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  • Chris Polk
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WASHINGTON HUSKIES

Sept. 10 at Husky Stadium, Seattle, Wash.
Stadium capacity: 72,500. Surface: FieldTurf

>> Head coach: Steve Sarkisian (third year)
>> 2010 record: 7-6 (5-4 Pac-10)
>> Offense: Pro style
>> Defense: 4-3
>> Series: Hawaii, 2-1
>> Last meeting: Hawaii 35, Washington 28 (Dec. 1, 2007, Honolulu)

OFFENSE

Returning starters: Seven

Primary objective: Draw attention away from an untested QB by feeding RB Chris Polk, who ran for 1,415 yards last season, the second-highest single-season total in school history. Polk had knee surgery on Aug. 18, but is expected to return early in the season.

At the controls: Steve Sarkisian’s aggressive play-calling was most notably demonstrated when he went for a touchdown instead of a game-tying field goal with 2 seconds left against Cal.

Leading the charge: Sophomore QB Keith Price went 20-for-28 for 212 yards and three touchdowns in UW’s spring game and was named the starter to replace first-round draft pick Jake Locker.

Key to success: Developing leadership in the wake of Locker’s departure after four years as the starter.

DEFENSE

Returning starters: Eight

Primary objective: Finding playmakers to pick up the production of outside linebackers Mason Foster and Victor Aiyewa.

At the controls: The Huskies’ pass defense climbed to second in the Pac-10 under third-year defensive coordinator Nick Holt.

Leading the charge: Inside linebacker Cort Dennison returns after recording 93 tackles, 8.5 for loss, and two interceptions.

Key to success: Continued emergence of the defensive front as defensive tackle Alameda Ta‘amu and defensive end Hauoli Jamora (Kahuku) step into featured roles.

NOTABLE

>> The Huskies closed last season with a win over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl, the program’s first bowl appearance in eight years.
>> Sarkisian quarterbacked BYU to a win over Hawaii in 1996 and played in the Hula Bowl that season.

 

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