Lavon Coleman combines with Myles Gaskin to give Huskies a 1-2 punch

Gaskin, a slippery 5-foot-10, 191-pound junior, ran for 1,373 yards last season. Meanwhile, Coleman, a 5-11, 235-pound fifth-year senior, is a bruising runner seeking to build on a breakout season in which he finished with 852 yards and seven touchdowns.

What about Thunder and Lightning? Or maybe Dash and Smash?

Washington Huskies running-backs coach Keith Bhonapha smiles and shakes his head disapprovingly.

Thanks, but no thanks.

“I’m going to call them Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman because that’s who they are,” he said, laughing. “This other stuff, that’s on you guys.”

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Still, Bhonapha understands why there’s so much giddy anticipation surrounding the UW running backs heading into Friday’s season opener at Rutgers.

Gaskin, a slippery 5-foot-10, 191-pound junior who ran for 1,373 yards last season and 1,302 as a freshman, could join Chris Polk (2009-11) and Napoleon Kaufman (1992-94) as the only UW players to rush for at least 1,000 yards in three seasons.

Meanwhile, Coleman, a 5-11, 235-pound fifth-year senior, is a bruising runner seeking to build on a breakout season in which he finished with 852 yards and seven touchdowns.

“The one thing you get with both of those guys is that they have two different running styles,” Bhonapha said. “With Myles, you’ll probably see him use more vision, finesse and leverage.

“And Lavon has vision and he does have some quick-twitch where he can make guys miss. But obviously he’s a load. So once he gets rolling, that’s a big guy to try and stop.”

No. 8 Washington boasts a record-setting Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Jake Browning, but the Gaskin-Coleman combination is poised for a historic season and could ultimately be the difference if the Huskies are to return to the College Football Playoffs.

Adding to the expectation that Washington will adopt a blistering ground-and-pound attack is the fact that the Huskies return three full-time starters on the offensive line, including junior offensive tackle Trey Adams, who is projected to be a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

“It’s always cyclical, you are going to have certain groups – pockets – that have good experience,” coach Chris Petersen said. “And you have other ones that it’s just not exactly where you’d like it to be.

“But it’s nice, yeah. The more you have of that, the better it is. Those guys…

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