By Tim Booth

The Associated Press

Huskies’ schedule

(All times Pacific)

Aug. 31, Eastern ­Washington, noon

Sept. 7, California, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 14, Hawaii, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 21, at Brigham Young, TBA

Sept. 28, USC, TBA

Oct. 5, at Stanford, TBA

Oct. 12, at Arizona, TBA

Oct. 19, Oregon, TBA

Nov. 2, Utah, TBA

Nov. 8, at Oregon State, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 23, at Colorado, TBA

Nov. 29, Washington State, 1 p.m.

SEATTLE — Washington coach Chris Petersen has been here before. The Huskies lose significant talent only to replenish the roster and continue what has been an upward trend during his tenure.

This season will test whether the Huskies can do it again as they try to win consecutive conference titles.

Gone are four-year starting quarterback Jake Browning and his backfield mate Myles Gaskin, the program’s all-time leading rusher. Gone also are four starters from the defensive secondary — three of whom were selected in the NFL draft — and the national leader in tackles in linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven.

“We’ve been through this before, many times when you’re in college football,” Petersen said. “It’s cyclical in terms of you’ll have some young guys that play for you for a long time and then away they go. Sometimes it’s more sporadic. Sometimes we’ve had a handful of guys that played for us for a long time and they kind of go out. As a program, you kind of love that a little bit better if it’s spread out, but we have been through this before when some really marquee guys have moved on.”

Washington is optimistic about the depth Petersen has created. The Huskies return most of their offensive line. They have potential playmakers in the backfield, and the secondary could end up being better than the group that just left.

They also have touted Georgia transfer Jacob Eason under center at quarterback.

And with the exception of a trip to Stanford, the Huskies’ toughest conference games will be played on the shore of Lake Washington.

Other things to watch:

QB question

Browning’s eventual successor was perhaps the biggest unknown for Washington until Eason was named the starter on Friday. He brings an NFL frame and arm to the Huskies after starting as a freshman at Georgia. When it was clear Eason did not have a future with the Bulldogs, the 6-foot-6 junior transferred and sat out last season.

Eason’s primary challenger for the position was Jake Haener until the sophomore decided to leave the program, the school announced Saturday. Haener played in four games last season behind Browning, completing nine passes for 107 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The backup position is now expected to go to either redshirt freshman Jacob Sirmon or true freshman Dylan Morris.

No more Myles

Gaskin left Washington as the school’s all-time leader in rushing with 5,323 yards and 57 rushing touchdowns, and he was one of two players in NCAA history with four years of 1,200 yards or more rushing.

While Gaskin will not be easy to replace, the Huskies at least have options.

Salvon Ahmed saw plenty of time in the same backfield as Gaskin over the past two years and will be moving into a more prominent role. Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant have also seen significant time. The trio combined for 1,048 yards rushing and 10 TDs in reserve roles last season.

Secondary concern

Defensive backs Taylor Rapp, Byron Murphy and Jordan Miller all got drafted in April, and Jojo McIntosh signed with an NFL team as a free agent soon after. The four helped make Washington’s secondary one of the best in the country.

There may not be much — if any — falloff this season.

Myles Bryant is the one returning starter and is likely to play safety. Elijah Molden and Keith Taylor are talented cornerbacks, though the nickel cornerback and other safety position are uncertainties.

Line change

The Huskies’ offensive line could help make up for the inexperience in the backfield early in the season. Trey Adams, Luke Wattenberg, Nick Harris, Jaxson Kirkland and Jared Hilbers all have extensive experience as starters.

Adams, once one of the top offensive tackle prospects in the country, is coming off two straight injury-shortened seasons.

“I think we’re all really good buddies,” Adams said. “Off the field we hang out. I think that plays a big role in how you play on the field is if you’re comfortable and trust the guys.”

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