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Huskies' QB Price 'not good enough'

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By Ryan Divish
The News Tribune
Published:
SEATTLE -- It didn't matter to Keith Price that his numbers were better than average. Most quarterbacks would gladly take a game where they completed 25-of-35 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown without a interception.
But for the highly self-critical Price, he described his performance in the Huskies 21-12 win over San Diego State on Saturday night at CenturyLink Field as simply, "not good enough."
To Price it was not good enough for him. Not good enough for teammates. Not good enough for UW fans. Not good enough to get a win next week at LSU.
"I haven't played that bad of a game in a long time," Price said. "I just felt that I played a terrible game."
Part of that was Price shouldering the blame for an offense that also didn't have consistent pass protection or a solid run game.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian wouldn't allow Price to take all of the blame. "I've called better games and I'll call better games than I did tonight," he said after the game. "I've seen Keith Price better than I have tonight. He just didn't feel quite right, comfortable all the way through it.
"We're probably not going to be great on offense if Keith and I just aren't in the rhythm of the game so we'll get better with that."
The Washington offense will likely have to get better without two starters. Right tackle Ben Riva, who sustained a fractured forearm, is out for at least a few weeks. Tailback Jesse Callier, who was supposed to share first-team carries with Bishop Sankey, strained a knee and likely will miss this week's game against LSU.
The loss of Callier means Sankey will have to take all of the first-team carries, while walk-on Willis Wilson will move up to the second team. True freshman Erich Wilson II had two carries for 22 yards against SDSU. The depth and production is certainly a concern for Sarkisian.
"We had a pretty decent plan for the two backs being in there together and it just wasn't at a comfort level of getting to that stuff," he said. "That's not an excuse. We should run the ball better than we did. We got to find our identity in the run game. Who are we? And how are we going to become that? I don't know if we're going to lead the country in rushing but it needs to be a good complement to our passing game. Tonight it wasn't where it needed to be."
Riva was injured just before halftime and never returned to the field. Sarkisian moved Mike Criste into Riva's spot. Criste, who had been working as a center this spring and only recently started working out at tackle, struggled in pass protection.
Sarkisian said they would grade Criste's performance, but also mentioned the possibility of moving starting right guard Erik Kohler to right tackle and inserting James Atoe at right guard. That seems far more likely. Kohler started every game last season at right tackle and would be comfortable playing that position.
"Again that's why we practice and move guys around and be prepared for stuff like this," Sarkisian said. "We got some options which is okay."
But options might not be good enough against an LSU defensive line that features two NFL-caliber defensive ends in Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery. Price admitted he was bothered by the pressure from SDSU's shifting 3-3-5 defense. He took plenty of hits -- far more than Sarkisian would like to see.
Price blamed himself for some of the hits, admitting he didn't get rid of the ball soon enough. But he was optimistic about his performance.
"I promise you I'll play better next week," he said. "I just gotta keep my cool. I think a couple times I made poor reads. There were two or three times when I escaped the pocket a little bit early."
Story tags » Huskies Football

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