Huskies Insider Blog

Ever consider putting Montana in? Sark thought about it

Sounding like a man sure that the world is round, and that paying taxes is one of life's few certainities - UW coach Steve Sarkisian insists that backup quarterback Nick Montana will see game action in 2011.

Just not last Saturday at the end of a game-in-hand 31-14 victory over Utah in Salt Lake City.

The sight of starter Keith Price limping around with two sprained knees and grimacing over another ankle sprain, suffered in the Utah game, had the UW faithful wondering if Sarkisian was going to replace him with Montana.

Instead, Price played the whole game. And Sarkisian was asked about it Monday during his weekly press conference in the Founders Club on campus.

"It did come to mind," Sarkisian said. "But Nick is getting plenty of good reps in practice. And he will get his opportunity in a game. We are going to need him before the season is done."

The primary reason Sarkisian gave for staying with Price the entire way was over previous-game failures of the offense to stay on the field to close out game.

Consider:

* Against Eastern Washington with 3:43 to go, the Huskies got one first down, but had a drive stall at their own 40-yard-line - and ended up punting at the 1:25 mark.

* Against Hawaii with 41/2 minutes remaining, the offense couldn't get a first down, punted and saw the visitors easily go down and tally a touchdown in the final 90 seconds.

* Against California, the UW could not convert a third-and-short, and had to give the ball back to the Bears with 4:19 remaining. Cal had a chance for a game-tying touchdown (and subsequent two-point conversion), but was held near the goal-line late by the Huskies.

"One of the challenges we talked about was finishing the game on offense. Our inability to do that in a few ballgames this year could have potentially cost us the game," Sarkisian said. "So it's been a big point of emphasis for us. So I wanted to keep Keith in the game for that reason, to keep that mindset that we need to finish games."

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