Monday, November 14, 2011
QB Keith Price nursing knee injury
SEATTLE -- The hits are taking a toll on Washington starting quarterback Keith Price.
Coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday that Price would not practice and may not start Saturday when the Huskies play at Oregon State. If Price can't play, redshirt freshman Nick Montana would start against the Beavers.
"There is a potential of that," Sarkisian said.
Price was to undergo an MRI exam on Monday on his injured left knee after having to leave the Huskies' 40-17 loss to USC last Saturday. Sarkisian said he will have a more clear answer about the extent of the injury following those tests.
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"We don't think it is significant from a long-term standpoint, but we want to make sure of that," Sarkisian said. "We want to monitor the swelling of the knee. It's a lot more swollen than it has been, so we have to monitor it very closely."
Price has endured multiple injuries during the season. Both ankles and now both knees have been hurt. He's tried to smile and limp through it, but he finally may be forced to take a week off.
Price's latest injury came as he tried to track down an errant snap and was swarmed in the end zone by USC's defense. In the pileup he was twisted around, injuring his left knee.
Another sack early in the third quarter ended Price's day. He was visibly upset on the sideline when he was not allowed back into the game.
Price was torrid early in the season, at one point among the national leaders in pass efficiency and touchdowns. He went without a TD toss against USC, the first time this season he didn't have one.
Montana played the final 1½ quarters against USC after getting spot duty recently. He was 9 for 15 for 73 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Kasen Williams against the Trojans and is 13 for 20 for 147 yards this season, with a an interception.
"We'll prepare ourselves for Nick Montana to make his first start Saturday. If things change, then things change," Sarkisian said. "But I think you have to prepare for that so you don't get caught off guard late in the week."
The timing of a quarterback change is never good. This one comes with Washington already in a tailspin.
Washington has lost three of its last four games to fall to 6-4. After becoming bowl eligible with a win over Arizona, the Huskies have lost consecutive blowouts to fourth-ranked Oregon and USC (No. 18 AP).
The Huskies are falling behind early and struggling to rally. Washington was able to do that against Arizona after giving the Wildcats a 10-0 advantage, but getting down early against Oregon and USC failed.
"We can't continue to, when things don't go our way early in a ball game, accept it," Sarkisian said. "In my opinion, we accepted it this past weekend, and that's not OK."
Sarkisian called the six sacks allowed to Oregon "embarrassing." A week later, Washington allowed seven sacks to USC. The offensive line will be assessed during the week. Personnel and scheme changes may be forthcoming.
Washington has two regular-season games remaining to fix things, starting this weekend at Oregon State before closing out the regular season against rival Washington State.
"We talk a lot about being a resilient group. The reality of it is that talk has now got to become reality," Sarkisian said. "We talk like that's who we are, but now we have to respond and we haven't responded in recent weeks. This is gut-check time. We're going to find out if we're a resilient group or not. It's easy to say we are, but we have to go out and prove it."