The Washington Huskies have confirmed that quarterback Cyler Miles will be suspended for the team’s season opener against the Hawaii Warriors stemming from his involvement in an assault on Super Bowl Sunday. This opens the door for quarterback Jeff Lindquist and Troy Williams to make another strong push for the starter’s job for the 2014 season. But despite this suspension, Miles is still the best option for the Huskies this fall.
Following the incident in February, Miles was investigated, though never charged, and was suspended from all team activities. That resulted in Miles, the heir apparent to three-year starter Keith Price, missing all of spring practice. Lindquist and Williams, as the only quarterbacks on the roster, split all the reps in likely their best opportunity to impress new head coach Chris Petersen and make a play for the No. 1 quarterback job.
But spring practice ended without Petersen endorsing either Lindquist or Williams and Miles was fully reinstated to the program shortly after. UW will be heavily favored against Hawaii no matter who they have at quarterback, so Petersen is likely using this game to send a message to Miles and the rest of the team about staying out of trouble. It will also allow Lindquist and Williams valuable game experience before likely falling back into backup roles the rest of the season.
Miles has shown the ability to succeed on the field in competitive situations thanks to his stint as a starter in place of an injured Price in 2013. He was the only other quarterback on the roster to attempt a pass last season and looked sharp when running with the No. 1 offense. In relief of Price against the UCLA Bruins, Miles completed 15 of 22 passes for 149 yards with a pair of touchdowns and followed that up with his only start of his career against the Oregon State Beavers where he completed 15 of 24 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown in a 69-27 romp.
That game experience sets Miles apart in the Washington quarterback race. It will be what sets him apart in fall camp and what puts him right back on top of the depth chart for the team’s home opener against FCS Eastern Washington in Week 2 and beyond. Cyler Miles gives Washington the best chance to compete in the Pac-12 in 2014 and he will be the starting quarterback following his one-game suspension.