Updated Nov 25, 2013 - 2:23 pm
What we learned from the Huskies' win over Oregon St.
By Brent Stecker
Keith Price was in uniform, but it turned out all he needed to do was sit back and watch.
The senior quarterback was able to rest his injured shoulder Saturday night as Washington blew the doors off Reser Stadium in a 69-20 pounding of Oregon State. But after such a dominant performance without Price, there's suddenly another quarterback making a case for playing time.
Three things we're still trying to figure out:
1. Is there suddenly a quarterback controversy in Montlake?
Making his first career start, freshman quarterback Cyler Miles was 15 of 24 for 162 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions against Oregon State on Saturday. (AP)
Redshirt freshman quarterback Cyler Miles made his first career start Saturday, and while his numbers weren't all that impressive – 162 yards passing, one touchdown – he was still very accurate (15 for 24, no interceptions), made things happen with his legs (26 yards on seven carries), and was in the center of the Huskies' 69-point explosion. Does this all mean he should start in front of Price in the Apple Cup next Friday? Probably not. But if Price's shoulder is still giving him problems, you better believe coach Steve Sarkisian will be comfortable turning to Miles.
2. Did Miles help take some of the heat off of Sarkisian?
Sarkisian has been feeling pressure ever since Washington cooled off after a 4-0 start this season, and some of have even called for his five-year tenure to end after this season. One would have to believe a solid start from a freshman quarterback (and the obvious signal-caller of the future for the Huskies) would help his standing immensely in Seattle, however. Of course, Washington needs to take care of one more piece of business to really ensure job security for Sarkisian, and that's defeating the Cougars in the Apple Cup next week.
3. Will Bishop Sankey break Corey Dillon's school rushing record against WSU?
The junior running back had a lot of people uttering his name in the same breath as the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, because he ran all over the Beavers for 179 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. He tied Napoleon Kaufman's school record for career rushing touchdowns in the win, but he has one more Huskies record in his sights – Corey Dillon's season rushing record of 1,695 yards. Sankey's sitting at 1,575 yards, the third most in the nation, and a 120-yard rushing performance isn't out of the question against the rival Cougars. But if there's one thing you can count on Friday, it will be the Cougars' defense keying in on the former Spokane prep standout who spurned Washington State to play for the Huskies.
Three things we learned:
1. The Huskies have Sean Mannion figured out.
Oregon State's quarterback can be an all-or-nothing passer, and in his last two meetings against the Huskies, it's been a whole lot of nothing. Washington picked off Mannion three times (twice by cornerback Marcus Peters), and though he had 229 yards and a touchdown, he completed fewer than half of his passes and ended the game with a dismal 89.1 rating. It was at least slightly better than his performance last year against Washington, when he threw four interceptions.
2. Washington's offensive line is in good shape heading into the Apple Cup.
Sankey wasn't the only Huskies rusher to have a big game. Deontae Cooper and Dwayne Washington both had two touchdowns, a gain of over 70 yards, and a final tally of over 100 yards rushing. That kind of dominance points squarely to a tremendous effort from the Huskies' offensive line, which is finally healthy and had no trouble pushing the Beavers around all night.
3. John Ross is something special.
It took all of one play for the Huskies to take the momentum, and that was simply because of the electricity that the freshman provided on the opening kickoff. Ross was off to the races immediately, returning the ball 62 yards to Oregon State's 38 and setting the tone for a first quarter in which Washington took a commanding 17-0 lead. The fastest Husky didn't have much impact on offense, making one catch for 7 yards as a wide receiver, but he found another way to make waves by making some appearances in the secondary on defense.
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