Steve Sarkisian met with reporters for the final time before Washington's game Saturday against California, and said he thought quarterback Keith Price looked "really good" in practice today and would "be surprised" if Price isn't able to play against the Bears.
"I’d be surprised if he didn’t play," Sarkisian said. "But like I said, we had a plan for today of what we wanted to get done on the field and obviously looking at the film and then as a staff. So stick to the plan, but just off of first glimpse real time, I thought he looked really good."
Price has been nursing a swollen thumb on his right throwing hand that he injured during UW's loss at Stanford on Oct. 5. He aggravated the injury last week against Arizona State, and was limited in practice prior to Thursday.
Sarkisian said Price would be pushed a little harder on Thursday, and he was apparently pleased with what he saw.
The fifth-year senior quarterback may have benefited from focusing his efforts the past couple days on rehabbing his thumb.
"I think there’s some merit to that, not only from the thumb perspective but his overall body and even his mind, kind of clear his mind a little bit, watch Cyler (Miles) play, watch Cyler do some good stuff," Sarkisian said. "To come back today energized, I think there is some merit to that, that that helped."
More Sarkisian ...
(Any thought to resting Price with bye week coming up?) "The thought’s to win the game. The thought’s to go win the game Saturday."
(On the 8 p.m. start) "I don’t know if this is the latest it’s going to get. You never know. I don’t know. We’ll stick to our plan. We’re big into the routine of things. Obviously we’ll break up our meetings some throughout Saturday just to keep them moving some at times and keep them fresh. But I think it’ll be a really good atmosphere Saturday night here in Husky Stadium. I think our fans will be fired up. I know our guys will be charged up. I think we’ll come out with a chip on our shoulder and ready to play good football."
(Was this week a wakeup call for the coaches?) "I hope so. Again, I’ve talked about practices throughout the week for years now. You get a feeling sometimes one way or the other, then the game comes, sometimes it validates that feeling and sometimes it contradicts that feeling. I’d like to think so, but again I’ll answer that question better Saturday at about midnight, if it was a wakeup call or not."
(Challenging the offensive line more this week?) "We’ve challenged everybody. As a team, we didn’t play good enough. We didn’t coach good enough. Sometimes when offensive linemen make mistakes, their mistakes get magnified because the quarterback who’s holding the ball gets hit, or the running back who’s holding the ball gets hit. They weren’t the only ones who made mistakes last Saturday, so we’ve challenged everybody."
(Trust an issue between Price and offensive line?) "No. We’re a good football team. We’ll play great offense Saturday night."
(What do you see from Cal's defense?) "It’s not about Cal. This is all about us."