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September 26, 2011

Struggling Huskies' defense dealt major blow

The already banged up Washington Husky defense got more bad news Monday morning. Sophomore defensive end Hau'oli Jamora will miss the rest of the season with a torn ligament in his knee suffered in Saturday's home victory over California.

Since becoming a starter midway through last season, Jamora has been the Huskies' best pass rusher. Last season, Jamora had eight tackles for loss and three sacks, being named most outstanding freshman on the Huskies. The start to his second year hadn't been great, but he did have a solid three tackles for loss and one sack in just over three games played.



With the tear of his anterior cruciate ligament occurring early in the season, there is a possibility that Jamora could gain a medical redshirt for this season.

"We think so, but we're still investigating it," Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said.

The NCAA rules require a player to have played in less than 30 percent of the season. Jamora's injury, which occurred in the first quarter of the Huskies' fourth game, has played in just under 30 percent of the season and therefore should be granted the redshirt.

With Jamora out, the Huskies will have some reshuffling to do along the defensive line and Sarkisian expect the injury to give several players opportunities for playing time.

"It won't just be one guy. It will be more of a re-shuffling but guys reshuffling to positions that they're accustomed to playing," Sarkisian said.

The defensive end spot itself is where Sarkisian spoke of several players who are going to get their shots.

"You'll obviously see Josh Shirley who I thought had a nice ball game last week," Sarkisian said. "You'll see Talia Crichton back over there in that spot, which is what Talia played initially here.… We'll move Everrette Thompson outside. You'll see Everrette more at end obviously with Andrew Hudson at that end spot."

The Huskies' depth clearly doesn't appear to be an issue with four players who look to be solid contributors at the two defensive end spots. The drop from Jamora is going to hurt the Huskies, but the experience for the young players will be valuable for the future.

Aother position that will be switched up will be defensive tackle. With Thompson moving from defensive tackle to defensive end, it will open up an opportunity for two young Huskies to step in.

"It'll give us an opportunity to elevate Sione Potoa'e and give Danny Shelton more opportunities," Sarkisian said.

While the Huskies have the players to fill in for Jamora, Sarkisian talked about more than just the on-field presence Jamora brings to the team.

"Unbelievable character," Sarkisian said. "(He's a) great kid. Tremendous work ethic. Great student. For such a young guy, a tremendous leader on and off the field. He's going to be missed in more ways than one, not just rushing the passer, but what he brings to the team on a day to day basis."

Follow UDubNation's Mitchell Larsen on Twitter @MLarsen_Rivals


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