Washington coach Steve Sarkisian Thursday eliminated any lingering doubt about whether quarterback Keith Price will play Saturday night against Cal (8 p.m., Fox Sports One). Early in the week, Sarkisian limited Price in practice to protect the throwing thumb injured Oct. 5 in a 31-28 loss to Stanford. Thursday, by Sarkisian’s account, he pushed his senior during the Huskies’ morning practice.
“I’d be surprised if he didn’t play, but like I said we had a plan for today of what we wanted to get done on the field and then obviously looking at the film as a staff,” Sarkisian said. “But just off of first glimpse real-time I thought he looked really good.”
At 4-3 (1-3 Pac-12), the Huskies are double-digit favorites at Husky Stadium playing Cal and Colorado. With the pair home games separated by a bye week, some surmised that opportunity to give Price extra rest would lead to starting redshirt freshman backup Cyler Miles against the Golden Bears.
Thursday Sarkisian bluntly dispelled the notion.
“The thought is to win the game,” Sarkisian said. “The thought is to go win the game Saturday.”
In last Saturday’s 53-24 bludgeoning by Arizona State, Price was sacked six times before Sarkisian pulled him early in the fourth quarter. Price finished 16 of 39 for 217 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the face of almost constant pressure. So porous was the offensive line that a few of its members came up to him after the game and apologized.
Asked if his senior could suffer the same confidence problems that plagued a majority of his junior campaign, Sarkisian, again offered a blunt retort.
“No, we’re a good football team. We’ll play great on offense Saturday night.”