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Huskies Have Started 44 Players — and 45th Is Possible in Apple Cup

In its final outing, will the UW continue to change things up at quarterback?
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Without any fanfare at Colorado, outside linebacker Bralen Trice and tight end Mark Redman were sent onto the field for their first career starts for the Washington football team.

A 6-foot-4, 260-pound redshirt freshman, Trice stepped in for the injured Zion Tupuola-Fetui, who suffered a concussion or some sort of injury in the previous game against Arizona State unrelated to his prior Achilles tendon rupture.

Redman, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound freshman, was inserted as the second tight end along with Devin Culp, replacing Cade Otton, who was seen on crutches during the ASU game.

In a season of unrelenting change, these players became the 43rd and 44th different starters for the Huskies, or an average of two for each position.

With only the Apple Cup against Washington State remaining, the Huskies don't have too many other lineup swaps they could make, outside of one that would really get everyone talking — opening with true freshman Sam Huard at quarterback instead of redshirt freshman Dylan Morris.

Sam Huard has completed 5 of 11 passes for 51 yards this season.

Sam Huard has completed 5 of 11 passes for 51 yards this season.

UW interim coach Bob Gregory, however, wasn't sharing any intel on whether the Huskies would close this sorry football season by using the big-name, highly decorated recruit.

"I could but I'd have to kill you," Gregory said jokingly to a media member. "So, no, nothing to divulge. No injuries. No quarterback updates. You guys are probably done, right? We're good."

Pressed about Otton's status for the Apple Cup, which seems to be season-ending, Gregory declined 

"You know what, I changed my mind," he said. "So sorry. Not going to give the Cougs anything right now."

When things go bad, such as this 4-7 Husky season has, usually the quarterback is one of the first ones to sit down and be penalized for the team shortcomings. 

Morris, however, has started all 11 games, all 15 over two seasons. While he comes off a career-best 387-yard passing effort, the veteran has made crucial mistakes during the UW's three-game losing streak. 

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Dylan Morris throws one of his 52 passes against Colorado.

Dylan Morris completed 33 of 52 passes for 387 yards at Colorado, all career bests.

He threw a pick-six in the final minute that decided the Arizona State game and got mixed up in a pair of bad snaps against Colorado that led to scores. Gregory suggested that Morris was responsible for the first bobble in Boulder that turned into an 88-yard touchdown return. 

Huard, a 5-star recruit and the much-touted son and nephew of former Husky quarterbacks, has played in three games and has one remaining without losing a season of eligibility. He's appeared in five series and completed 5 of 11 passes for 51 yards.

At 6-foot-2, Huard is two inches taller than the compact Morris. While some have suggested the younger guy might not be ready physically or mentally, he's shown a big arm and a complete skill set in practice. 

He's been babied all season by the coaching staff, which seemed maddening because the offense wasn't productive for any significant amount of time and Morris wasn't sharp, and it all led to offensive coordinator John Donovan's firing.

So before a new coaching staff arrives, and puts Huard, Morris and maybe a transfer quarterback in spring practice competition, the Huskies will either start him in the Apple Cup or use him coming off the bench, maybe more than they have. This UW team still needs an offensive boost. 

Last week, the temporary head coach hinted that the Huskies might use No. 3 quarterback Patrick O'Brien against Colorado, and they did. 

When asked about Huard, Gregory, as a defensive coordinator only early on, couldn't explain why he hadn't been used more this season.

"I assume if we thought he was going to play earlier, we would have played him," he said. "But I wasn't involved with that stuff earlier."

Gregory is now.

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