Kasen Williams

Huskies have ‘a lot of confidence’ in QB Cyler Miles

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The Washington Huskies coaching staff saw enough of sophomore Jeff Lindquist after the team’s 17-16 victory against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. The program is ready to move on with Cyler Miles behind center.

Miles received first-team reps this week, according to The Seattle Times. And his teammates are excited to have him leading the offense.

“This team, it seems a little more confident — no, (we have) a lot of confidence,” Junior receiver Jaydon Mickens told The Seattle Times Adam Jude. “Because we know this guy. You’ve seen him at Oregon State; you’ve seen him come in at UCLA and almost win it for us. And it’s a different swagger when he’s out there. He’s another Keith Price. He’s changing plays, he’s reading coverages, he’s faking the defense out with this, that. It’s amazing to see him do. When he rolls out, he’s still looking down the field, keeping his arm square. If he has to run, you know he can run. He’s making everybody else play better.”

Miles saw significant playing time last season against UCLA and Oregon State. In those two games, Miles was 30-of-46 passing for 311 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Miles was expected to be Price’s heir apparent until he ran into trouble during the offseason. Miles was suspended during an investigation into an alleged on-campus assault. Miles wasn’t charged in the incident, and he was eventually reinstated to the team by new head coach Chris Petersen. Peterson admitted, though, Miles was “behind” the rest of Washington quarterbacks once he was able to return to the practice field during fall camp.

Even if Miles is still behind the rest of the Huskies’ quarterback, he shouldn’t have any trouble outperforming Lindquist’s 10-of-26 passing effort against the Rainbow Warriors.

It’s clear which quarterback the rest of the Huskies trust.

“[Miles] gives the receivers opportunities,” senior receiver Kasen Williams told Jude. “He gives the receivers chances. There’s some times where it may seem like we’re covered, but if you just throw a competitive ball, a 50-50 ball, who’s going to come down with it?

“Compared to Jeff, Jeff’s ball’s a lot harder and a lot tigher than Cyler’s is. But Cyler’s ball is in the air for a little bit longer, so he throws it with anticipation. And with that being said, it’s easier for us to see the ball all the way in and it comes in softer, so it’s easier to catch.”

Washington hosts the Eastern Washington Eagles at 3:05 p.m. EST Saturday.

WR Kasen Williams breaks foot in Washington’s win

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Washington may have won the game, but in the process it lost a significant piece of its passing attack.

In the second quarter of the Huskies’ matchup with Cal, Kasen Williams landed awkwardly as he attempted to catch a Keith Price pass.  The wide receiver left the game and did not return, an air cast on the left foot serving as an ominous sign that the injury was indeed as significant as the replay showed.

In his postgame press conference, head coach Steve Sarkisian confirmed the worst, acknowledging that Williams had suffered a broken foot that could cost the junior the remainder of the regular season.

“We know there’s a break and a dislocation in his foot, so he’s going to be out quite some time,” Sarkisian said. “Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with Kasen. He’s a great kid. He’s already home. I know the guys are all headed over there to see him.”

Williams is currently third on the team in receptions (29) and receiving yards (241).

Stanford hangs on against Washington, 31-28

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There’s only one conclusion you can take away from the Pac-12’s marquee matchup on Saturady: Washington is legit and Stanford is for real.

Oh, and this conference is really good.

The Huskies went toe-to-toe with the Cardinal for four quarters, but came up short in the end as No. 5 Stanford hung on for a thrilling 31-28 win over No. 15 Washington in Palo Alto. It was the Cardinal’s 13-consecutive victory.

The box score favored UW, at least when it comes to the offensive numbers. The Huskies outgained Stanford, 489 to 279, and out-first-downed them, 30 to 14, but the Cardinal got 290 all-purpose yards from receiver Ty Montgomery, including 204 yards on four kickoff returns — one of them a 99-yarder to open the game — and this was the difference in the game.

Stanford employed its usual strategy from the getgo: Pound its opponent into submission with unbalanced lines and power running. But the Huskies were ready for it — just like they were last season when they upset Stanford, 17-13. The Cardinal never really got untracked offensively but, as good teams do, they executed enough key plays at key moments to prevail.

Case in point was Stanford’s touchdown before the first half ended. The Cardinal had the ball on the UW 39-yard line with 17 seconds to play. The smart money woudl think Stanford would position itself for a field goal. But Kevin Hogan threw a perfect pass to a perfectly covered Montgomery for a touchdown and the Cardinal went into the locker room up 10.

Stanford kept the Huskies at arm’s length until the very end, but Washington chipped away, dug down deep and then nearly pulled off the upset. Hogan was stopped on a 3rd and 1 bootleg with the Cardinal up by three with just under two minutes to play and the Huskies got the ball back.

Washington quarterback Keith Price took over on his own 33 with a chance for glory. His first pass was a remarkable back-shoulder throw against the sideline caught by Kasen Williams at the Stanford 49 yard line. His third and 10 pass over the middle to Austin Seferian-Jenkins was dropped — it would’ve been a first down but the All-American tight end couldn’t find the handle. This set up the key play of the game — a 4th and 10 pass where Price scrambled away from a Ben Gardner rush and found Kevin Smith for a first down. But the referees over-ruled the original call and decided that Smith trapped the ball. Stanford was given the ball back, victory assured.

There are no moral victories, but Washington has to feel good that it took a top five team to the limit. This game could’ve easily belonged to the Huskies and they arguably outplayed Stanford but, in the end, the Cardinal found a way to win.

From a conference standpoint, this was an optimal outcome for the Pac-12. Stanford remained a national title contender while Washington showed it could play with anyone. It also keeps the year’s potential dream matchup alive: Undefeated and explosive Oregon at physical and methodical Stanford on Nov. 7.