Huskies’ QB Troy Williams flat-footed in first college football start
He threw for 139 yards and had two interceptions in a 24-10 loss to No. 14 Arizona State. He was also sacked five times and fumbled the ball once.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Troy Williams gave an honest assessment of his first college football game as a starting quarterback.
“I don’t think I did too good,” Washington’s redshirt freshman quarterback said after the Huskies’ 24-10 loss to No. 14 Arizona State Saturday night. “I have to come out and have a better performance.”
Williams started in place of sophomore Cyler Miles, who suffered a concussion last Saturday at Oregon and was unable to practice the past week. Williams started the year third on the depth chart, but moved ahead of sophomore Jeff Lindquist into the backup role.
When Miles struggled in recent weeks, a few Husky fans were eager to see Williams get his chance.
He took all the snaps with the first-string offense this week and the 6-foot-2, 194-pounder from Carson, Calif., believed he was ready for his debut.
“I’m always nervous before a game,” he said.
“I get butterflies. That’s just natural for me. After I get that first play in I was good. I tried to make plays out there tonight, but it just didn’t work in my favor.”
However, nothing could prepare Williams for Saturday night’s strong winds and driving rain at Husky Stadium that made throwing the football nearly impossible.
“It kind of hurt when we wanted to throw down the field,” Williams said. “The ball got caught in the wind. But that wasn’t the only problem. We just couldn’t get clicking on offense tonight.”
Williams completed 18 of 26 passes for 139 yards and two interceptions. He had 53 yards passing on the final drive, but that was after the outcome had been decided.
Williams, who was sacked five times, also lost a fumble. Three turnovers from the quarterback were too many for the Huskies to overcome.
“I feel bad for Troy being thrown into his first start and having to deal with wind was tough,” Washington coach Chris Petersen said. “It’s hard enough being a quarterback (dealing with) a really good defense, but then those conditions.”
The high winds negated much of Washington’s attempts on offense and forced the Huskies to lean heavily on Shaq Thompson, their standout two-way performer. He finished with 98 yards on 21 carries.
“We just did not try to throw much down the field,” Petersen said. “We kept wanting to take shots down field, but we just didn’t feel like the ball would stay on course at all. We kind of threw some shorter passes and had some minimal success there.”
Williams never looked comfortable in the pocket until the final drive. Trailing 17-10 with three minutes, he attempted to engineer a game-tying drive.
However, the series ended when he sailed a pass over Kasen Williams that was intercepted by cornerback Armand Perry and returned 63 yards for a touchdown.
“I wish we could have had that play back,” Williams said. “It just didn’t go my way tonight.”
The Huskies are expected to start Miles next week at Colorado, which pushes Williams back to the sideline.
“Whenever I get my chance again, I’ll go out there and play hard like I did tonight,” he said.
|Lacking offensive firepower|
|The Huskies struggled to do much on offense, scoring their only touchdown on defense. Here’s how they fared on their one scoring drive compared to the rest of the game:|
|Category||Scoring drive||Rest of game|
|Total net yards||80||210|
|Net rushing yards||71||80|
|Net passing yards||9||130|