Washington was steamrolled on the road once again Saturday night, this time losing 52-17 to an Arizona team that had lost three consecutive games.
Afterward, head coach Steve Sarkisian said there were trust issues between him and quarterback Keith Price. They had a long talk at the end of the third quarter when the game was out of hand.
“I just want him to believe me,” Sarkisian said. “I want him to take the information and the things I’m giving him and trust me that what I’m telling him is the truth and believe in what I am asking of him to do and go out and do his best to try to do that and, if it doesn’t work, and, like I told him, I’ll be the first one to say, ‘Keith, I was wrong.’ But we can’t get to that point if there’s some doubt there.”
Asked what was getting in the way of the trust, Sarkisian said he’s not sure.
“That’s what I’m going to be thinking about here for the next four hours (on the flight home),” Sarkisian said.
Price had a career-high in completions (29) and attempts (52), but turned the ball over three more times. He has 10 turnovers in the last three games after being intercepted twice and fumbling Saturday night.
“He told me, you can’t be playing against ghosts,” Price said. “He just told me to trust what I see. He had a double-move called for Kasen (Williams at the end of the third). Probably should have given him a chance, I didn’t. I should have trusted what I seen, (but) threw the ball away.”
Price says he needs to trust the system and that it’s going to work for him. “There were a couple times where I didn’t truly believe.”
Sarkisian said it wasn’t just Price, but a litany of doubt throughout the team.
“You have to have confidence in yourself that you can win one-on-one battles,” Sarkisian said. “Whether it’s tackling, blocking, covering, running routes … you have to believe that you’re going to win one-on-one. You have to believe that you’re going to beat the man across from. Right now, that appears to be in question, to me.”
The loss leaves Washington 3-4 overall and just 1-3 in Pac-12 play. It moves Sarkisian to 22-23 since he took over at Washington. The Huskies host eighth-ranked Oregon State next week, then play three of the final four on the road.
Right now, six wins and bowl eligibility is looking a long way away.