Back in July, defensive end Trevardo Williams said that he wanted to get 16 sacks this season. On the surface it sounds ludicrous. But Williams, who is undersized at 6-2, 233 pounds but is faster than most wide receivers, was coming off a 13-sack effort a year ago.
Through seven games he has seven sacks, so he's slightly behind pace. But that doesn't make him any less of a headache for opposing offenses. Not only that, Williams currently ranks sixth in the nation, and his 27-career sacks is tied for the school record. Which means that one more and it's all his.
Williams will get that chance Friday night when the Huskies take on Syracuse in an 8 p.m. start.
“It may look easy but it’s not,” Williams said according to the team website. “If the guy is 6-6, 320 pounds it takes a lot of energy to drop him back, and on the next play it takes the same amount of energy.”
Williams recorded two sacks as a freshman, five as a sophomore and 13 as a junior. With five games left he's on pace to match last year's mark. And if he gets hot, he could approach the 16 he set as a personal goal over the summer. But Williams isn't a one-trick pass-rushing pony. He's also stout against the run.
“The thing I like about him is that he’s playing the run very well,” Paul Pasqualoni said. “Rushing the passer is his strength but he’s working awfully hard on his entire game.”
Pasqualoni sees a lot of Dwight Freeney -- also an undersized, fast pass rusher -- in Williams.
“There’s going to be a lot more to it at the next level but he’s got a big piece of the skill set that is required to play that position,” Pasqualoni said.
Defensive lineman Ryan Wirth put it best: "He’s a genetic freak. He works hard in the weight room and he goes out there and makes plays and is able to make plays whenever he wants.”