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Huard: Why Huskies are like 2013 Seahawks — and will play for the national title

in 2016, Washington's Jake Browning had one of the best seasons ever for a UW quarterback (AP)
LISTEN: Brock Huard explains why 2017 Huskies are like 2013 Seahawks

This year’s Washington Huskies football team reminds 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard of one championship-winning squad. However, it isn’t the Clemson Tigers or the Ohio State Buckeyes that the Huskies are drawing comparisons to; for Brock, it’s the 2013 Seattle Seahawks that have the most parallels, which is why he said Washington fans are right to have championship expectations.

Huard: UW QB Jake Browning has put on ‘grown-man weight

If it seems like a stretch to you, hear Brock out on this one. There are five big similarities between the two teams – and they are qualities that can make all the difference between winning a national title and going home without a trophy.

A head coach who built the program his way

Huskies head coach Chris Petersen approached his role at Washington with a focus on unity and mutual respect, choosing to ensure players on the team are OKGs (“Our Kind of Guys”). Under Petersen, a program that went 0-12 in 2008 and saw then-head coach Steve Sarkisian leave during the 2013 season has undergone a three-year turnaround that landed them in the national championship semifinals last season. While Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has a different style, he also endorses a culture that is unlike any other team in the NFL – and Seattle’s players will tell you as much.

An elite quarterback

Jake Browning led Washington to a Pac-12 title as a sophomore, kind of like how Russell Wilson quarterbacked the Seahawks to a Super Bowl championship in his season year at the helm. “(Browning) shattered any and every school record along the way,” Brock said. “He happens to be loved by his teammates, he’s loved by his coaches, and he’s tough as hell.”

A strong run game

Marshawn Lynch, with his punishing running style, was a lynchpin of the Seahawks’ offense. For Brock, Washington’s run game echoes the stubborn, gritty approach. No matter the weather, the Huskies can “run it when they want to run it,” said Brock.

Immovable front seven

“Anybody in America would take (Greg) Gaines and Vita Vea, period, end of story, and not even think about it again,” Brock said of Washington’s dominant defensive tackles.

A previous season that just fell short

Any Seahawks fan can recall their loss to the Atlanta Falcons that ended their postseason run in 2012. While Brock notes the postseason examples here are different, Washington’s appearance in the national championship semifinals marked the beginning of a new wave of national recognition.

Listen to Brock argue his case above.