BY Adam Lewis 06:45PM 10/27/2014

In need of offense, Huskies turn to Miles (again)

UW coach Chris Petersen is trying to settle on a quarterback and jumpstart UW’s lagging offense, which enters this week’s matchup with Colorado ranked last in the Pac-12.

After sustaining a concussion against Oregon, Cyler Miles didn’t play last week, though he was available. Miles will start this week against Colorado. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

The Washington quarterback carousel continued to churn Monday, with coach Chris Petersen confirming that redshirt sophomore Cyler Miles will start Saturday against Colorado (10 a.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks). Miles was healthy enough to play in the past weekend’s loss to Arizona State but didn’t get the start because a concussion in the Oct. 18 Oregon game sidelined him until the middle of last week.

“We had him available,” the coach said. “But just really didn’t have enough reps and wanted to be safe with him.”

So they went with redshirt freshman Troy Williams, and it didn’t go that well. Making his first career start, Williams went 18 of 26 for 139 yards with two interceptions and a fumble on a cold night when driving wind and rain disrupted both offenses.

Trailing 17-10 with about a minute left in the game, Williams threw a desperation pass intended for WR Kasen Williams. It sailed high and ASU’s Armand Perry intercepted and ran it back 61 yards for a touchdown.

Petersen said after the game he regretted having Williams’ first start come in tough conditions against a formidable ASU defense.

But he’ll turn the reigns back over to Miles.

“The guy’s not going to lose his job because of injury,” Petersen said.

Among Pac-12 schools, the Huskies rank 10th in points per game (29.1), last in passing yards (176.1) and in total yards (355). More troublesome: One could argue those numbers are inflated by a preseason schedule that included a trio of FBS patsies (Illinois, Hawaii and Georgia State) and an FCS powerhouse (Eastern Washington) that’s had problems stopping Big Sky teams.

So yes, having three starting quarterbacks — toss in Jeff Lindquist for the season opener against Hawaii — through the first eight games of the season has kept Washington’s passing offense from reaching its potential.

“It’s definitely been interesting as far as getting that wide receiver-quarterback connection for all the receivers,” said senior WR DiAndre Campbell. “It’s changed three times, so it’s been kind of frustrating.”

Petersen said he’s never been forced to start three different quarterbacks in one season.

“We just haven’t been as settled as we’d like to be. And I think that makes it hard on everybody,” he said. “But I think they’re analyzing everything they possibly can . . .  it’s going to take some time. There’s no question about it.”

“We’re not going to come out one week and all of a sudden, ‘Hey, how’d that happen?’ I think I said it a couple weeks ago – whether it’s player, coach, offense, defense — it’s kind of a couple steps forward, (a) step back.”

Shaq Thompson: Linebacker or running back? 

With running backs Lavon Coleman and Dwayne Washington injured, LB Shaq Thompson, arguably the Huskies’ best defensive player, played running back against ASU, finishing with 21 carries for 98 yards. Freshman Keishawn Bierria started at linebacker in his place.

When asked for an injury update on Washington and Coleman, Petersen said he “anticipates those guys being a little bit better” this week. He added that Coleman was available to play against ASU.

Could Thompson, named a midseason All-America linebacker by ESPN, NFL.com, CBS Sports and Phil Steele, permanently move to running back?

“We could. That’s the million-dollar question right there. You never feel like you have enough firepower anywhere,” Petersen said. “So we’re always trying to figure out, where does it give our team the best shot in the arm? I think if we thought that, we could possibly do it. It’s a week by week evaluation of where we are.”

Injury updates

OG Dexter Charles is “week-to-week” with a foot injury, according to Petersen. The junior left guard played in Washington’s first seven games before sitting out against ASU . . . S Trevor Walker was scheduled to meet with a doctor Monday afternoon, Petersen said, after the sophomore was forced to leave Saturday’s game with an apparent leg injury.


YourThoughts

  • 1coolguy

    I am really questioning the competence of the coaches at this point.
    The O-line is the same (except for one) as last year and the running game is non-existent. Last year the line was opening some great holes for Sankey and this year has been a tough go for the backs. The defense is in the backfield when the ball is handed off. The O-line coach needs to come up with a better scheme or simply give his notice.
    Also, who is the QB coach??? Pete was a college QB and had quite a successful run of them @ Boise, yet I truly have not seen worse performing QB’s at UW since the Owens days, when they were essentially asked to just hand off (Sixkiller was the lone exception).
    Miles, Lindquist and Williams simply cannot be this bad – I put it on the coaching.
    I literally have not seen any of these 3 check off to their 3rd option once all year and only a few times have I seen them go to their second option. They stare at the first option and then throw it to that receiver AFTER their break – it’s like watching an average high school QB. It’s just brutal.
    I cannot believe, as highly rated as all 3 of these QB’s were, that ALL of them are so inept.
    With this poor QB showing it makes the O-line job that much more difficult, as one look at a game film and the opposition knows all they have to do is play the run.

    • Edgar Martinez

      The way they were using Williams was just embarrassing. Using plays so safe, basic, and simplistic, they were making life way too easy on ASU. It’s no wonder he had such a poor night. A high school team could have defended against those plays.

    • Effzee

      This is a transition year. Losing Bishop Sankey and Keith Price at the same time is not exactly easy on the new coaches. I think the offense would be far closer to the defense if we either had an experienced, proven starter to teach their system to (like a Keith Price), or if the young guys we are trying to play were coming into to an offense that had not been changed on them in the offseason (like if Sark was still the coach). Instead we have inexperienced QBs who this staff did not recruit, trying to run an offense that *everyone* is learning for the first time. This is why I think it is huge that Shaq plays on offense right now. He *is* an experienced player who is probably going to the NFL after this season. Oh, and he’s also the best running back on the team. In order to win this season, we need to ride the defense and the running game. Mush, Huskies!

  • Talkjoc

    So, coach Pete admits that Williams didn’t get a fair shake because of the weather then goes back to Miles, who can’t hit the broadside of a barn. Using your top defensive playmaker on offense. Agreeing with 1coolguy.

  • jafabian

    It was the right thing to have Miles sit. Concussions can’t be taken lightly anymore. I did like that Lindquist got it to play even though Williams started. I get the impression that Coach Pete isn’t totally sold on Miles or Lindquist at QB. Too bad Nick Montana transferred, he’d be the unquestioned starter right now.

    Funny how the Dawgs are averaging 29.1 ppg and are 10th in the Pac-12 offensively. The Hawks are averaging 24.6. Just kinda funny to me.

  • Effzee

    This defense is solid, and has long periods of being very impressive. I think Shaq is best used on offense right now. He’s the best RB on the team and we need someone aside from Ross who can make plays with the ball in his hands. He’s a beast, and the defense played at a high level without him.

  • Tyee Club member

    We need a QB who can pick apart a defense with long passes.
    The lack of depth on this team shows how mediocre the recruiting classes were under Sark.