It's still unclear, Steve Sarkisian said, who Washington's starting quarterback will be in Friday's Apple Cup.
The plan this week is similar to what UW did ahead of the Oregon State game -- prepare Cyler Miles to start, then evaluate Keith Price at the end of the week. Price's shoulder injury kept him out of the OSU game, through he threw well during pregame warmups and "quite honestly, he was probably ready to go Saturday night, but I just felt better about our team with Cyler's preparation and Cyler being the guy this past Saturday."
Price didn't throw during practice last week until Thursday. He threw some this morning, Sarkisian said.
"So he's in much better shape this week than he was last week," he said. "He's not 100 percent. He's not fully recovered. That's very clear. 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 at the level that ... enough to 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."
There's also the matter of whether Price looks -- and feels -- as if he can withstand a few hits.
"That's everything that goes into it," Sarkisian said. "As we talk with our medical staff about the situation, as we talk with Keith and Keith being a fifth-year senior now, we've gotten to a point now where it's not about the bravado and all that. It's about being honest about where he's at physically. That was part of the conversation last week as well. I would never put anybody out there - never mind it being Keith Price - to be a situation where a kid got hit he could injure himself worse. This is a pretty violent sport we're a part of, and obviously safety of the player has become an even bigger issue recently than it's ever been in our sport. When it comes down to dealing with a player's safety, I wouldn't risk doing that to him if I didn't think he could handle taking a few hits from a defensive lineman or linebacker or something of that sort."
Of Miles' performance against Oregon State -- 15 of 24 for 162 yards and a touchdown -- Sarkisian said: "I thought he looked like a Pac-12 quarterback. It didn't look new to him; he just looked comfortable. I kind of thought that against UCLA, quite honestly, outside of a couple plays late. But he prepared really well. I think he trusted his preparation. There's a handful of plays -- and he'll be the first one to tell you -- he'd love to have back. But I thought just his body language, his composure, his command of the offense, what he gave off to the rest of the team -- here's a guy out there on the field confident and believes in what he's doing and believes in his preparation -- I thought he sent a great message to the team that way. And then he performed well. I thought he used his legs effectively. He didn't get any real big runs, but a couple first downs when he pulled the ball down and ran. Ultimately he had time to escape some pressure and make some plays. For a guy making his first career start on the road in that environment, in those conditions, I was very pleased."
Christian Caple can be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple