Keith Price made Steve Sarkisian’s decision difficult during pregame warm-ups Saturday night in Corvallis. Now, after leading Washington’s annihilation of Oregon State on Saturday night, Cyler Miles will keep that decision-making process interesting for Sarkisian.
Which UW quarterback starts against Washington State in the Apple Cup likely will remain a mystery to the public until game day Friday. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. at Husky Stadium for a national broadcast on Fox.
Price, a senior, did not appear limited Saturday during pregame warm-ups, eight days after suffering what seemed to be a serious injury to his throwing shoulder in UW’s defeat at UCLA. Price threw so well in warm-ups that Sarkisian briefly considered giving the start to his senior, but the UW coach opted to stick with Miles, who was told Thursday he would get the nod against the Beavers.
Miles, in his first start, threw for 162 yards with one touchdown while helping the Huskies gain 692 yards in a 69-27 blowout of OSU.
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“Cyler’s performance gives me a comfort level of knowing I have a very capable guy that can go in and perform and command our offense,” Sarkisian said Monday. “I also know I have a fifth-year senior who is working his tail off in the rehab room to get himself healthy enough to go out and perform and play and finish off his college career on a high note.”
Both quarterbacks practiced Monday, Sarkisian said.
“We’ll prepare for Cyler to be the starter (against the Cougars),” he said, “and if Keith is physically able to go where we feel confident and comfortable in what he’s able to do then Keith will be able to step in.”
Sarkisian was “very pleased” with Miles’ starting debut.
“I thought he looked like a Pac-12 quarterback,” Sarkisian said. “It didn’t look new to him; he just looked comfortable.”
It was only a month ago that offensive-line coach Dan Cozzetto blasted his line’s performance in the Huskies’ defeat at Arizona State, and the line has been the target of much fan consternation on social media this season.
Monday, Sarkisian praised the play of the offensive line, which paved the way for UW to gain 530 yards on the ground against Oregon State, the second-best rushing performance in program history.
“I don’t know if they’re the most talented group in our conference, but they play hard. They play the game the right way,” Sarkisian said.
The Huskies are averaging 524.3 yards of offense this season, eighth in the country and the most in school history.
“You don’t do that with a bunch of ham sandwiches blocking for you,” Sarkisian said.
Washington’s Bishop Sankey and Austin Seferian-Jenkins were amed finalists for major national awards.
Sankey is one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, presented to the nation’s premier running back. The other finalists are Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey and Andre Williams of Boston College. Sankey, third in the nation with 1,575 yards, will travel to Orlando, Fla., for the Dec. 12 awards show.
Seferian-Jenkins is a finalist for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end. Eric Ebron of North Carolina and Nick O’Leary of Florida are the other two finalists.
Seferian-Jenkins, also a finalist for the award last year, has 31 catches for 361 yards and six touchdowns this season. He will travel to Orlando only if he’s the winner.
Friday’s game is expected to be a sellout with 500 tickets remaining Monday.