After watching Jake Locker play quarterback the past few seasons, mental gaffes and overthrown receivers became regular occurrences, intermixed with Locker’s sensational athletic ability.
The belief was that sooner or later everything would click, and then Locker would set the world on fire. It never happened. After being drafted by the Tennessee Titans, Locker moved on and the baton was passed on to sophomore Keith Price.
Four games in, Price is playing at a higher level than Locker ever was. His throws were precise, his command of the offense was complete. His increasing comfort in the pocket is obvious, as he moves efficiently in reaction to pressure.
He also seems to be relatively relaxed and having fun. Through four games he has tossed 14 touchdown passes compared to just three interceptions, while completing 67 percent of his passes.
In Washington’s first three games, the key to the offense was running back Chris Polk. Without Polk, the Huskies wouldn’t have beaten Eastern Washington and Hawaii.
But the key to the offense against Cal was Keith Price, along with creative play calling from UW coach Steve Sarkisian. The praise that Sarkisian offers Price right now is effusive.
“He is playing at about as high a level as you can play right now,” Sarkisian said. “I tip my hat to (Stanford’s) Andrew Luck and (USC’s Matt) Barkley and these other guys in our conference. But the level of play that Keith Price is playing at is as high as anybody in our conference.”
The win over Cal left Washington with a 1-0 record in Pac-12 play and 3-1 overall. The Huskies travel to Salt Lake City next Saturday for a game against the Utah Utes, before having a bye on October 8th.