For the Washington Huskies, the plan is simple: Wait, rest and recuperate.
Although there is still football left to be played – the team’s second consecutive bowl game – the Huskies will take a minor break from football for the next five days.
“The kids will have a meeting (Sunday), and then we won’t practice all week,” UW coach Steve Sarkisian said.
It’s a respite the Huskies could use – particularly starting quarterback Keith Price, who has been battling myriad injuries all season.
“Oh man, I’m just going to rest; rest my legs, get treatment for my knees, and not do anything,” Price said.
Of course, Sarkisian won’t be getting days off, per se. He and his staff will hit the road recruiting all week in an effort to secure more commitments and make sure the previous commitments are still on track.
UW will get back on the practice field Saturday and Sunday. But they won’t be full-fledged practices.
“They will be primarily dedicated to our young guys again, like we did a year ago,” Sarkisian said.
That means Price won’t do much at all, and backup Nick Montana will get plenty of work.
Sarkisian plans to be careful with Price.
“We’ll have to meet with the doctors and the trainers and all that stuff as we get into next week,” he said. “He’s beat up; he’s not healthy. But I don’t think he’s as far away is it may seem, either. In some aspects he’s getting healthier, but he’s just got a nagging knee that won’t go away.”
The Huskies get 15 practices to prepare for a bowl now that the season is over.
The real practices and game preparation will begin after they find out which bowl they will be playing in.
With Stanford and Oregon both likely to earn BCS Bowl bids, that leaves Washington, Utah and California, all with 7-5 records, vying for three possibilities – the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on Dec. 29, the Sun Bowl in El Paso on Dec. 31 and the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 28.
Because the Huskies have beaten both Utah and Cal, and have a winning record in the Pacific-12 Conference, they are being projected to the Alamo Bowl – which is supposed to get the best Pac-12 team after the Rose Bowl and any other BCS bowl. The opponent would be the No. 3 team from the Big 12 – likely Oklahoma or Baylor.
Alamo Bowl officials were at the Apple Cup and met with Sarkisian after the game. The Holiday Bowl is probably the other option if the Alamo Bowl decides it would prefer one of the other schools.
Do the Huskies have a preference”?
“No,” said senior linebacker Cort Dennison. “A bowl is a bowl, and I’d rather be sitting in a hotel room for Christmas than be at home, as crazy as that sounds. It’s fun to go bowling; it’s an experience you’ll take with you for the rest of your life.”
Sarkisian wouldn’t lobby for a specific bowl, but for the program in general.
“It’s now out of our hands,” he said. “I do know how it works from a selection standpoint, but do the bowls that pick – are we what they are looking for? From a program standpoint and a university standpoint and everything we represent, I think this is obviously a very classy university and a very classy football program with a rich history and tradition and a tremendous fan base. We’ll see who wants that to be part of their bowl game.”
Ryan Divish: 253-597-8483 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports