The Washington Huskies have seen a huge boost to their offensive production this season thanks in part to the return of quarterback Keith Price to the elite level of play that he flashed in 2011. Price has been the captain on the field running UW’s new up-tempo attack, getting the Huskies into the right plays to keep drives alive. But health has been an issue for Price at times this season and could cost him a game after injuring his throwing shoulder midway through last week’s loss to the UCLA Bruins. If Price can’t go, can Cyler Miles step up and lead this Washington offense?
The freshman got his first serious playing time last week following Price’s injury against UCLA. He finished the day completing 15-of-22 passes for 149 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bruins’ defense held him contained to the pocket but he has shown some athleticism this season in clean-up duty, running for 144 yards 14 carries this season. He’s flashed some nice ability under center this season but he will be getting his first call to start this week against the Oregon State Beavers.
Where Miles can’t match Price, however, is experience. Steve Sarkisian turned this offense over to Price because the senior had earned that trust by going through the battles with this Washington offense. Miles hasn’t been on campus long enough to build that same trust and remains untested as a leader of the offense. Washington’s up-tempo attack is predicated on Price putting the team into position to succeed. With Miles out there, can Sarkisian let a freshman call the shots or will UW ease up on the tempo that they’ve used so successfully in 2013?
For now, Sarkisian says the team will practice with Miles as their starter for next week. Price will be re-evaluated on Thursday to determine whether or not he’ll be able to go against the Beavers. If the Huskies must roll with Miles, will their offense be able to maintain their pace and press the advantage against Oregon State?