With injured senior quarterback Keith Price watching from the sideline, Washington’s comeback from a 20-point deficit came up short in a 41-31 loss to No. 13 UCLA Friday night at the Rose Bowl.
A day later, it remained unclear if Price would be able to return for the final two regular-season games of his UW career.
The Huskies’ career leader in touchdown passes was scheduled to have an MRI exam on his right throwing shoulder Saturday. Results were not immediately available, a UW spokesman said Saturday evening.
“I thought I’d be able to fight through the pain,” Price said, leaning against a rock wall outside a Rose Bowl locker room, his right shoulder wrapped in ice. “I’ve had plenty of pain (in his career). It just so happened to be in my throwing shoulder.”
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If Price is unable to go, redshirt freshman Cyler Miles would make his first collegiate start at Oregon State on Saturday. Kickoff at Reser Stadium in Corvallis is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. for an ESPN2 broadcast.
The Huskies (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) then close out the regular season at home in the Apple Cup on Nov. 29.
Without Price, Miles came in for the first significant appearance of his UW career to start the second half against UCLA. He threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins to get the Huskies within 27-24, but they wouldn’t get any closer.
“I’m proud of the way the guys competed at the end,” Price said. “It’s kind of hard playing a game without your starting quarterback. … It’s unfortunate. I’m disappointed, and it hurts.”
Price was 10 of 18 for 181 yards with one touchdown pass that moved him into 10th place on the Pac-12 career touchdown list.
UW outgained UCLA 432-406 in total yards, but the Huskies were undone by four turnovers, including fumbles on their first two possessions by Bishop Sankey and Seferian-Jenkins, typically two of UW’s most reliable pair of hands.
The Huskies were also flagged for 11 penalties for 113 yards; UCLA had eight penalties for 96 yards.
“They weren’t really letting us play football,” UW linebacker Shaq Thompson said. “Every play was a flag.”
Miles threw for 149 yards in the second half with two touchdowns and two interceptions. True freshman receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow busted out with eight catches for 147 yards and one touchdown.
“We just couldn’t find a break,” Stringfellow said.
UCLA freshman linebacker Myles Jack, a Bellevue High graduate, scored four touchdowns as a fill-in running back to help UW alum Jim Mora defeat the Huskies in his first meeting as the UCLA coach. Five of Jack’s 13 carries were on third down and he converted each one, including two TDs, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Huskies, 3-9 in their last 12 conference road games, must quickly turn their attention to Oregon State, with or without their senior quarterback.
“We’ve got two big ballgames left on our schedule that we’ve got to get ourselves prepared to go play,” UW coach Steve Sarkisian said.
“We’ll go play good football the last two games. We’ll see if that’s good enough to win. I can’t guarantee victories, but I do know that this team will get up off the mat.”