30-Day Countdown: Day 24 – Who will lead the team in sacks?

The Washington Huskies recorded just 20 sacks as a team in 2021. That’s half as many as the 2016 team had. It’s also only 10 more than the 2020 total (you know, that team who played only one-third of a season, and was led by ZTF and his personal sack party: Seven sacks, four games)

OK, so that guy is still on the team; why is he not the overwhelming favorite to lead the Huskies in sacks?

He is.

Option 1: Zion Tupuola-Fetui

When I hear Tupuola-Fetui is not among the starters in camp, I’m not shocked at all. He might not start. The game doesn’t start on 3rd and 6. That’s when you know ZTF will be in the game, and he is nearly impossible to keep away from the pocket.

Prior to Tupuola-Fetui, the UW sack leaders have been Joe Tryon (8), Taylor Rapp (5), Ryan Bowman (5.5), and Psalm Wooching (6) dating back to 2016. Tryon is a guy you would expect to be the sack leader, the other guys not so much. The script is not always followed.

Still, Tupuola-Fetui is the best Husky pass rusher since Hau’oli Kikaha, so if ZTF is healthy it would be a shocker if he’s not the sack king.

Big if there, though.

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Option 2: Someone else

The other Edge players

Bralen Trice, Jeremiah Martin, Sav’ell Smalls and redshirt freshman edge Maurice Heims are rotating the snaps in practice, and we can expect to see all these guys getting action this fall. Smalls is the guy everyone is waiting to break out, or really just show up consistently.

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The DL guys:

Faatui Tuitele and Voi Tunuufi led the Huskies in sacks last season with 3 apiece.

Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Kuao Peihopa is an active interior defender to watch out for. Tuli Letuligasenoa is the main man in the middle, so he’s a candidate as well. But, in order for someone to lead the team in sacks that is not an outside rusher, it would have to be one of those “sack by committee” years, like in 2016 where eight players had 3 or more sacks (no one had more than 6), or 2017 when 17 players recorded a QB takedown, and 5.5 was enough to lead the team.

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The Linebackers

Sophomore Alphonzo Tuputala and Pitt transfer Cam Bright continue to take the most starting reps at linebacker, with UAB transfer Christopher Moll and sophomore Carson Bruener next. Sophomore Daniel Heimuli played in 9 games a year ago, he is also in the mix.

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The DBs

Back in 2018, the Huskies had only 24 sacks, and the top two contributors were DBs Taylor Rapp and Myles Bryant.

Dominique Hampton is poised to play the “Husky” position this season, and he’s clearly a guy you would expect rushing the passer. Safeties Asa Turner, Alex Cook and Cam Williams could have multiple sacks themselves if the scheme dictates.

Poll

Who leads the Huskies in sacks this season?

  • 61%

    Zion Tupuola-Fetui

    (127 votes)

  • 8%

    Sav’ell Smalls

    (18 votes)

  • 4%

    Dominique Hampton

    (9 votes)


206 total votes

Vote Now

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