Price called his turnovers, which included an interception that was returned for a touchdown, 'uncharacteristic' and 'undisciplined.'
EUGENE, Ore. — The score wasn’t much different Saturday than it had been when Keith Price made his first start at quarterback for the Huskies in 2010 at Autzen Stadium.
Saturday, UW lost 52-21 — two years ago, it was 53-16 in a game Price started for an injured Jake Locker.
Then, though, Price got kudos afterward for managing the game well and avoiding critical mistakes.
Saturday, he met the media afterward and readily admitted that the Huskies were going to have a hard time winning when he turns the ball over three times — as he did against the Ducks, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble.
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“Giving them seven points is uncharacteristic of me,” said Price of an interception that Oregon’s Avery Patterson returned for a 43-yard touchdown in the first quarter that gave the Ducks a 21-0 lead and just about ended the suspense.
Price was attempting to hit DiAndre Campbell on an out route that Patterson jumped, making an easy pick and score.
“Undisciplined,” Price said of the play. “I should have been working the opposite side of the field. And even if I would have thrown the ball accurately, the worst-case scenario is he bats the ball down and we get another play.”
Instead, it was a backbreaker for the Huskies and capped off a night of struggles for Price, who was just 19 of 31 for 145 yards and no touchdowns, continuing a season that has not matched the production of 2011. Price is adjusting to a new receiving corps, as well as a re-made offensive line that has featured a number of new faces due to injuries.
Still, he took much of the blame on himself Saturday.
“Pressing too hard trying to make things happen and not letting the game flow to me,” Price said. “I just need to get back and really, really be disciplined because that’s the next step, just being disciplined with my reads. Just take the little five-yard hitches and not pressing too hard.”
TE’s rebound stopped by injury
When Washington beat Stanford 17-13 a week ago Thursday, it did so with minimal production from sophomore tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins — he had just two catches for 10 yards.
But when UW’s game against Oregon began Saturday night, it was obvious the Huskies wanted to feature him, as two of the first four plays went his way. He had two catches for 33 yards, including a 28-yarder that was the longest gain of the first half for the Huskies.
However, Seferian-Jenkins appeared to suffer a left ankle injury as he was tackled at the end of that reception, and he did not play the rest of the game.
UW’s plan to get Seferian-Jenkins more involved made sense considering some of the injury issues in the Ducks’ back seven.
Oregon is playing the rest of the season without senior safety John Boyett, who was named to the All-Pac-12 second team last season and regarded as the leader of the team’s secondary. Another possible defender for Seferian-Jenkins was senior linebacker Michael Clay, who entered the game regarded as questionable with an injury suffered last week against Washington State.
Sarkisian said early in the week that he thought Seferian-Jenkins’ lack of production against Stanford was due to what the Cardinal did and what UW didn’t do.
“I don’t know if they were doing so much with him in that they were making an extreme attempt to take him away,” he said. “I think they were aware of where he was on the field. I think we probably could have called some things better for him to get him some more opportunities, especially early in the game. I think he’d be the first one to tell you he could play better than he played, too.”
Seferian-Jenkins noted that he also had more responsibilities for blocking against Stanford, which came into the game noted for its ability to rush the passer.
“I mean, I’ve produced throughout the season so far and I produced in blocking (against Stanford),” he said. “A tight end isn’t just a receiving threat; he’s got to block as well. So some games — there are going to be games where you catch the ball a lot, some games you are going to be asked to block and pass block, and I was asked to do that Thursday and we won.”
Sarkisian also said during the week that the Huskies would continue to try to get more use out of their two-tight end alignments, something they have also struggled to get quite as much production out of so far.
The Huskies unveiled one surprise to their defense with true freshman Cory Littleton getting a start at linebacker as the Huskies went with a 3-4 defense often in the first half.
Littleton, from Spring Valley, Calif., had not played this season. But he was listed on the depth chart this week, an indication UW had him in its thoughts for the gameplan.
Littleton’s presence had Josh Shirley on the bench when UW went with a 3-4.
Riva still out
The Huskies had hoped that sophomore right tackle Ben Riva might be able to play Saturday — he has been out since breaking his forearm against San Diego State. But he was not on the 70-man travel roster, leaving UW with the same offensive linemen as they had against Stanford.
UW started with a line of James Atoe at right tackle, Shane Brostek at right guard, Drew Schaefer at center, Dexter Charles at left guard and Micah Hatchie at left tackle. It was the first time this year UW had started the same five up front in consecutive games.
When Washington began practicing more no-huddle offense a few weeks ago, it was for reasons larger than simply running it on offense in games — as UW did against Stanford more than it had in any other game this year.
Sarkisian also noted this week that the no-huddle periods in practice also help the defense prepare for teams like Oregon, which runs the no-huddle almost exclusively.
“We’ve been now, for really three weeks, doing quite a bit of no-huddle because it was a big part of our game plan last week against Stanford,” he said, “and obviously knowing we had Oregon coming up.”
|Sept. 1||S. Diego St.||W, 21-12|
|Sept. 8||at LSU||L, 41-3|
|Sept. 15||Portl. St.||W, 52-13|
|Sept. 27||Stanford||W, 17-13|
|Oct. 6||at Oregon||L, 52-21|
|Oct. 13||USC||4 p.m.|
|Oct. 20||at Arizona||TBA|
|Oct. 27||Oregon St.||TBA|
|Nov. 2||at Cal||6 p.m.|
|Nov. 17||at Colorado||TBA|
|Nov. 23||at WSU||12:30 p.m.|