Apple Cup: UW's Keith Price on edge about final career home game

christian.caple@thenewstribune.comNovember 27, 2013 

As Keith Price reflected on his career as a University of Washington football player — a five-year ride that has spanned the length of the Steve Sarkisian era — he did so without knowing whether he might play in his team’s regular-season finale.

The Huskies (7-4, 4-4 in Pac-12 Conference) host Washington State (6-5, 4-4) on Friday, an Apple Cup accompanied by more postseason implications than any in the past decade.

But it’s still not clear whether Price, who is fighting to recover from an injured throwing shoulder suffered Nov. 15, will be under center when the Huskies’ offense takes the field.

This week’s plan is somewhat similar to last week, in that Sarkisian says he doesn’t yet know whether he will start Price

or backup Cyler Miles, the redshirt freshman who started at Oregon State last week and completed 15 of 24 pass attempts in a 69-27 romp.

Price has at least been throwing, something he didn’t do during practice last week until Thursday. Sarkisian said he was able to throw some Monday, and Price said he threw some more on Tuesday.

“I’m definitely getting better,” Price said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’ve been doing a little bit more each day, so it’s just a day-to-day process. It’s a serious injury. Any type of injury to anything on your throwing arm is going to be huge, so I’m just taking care of it as best as I can.”

Price made things difficult on Sarkisian last week, when he came out before UW’s game at OSU and threw the ball during warm-ups better than he had all week.

He made a variety of throws and was relatively accurate, though he didn’t appear to be throwing with his usual velocity.

“He’s not 100 percent. He’s not fully recovered. That’s very clear,” Sarkisian said Monday, then reiterated again Tuesday during the Pac-12 coaches’ teleconference. “It’s just a matter of, as we get closer to the game, is he in a position where he can go out and perform … well against a good team, against a good defense on Friday at 12:30. That’s what we have to assess.”

As a fifth-year senior, Price doesn’t necessarily need to practice much to be given the go-ahead to play Friday, with Sarkisian saying Monday that “it’s a very comforting situation to be in, knowing you have two guys that can go in and win Pac-12 football games. Both of them are very capable of going out and playing well Friday.”

And at least one of them will be rather disappointed if he doesn’t.

“Just the amount of hours and hard work I’m taking to sacrifice for my team,” Price said. “You just feel useless when you’re on the sideline and there’s nothing you can really do. Especially when you’re losing. It’s all good when you’re winning. But when you’re losing, it’s not fun being on the sideline.”

KIKAHA, SHELTON FIRST-TEAM SCHOLARS

The Pac-12 announced its All-Academic teams Tuesday, and UW defensive linemen Hau’oli Kikaha and Danny Shelton were named to the first team.

Kikaha, a junior American Ethnic Studies major, carries a 3.49 grade-point average, and Shelton, a junior anthropology major, carries a 3.46.

Junior running back Bishop Sankey (3.18, communications) was named second-team. Receiver DiAndre Campbell, defensive end Josh Shirley, linebackers John Timu and Siosifa Tufunga, and fullback Psalm Wooching were named honorable mention.

christian.caple@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @ChristianCaple

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