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September 23, 2011Washington Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian is highly confident in his team's ability to execute Saturday against the California Golden Bears.
After suffering injuries in both his left and right knees in recent weeks, UW quarterback Keith Price is speedily recovering and appears to be in good shape for the Cal game, Sarkisian said.
"It's been a really good week for him," Sarkisian said. "From where he was last week, and then injuring his other knee, then coming back this week, I actually think he looked better yesterday, on Wednesday, than he did a Wednesday ago, and then this Thursday, compared to last Thursday."
Sarkisian reasoned this with the fact that Price, physically and mentally, is adapting to being "banged up". Furthermore, switching leg braces strengthened his recovering right knee, on his plant foot, due to added stress. Price is able to execute all the plays in the playbook, the coach said.
Against Cal, Sarkisian is confident in his defense, recalling the defensive unit's effectiveness in the past.
"Historically, we have played well against this group," Sarkisian said. "We played pretty well last year down at their place. We played really well two years ago here at this place. I feel really good about our knowledge of what they like to do and how we can fit up against that."
Sarkisian will be deciding whether certain walk-ons will be given a scholarship next week. As of now, his roster, with red-shirted players, is set. He has been impressed with some of the newest recruits on campus, including safety Travis Feeney, receiver Jamaal Jones and tailback Bishop Sankey.
"You see some kids you were really planning on red-shirting and have really grown well and have done some nice things these past two weeks, now that they're accustomed to doing it," Sarkisian said, "and you just have to hold back the urge to want to play them because we can benefit down the road."
Price is joined by other Huskies who are battling through injuries but are expected to play. Safety Nate Fellner (hamstring) "made a lot of progress", according to Sarkisian. He will play Saturday in relief of starter Justin Glenn.
Also, running back Jesse Callier (hamstring) will play against Cal. Meanwhile, safety Taz Stevenson (knee) is still out.