Washington running back Chris Polk has become one of the top running backs in the nation and in Husky history
The Huskies went 3-1 in October with wins coming on the road against Utah and at home against Colorado and Arizona. Their only loss was from Stanford, a 65-21 massacre in Palo Alto on October 22nd.
The Huskies improved to 6-2 on the year and have made themselves bowl-eligible for the second consecutive year.
The Huskies head into November, when the meat of their schedule starts to settle in, starting with Oregon this weekend.
After Oregon, the Huskies hit the road for two consecutive weeks as they travel to Los Angeles to take on Matt Barkley and USC, and then they head north to Corvallis to take on the Beavers of Oregon State.
And then its back home to play the final game of the season inside of Century Link Field, as the Dawgs take on the Washington State Cougars in the annual Apple Cup.
These are my winners and losers for the month of October.
This should be pretty obvious.
Chris Polk had a fantastic October, putting up some eye-popping numbers.
Polk ran for 594 yards and six touchdowns over the four games in October, but he also put up impressive receiving numbers, racking up 137 yards on 11 receptions and caught two touchdown passes.
Polk is now tied for fifth in the nation for rushing yards with 1,016 and is in the top 25 for rushing scores with nine.
Polk had himself a career night against Arizona, when he ran for four scores and caught a touchdown and led the Huskies to a 42-31 victory.
Polk has now surpassed Napoleon Kaufman for career 100-yard rushing games with 18 in his career. Polk still trails Kaufman in total yards by 574, and with four games left to go, Polk needs to average 143.5 yards per game to become the all-time leading rusher in school history.
This may be a little harsh, but after such a tremendous start by the sophomore quarterback out of Compton, he has had a rough October.
Throughout the month, Price threw five interceptions, including three in the win against Arizona. He did throw nine touchdown passes, but coming off a September where he threw 14 touchdown passes to just three interceptions, it seems like he has been declining as of late.
His quarterback rating also took a major hit. Coming into October his rating was 176.6; after October, it dropped to 150.2. His completion percentage remained relatively the same only dropping 0.9 percent from 67 in September to 66.1 in October.
After a stellar start it seems like Price is starting to even out a little, as he now has eight interceptions to go along with 23 touchdown passes.
Smith has been an absolute stud in the return game. He is averaging over 30 yards per return and has the Huskies in the top five in the country in total return yards (1,114) and average yards per return (25.9)
Smith has also proven that he is a reliable receiver, hauling in five receptions for 58 yards with no drops. Granted that is not a lot of catches for one month, but he is doing to the most he can with he opportunities he does get.
Smith executed a beautiful end-around when he ran 22 yards on his way to the end zone in a 52-24 win over Colorado.
Smith has yet to catch a touchdown, but looking forward he has big-play ability written all over him. If he doesn't catch a touchdown, then the next thing is a kickoff return for a touchdown, which doesn't seem that far out of Smith's reach.
When you almost allow 450 yards on the ground alone in one game, what do you expect?
The Huskies' defensive strength coming into the season was the defensive line, but after watching Stanford run a clinic all over it, fans may have second thoughts.
The defensive line did have a great game against Arizona last week, only allowing 36 yards on the ground. They also sacked Nick Foles several times, which is a good sign going forward.
With the running attack of Oregon coming up, that will be a true test to the defensive line and to the defense as a whole, as Oregon has proved they can score—and score a lot.
Dennison played extremely well throughout October.
Dennison still leads the team in total (71) and solo tackles (40), and shows no signs of letting up.
With such young linebackers around him, Dennison has taken his leadership to new heights by coaching the other linebackers, getting them to play better game after game.
With offensive powers of Oregon and USC on the horizon, it will be up to Dennison to rally his troops and get them mentally and physically ready.
Richardson, the senior out of Renton, Wash., has played pretty badly in his last year as a Husky.
It started with an ankle sprain that kept him out of the Eastern Washington game, and then he lost his starting position to Gregory Ducre, a sophomore.
Things have been all downhill since then. Time and time again, opposing quarterbacks are targeting Richardson and have been completing a lot of passes on him.
For a senior that has been in this system for three years and was benched for simple lack of performance, is depressing to witness.
This guy could be the most exciting player to watch on the entire team, and he's only a freshman.
On the few receptions he does get, you see the raw ability to simply run around and over opposing teams' defensive backs.
His biggest play of the season might of came last week and it wasn't a touchdown. Williams hauled in a 20-yard reception, bulled over two Arizona defensive backs and dragged another player 20 yards. Those types of plays go unnoticed in box scores and stat sheets, but when you witness it, you get that much more excited for the future.
Williams hauled in six catches for 108 yards in October and also reached the end zone in a victory over Utah.
Parker is second on the team in solo (31) and total tackles (54), and has been playing tremendous football as of late.
Parker has two interceptions this season, tying him with Desmond Trufant.
Parker has been dealing out some pretty big hits on receivers and running backs, and it looks like the highly touted recruit out of Los Angeles is a star in the making
Last week against Arizona, Parker came up with a crucial interception on Nick Foles that halted the Wildcats' drive late in the fourth quarter.
Shamburger was usually seen on the kickoff and punt return teams early on this season, but after a stellar performance against Stanford in which he recorded seven tackles off the bench, things are looking up for the kid out of Compton.
That outing got himself a starting role at safety for the Huskies since Justin Glenn was out with an injury.
Shamburger recorded 11 tackles against Arizona and had a forced fumble that changed the tide of the game. Late in the fourth quarter, Arizona was marching on the Huskies, hoping to retake the lead, but after a screen pass to Juron Criner, Shamburger made the play of the night. His helmet jarred the ball loose, and the Huskies recovered and ended scoring on the next drive.
It may be hard to keep Shamburger out of the lineup after a performance like that, but going up against Oregon, expect the Huskies to rotate players in and out to keep them fresh.
Shamburger also created depth at a position where there wasn't that much of at the beginning of the year.