, 198) are tied for the team lead with two PBUs, while Fellner has added a team-leading two forced fumbles this year. Junior cornerback Quinton Richardson (6-0, 200) beat out returning starter sophomore Adam Long (5-10, 168) to play opposite Trufant.
Kicking It: Senior punter Will Mahan (5-11, 200) returned as the starter and averaged 45.2 yards on six punts in the season opener against BYU. He was listed as the starting punter prior to last week's contest against Syracuse, but junior Kiel Rasp (6-3, 215) took all the snaps vs. the Orange, averaging 40.3 yards on six kicks.
They Said It: "I know they had 300 yards rushing (against Idaho). I know they are going to be a really, really good offense. I think it's going to be a great game, I really, really do. It will be good for us. We need to play a team like that. It gets us ready for USC and the Pac-10 season." - Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt, according to the school's official website.
***The Huskies have allowed just 30 points in their last three home games dating to last year. UW has outscored Washington State, California and Syracuse by a margin of 113-30 in that stretch.
***UW has allowed opponents in the red zone six times in the first two games, giving up six scores although only two were TDs.
***The Huskies have five forced fumbles (by four players) in two games, but has only recovered one.
***The Huskies' official website, gohuskies.com, announced that more than 16,000 single-game tickets have been sold for Saturday's game. It said that would be four times than any other Huskies home game. At least 8,000 are expected to be for Husker fans.
***With nearly 54,000 other tickets sold to the general public and students, Washington officials expect the game to be close to a sellout this week. The largest home crowd last year for UW was 68,697.
***Washington does not have any players from Nebraska and the Huskers do not have any players from Washington. NU does have 13 players from the West Coast, all from California.
Washington Huskies 2010 Schedule Sept. 4 at BYU, L, 17-23 Sept. 11 Syracuse, W, 41-20 Sept. 18 Nebraska, 2:30 p.m. CT Oct. 2 at USC, 7 p.m. CT Oct. 9 Arizona State Oct. 16 Oregon State Oct. 23 at Arizona Oct. 30 Stanford Nov. 6 at Oregon Nov. 18 UCLA, 7 p.m. CT Nov. 27 at California Dec. 4 at Washington State