Monday, April 22, 2013
Washington keeps spring game vanilla
By Kevin Gemmell
Waiting to see Washington's new-look, no-huddle offense? Keep waiting. Head coach Steve Sarkisian poured on the vanilla during Washington's spring game in Seattle, keeping the offensive play-calling low key.
"We've been faster than this," Sarkisian told GoHuskies.com. "You are in a spring game and I want to give the fans something to see and a chance to see what fall camp will be about and the season will be about. But I am also aware of the fact we were on national television.
"We're doing something a little bit new. You don't want to give up all of your goodies. We want to save a few things for August 31st. That was a little bit of the challenge. And I think some of the (guys), especially the quarterbacks, got a little bit frustrated with the simplicity of the stuff we were running -- and not all the stuff that we had been running for the last few weeks."
And the numbers were a reflection of that, at least for the presumptive starter. Keith Price was 5 of 14 for 56 yards with one touchdown. Cyler Miles was more efficient, converting 8 of 11 tosses for 74 yards and three touchdowns.
Despite playing hamstringed, Price said it shouldn't be an excuse.
"The QBs, starting with myself, could have pushed the tempo a little bit more," Price said. "But spring games are a little vanilla. We didn't have a lot of our best calls dialed up. But that's no excuse. I think the quarterbacks should lead the tempo and I don't think we did a good job of that."
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes Miles might have locked up the backup spot -- after Jeff Lindquist went 0-for-5 and Troy Williams was 2 of 5. Though Williams did toss a touchdown while scrambling toward the end of the game.
Still, Miles may have won the backup quarterback job today because he looked more comfortable in front of 7,000 fans than Jeff Lindquist or Troy Williams.
It was just a miserable day for Lindquist who was 0-for-5 passing during five possessions. He fumbled a snap, but recovered the loose ball.
Williams was a little better connecting on 2-of-5 passes. His best play finished the game. Williams eluded a heavy rush, scrambled to his left and drilled a 23-yard pass in traffic to [Antavius] Sims in the endzone.
As a result of the scaled-back offense playing under very controlled scrimmage settings, the defense thrived.
Writes Gregg Bell of Gohuskies.com:
Second-year coordinator Justin Wilcox's attacking unit controlled most of the scrimmaging - red-zone situations, drive starts from the offense's own 25-yard-line and an overtime simulation.
Said cornerback Marcus Peters: "I think we kind of got the edge over [the offense]. We had a lot of three-and-outs. But the offense made their plays. But it was very competitive. It was a productive day for the whole team."
But this wasn't the offense Washington will feature Aug. 31 against Boise State in the unveiling of new Husky Stadium.
Notable offensively was the play of Sims, who caught five balls for 53 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The low-key approach also underscored the light-hearted nature of the event -- which included wiener dog races, a seven-year-old fan getting to call a play and a quarterback competition between the current players and several notable alums trying to hit the goalpost from 40 yards out.
You can see some highlights from the Pac-12 Network here.