The 2022 season was special for Washington football. The Huskies went 11-2 in the first year under Kalen DeBoer and Michael Penix Jr. helped turn the Huskies around from the disastrous 2021 season in which the offense was horrid and the program moved on from Jimmy Lake.
Now Washington enters the 2023 season with the best quarterback in the Pac-12 not named Caleb Williams as well as a defense that should only improve.
Washington will have one of the most explosive offenses in the nation next season and if the defense improves like I believe it will, I think the Huskies might be Utah, Oregon, and USC’s biggest threats in the Pac-12.
The Huskies will look to replicate that 2022 success, and then some.
Realistic expectations for Washington football in 2023
As mentioned before, Penix will be back as one of the best quarterbacks in college football after passing for over 4,600 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2022. He’ll also get Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan back after both went over 1,000 receiving yards last year. They’ll also bring back Ja’Lynn Polk and there are a couple of four-star receivers in the 2023 class along with incoming transfer Germie Bernard from Michigan State.
Suffice it to say, the offense should be as explosive as ever.
But looking at the schedule, it’s going to be tough to win 10 regular-season games again.
I think Washington will start the season 5-0 before getting a matchup with Oregon in Seattle and they’ll find a way to win that one and beat the Ducks in back-to-back seasons under DeBoer. They’ll then win the next two games and sit at 8-0 before going to USC for a huge battle with Pac-12 title implications. They’ll lose that one to drop to 8-1 before bouncing back to take down reigning conference champion Utah the next week and then they’ll finish the season with a loss at Oregon State and win against Washington State in the Apple Cup.
A 10-2 record is very realistic and I’d honestly be surprised with anything less, but I could see 8-4 being the floor for this team while 11-1 is the ceiling. Sure, 12-0 is possible, but I just don’t think Washington beats Oregon, wins at USC, takes down Utah, and wins at Oregon State. They’ll drop at least 1-2 of those games.