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November 17, 2011

Sarkisian likes Montana's recent progress

All eyes were on Nick Montana at Wednesday's practice, begging the question: Where's Keith Price?

Montana took first unit snaps at the University of Washington while Price seemed to blend into the background. Coach Steve Sarkisian said that although Price was moving around better than he was the past two days, the issue is with mobility and the current inability to avoid inevitable game-day hits.

Sarkisian also has said that there is no structural damage to Price's knee, however, it is sprained and swollen.

Price was scheduled to get treatment Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Thursday, Sarkisian said he will probably make the call on who will be starting in Saturday's game at Oregon State - but he will only be telling the team.

Sarkisian doesn't seem worried about the possibility of Montana making his first career start for Washington (6-4).

"I think he's gotten better consistently the entire time he's been here," said Sarkisian, "especially the last month."

Now that Montana has had time experiencing how fast the game is, Sarkisian said there is a noticeable difference in his ability and accuracy.

Looking ahead to the game against Oregon State, Sarkisian noted two of the many variables the Huskies will face.

"The weather is one," he said. "Two, you're on the road in a hostile environment with a kid who is potentially making his first start."

Sarkisian described the Beavers (2-8) as a good team that is well coached, plays hard at home and has good fans to cheer them on.

Past history shows that when Washington plays Oregon State in Corvallis, "they (the Beavers) play really well. They don't make any mistakes."

In order for the Huskies to win on Saturday, Sarkisian said the team will have to go with the mindset of also playing well and executing their plays with amazing effort.

"Regardless of who the quarterback is, if we're going to be successful on Saturday, we got to run the ball and we got to do it well," Sarkisian said.

No doubt the team will be looking to tailback Chris Polk to run the ball, and the score, up. Sarkisian said he wants this to happen earlier in the game in hopes for the Huskies to get in front. That lead will create less-pressured throws later, and potentially less mistakes.

Price is frustrated, naturally, since he is such a competitor, said Sarkisian.

"He wants to be out there in the worst way," Sarkisian said.

Injury update:

Wide receiver James Johnson is not yet "fully healthy, but he has gotten better," said Sarkisian, and he should be able to contribute on Saturday.


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