QB Jake Locker hits 3 of 4 passes for 99 yards in two quick scoring drives, then takes a seat for the day.
If University of Washington coach Steve Sarkisian needed any affirmation that he has picked the right starters, he got it quickly Tuesday afternoon.
As the team held its first significant scrimmage of fall camp, the No. 1 offense and defense dominated when matched up against the No. 2 offense and defense, and then took a seat, their point having been made emphatically.
Actually, Sarkisian said it was part of the plan to give the starters minimal work, calling it similar to an NFL exhibition game.
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But the starters appeared regular-season ready as the No. 1 offense drove easily for touchdowns on both of its series against the backup defense, while the No. 1 defense held the backup offense to just one first down on three series.
“That made me feel the best,” Sarkisian said. “That, and being healthy. I thought both sides of the ball of our ones were extremely efficient today.”
As Sarkisian noted, there were no significant injuries.
But the starters were hardly out there long enough to get dinged up.
The offense drove 59 yards in three plays for a TD on its first possession, capped by a 36-yard pass from Jake Locker to Devin Aguilar. It then went 95 yards on five plays on its second series, keyed by a 61-yard Locker pass to Jermaine Kearse. Chris Polk concluded that drive with a 16-yard TD in what was his first full-contact action of the fall.
Locker was 3 for 4 for 99 yards before taking a seat, while Polk — who has been eased into action after having shoulder surgery in the offseason — had 44 yards on three carries, looking just like the back who gained 1,113 yards last year as a freshman.
“I thought the results we got are the ones we are looking for,” Locker said.
Same with the defense, which other than allowing a 9-yard Johri Fogerson run for a first down pretty much sent the No. 2 offense backward, giving up 15 yards on 11 plays.
“They did what they needed to do and we wanted to see a lot of the other guys, so they got a lot of the reps,” said defensive coordinator Nick Holt.
Indeed, the last three quarters of the scrimmage were devoted to the backups. Sarkisian said it was structured that way so he could get a long look at some of the team’s 26 scholarship true freshmen to begin making decisions about who will play this season and who will redshirt.
Sarkisian said such decisions won’t be made until after another scrimmage on Saturday.
Of most interest may be the battle for the backup QB job between redshirt freshman Keith Price and true freshman Nick Montana.
Statistically, it was almost a dead heat as Price was 11-17 for 130 yards and a touchdown, a 70-yarder to Cody Bruns, while Montana was 14-20 for 123 yards and one TD, an 8-yarder to true freshman DiAndre Campbell.
If Sarkisian is leaning either way on that one, he didn’t give it away in his comments, saying, “I thought the two quarterbacks, the two young guys once they settled in, did some nice things for us.”
Asked to name a few of the young players who stood out, Sarkisian mentioned safety Sean Parker, receiver Kevin Smith and running back Zach Fogerson, who has largely been used as a fullback until now but got some extensive work at tailback in the scrimmage, gaining 21 yards on seven carries including a 3-yard TD to conclude the scoring.
Holt also singled out Parker, the four-star recruit who chose UW over Michigan and USC on signing day and appears to be living up to the billing, as well as safety Taz Stevenson and defensive ends Hau’oli Jamora and Josh Shirley.
Sarkisian said the starters will get more work on Saturday.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org