Anticipation continues to build as Washington Huskies coach Chris Petersen and staff try to decide which player to start at quarterback in their Sept. 4 opener at Boise State.
But that decision won’t necessarily end the competition.
Fourth-year junior Jeff Lindquist, redshirt freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels and true freshman Jake Browning have shared repetitions throughout spring and preseason practices, and they’ve apparently competed evenly enough that a resolution has not yet been reached.
And Petersen warns that even naming a starter might not settle things at that position.
“I would love to have that question not asked, but we’re not there yet. We’re getting closer,” Petersen said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be one of those things – ‘Hey, this is the guy, away we go, it’s all settled forever.’ We obviously are going to have a starting quarterback Game 1, but we’re not there. We’re getting closer. These kids have all gotten a lot of reps, and I think we’re kind of still formulating our plan, and we’ve got a few more days to figure that out.”
That seems to suggest, then, that Petersen is open to the idea of making a change either during or after the game in Boise. Or perhaps the season’s first two or three games might serve as a live audition in which two or three quarterbacks see some playing time. Petersen said that “two or three guys could play,” while also acknowledging that the starter needs to know that he can make a mistake or two without looking over his shoulder.
He did make it clear that nobody prefers a multiple-quarterback system. But it sounds as if that’s still an option.
“I think everybody wants to have one guy that’s the guy,” Petersen said. “Are we there? We’re not there. We might be in a few days, and we might be in a couple of months. And again, it’s not something I want because I know it’s going to be such a hot topic with you guys, like, ‘What about the quarterback? What about the quarterback?’ But it is what it is. We’ve got to take it day-by-day and week-by-week.”
Another important consideration is that Browning is a true freshman, meaning that if he doesn’t win the starting job, it might be best to not play him this season and preserve his redshirt. In that scenario, it seems more likely than not that Lindquist and Carta-Samuels would each see the field early in the season.
There’s some thought, too, that Petersen might not want to play Browning behind such an inexperienced offensive line.
“All of that is factored in,” Petersen said. “All of it is. But we’re just trying to say, at that position, what gives the best chance at this time?”
At this time, nobody seems to know.
SEPT. 4: UW at Boise State,
7:15 p.m., ESPN, 97.7-FM,