Over the entire span of this season, I have written articles, I have tweeted, I have muttered to myself about Keith Price, his struggles, and what it should mean for the quarterback position of this husky football team. I have gone back and forth with fans and other writers, mostly defending Price. However, my opinions change as we see the team play more and more, so I’d just like to take a moment to lay out my opinion on the subject after a full twelve game regular season. If they seem remarkably and mysteriously dissimilar to the opinions I was trumpeting a few weeks or months ago, feel free to call me out and say I told you so. If I stubbornly held on to an opinion that you opposed for quite some time only to come over to your side now, you have every right.
I do not think Keith Price is going to magically revert to his 2011 form. It’s certainly possible, but after a little bit of forward progress during the four game winning streak, that one attempt, the panic-pick on the first play of overtime that led to a Husky defeat, seems to say so much about where Price stands. I just can’t imagine him making such a horrible play last year, but he has been full of them this season, and I am finally starting to realize that hoping for a sudden change is foolish.
That does not mean that I want Price benched for the bowl game. No matter how much potential Cyler Miles has, or how fed up with Price you are, benching your only experienced quarterback in favor of a true freshman that has taken zero snaps, burning his redshirt year in the process, just isn’t smart. Price has been mediocre at best, bad at worst, but he is functional. He isn’t running around throwing three or four picks a game, and because of that, he is our best option for this one final game. It isn’t worth wasting Miles’ year of eligibility just to roll the dice and hope he somehow skips any of the trials and tribulations of being a first time, freshman starter in the final game of the year. I think the best option is to hope Price plays okay while leaning on the run game and the defense to win, just like the team has done all year long.
That picture changes next year. I want an open competition for the starting quarterback position. That does not mean I want Price immediately ousted, or Miles, Lindquist, or Brown named the starter early on. It would be pointless to simply crown Cyler Miles the starter because he was highly rated coming out of high school and Price has fallen out of favor. Lots of athletic, four-star quarterbacks have gone on to be absolutely nothing in college. That isn’t to say Miles isn’t a potential star. It just means that he is unproven, and no matter what, playing him is a roll of the dice. He may not even be better than Price.
So you let them fight it out, fairly. If Price comes out, in the eyes of the coaches, the better option, he starts. That is only fair. But, if Miles really is the player everyone hopes he is, and he lights things up in the spring, then he should lead this team forward. The 2013 roster will be absolutely loaded with talent, and with a quality quarterback, there is no telling how far they will be capable of going. So I truly hope Sark makes the right choice. If he throws out Price in favor of a disastrously green Miles, the year could be lost. If he continues to stick with a 2012-esque Price over a high-performing Miles out of blind loyalty to his two-year starter, it could be just as bad.
I haven’t seen Miles play in practice, and no one has seen him play in a college game, so I am not ready to pick a player. But I am ready for a competition, because the status quo led to an Apple Cup loss, and that is simply unacceptable in the worst way. Comment below with your opinion, but please be respectful.