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Husky Plan Was to Use Huard All Along, Though Not Quite So Early

The freshman quarterback drew seven plays against Arizona, but threw it just once.

After his mop-up appearance last month against Arkansas State, the plan going in was to give true freshman quarterback Sam Huard his first meaningful snaps of his University of Washington football career at Arizona.

On Friday night, the Huskies sent him in on the team's second possession when starter Dylan Morris got hit in the nose with an opposing blow and trainers initially couldn't stop the bleeding.

Huard took six snaps around a pair of penalties, with one infraction called on Arizona and the other on the Huskies. With his coaches keeping it ultra conservative for him, he handed the ball fives times to tailback Sean McGrew before he threw an incomplete pass on a third-and-6 play and was done. 

"Part of the game plan was to actually get Sam some reps today," UW coach Jimmy Lake said. "It's interesting how it all played out."

The original idea had Huard playing more than that, but the Huskies fell behind and couldn't get any offensive production for the longest time, and the coaching staff chose to keep Morris in there to work things out in the UW's 21-16 victory over Arizona.

Lake said the Huskies are trying to bring Huard along at a comfortable pace and get him more ready to play should they lose Morris for a more extended period of time. This is not meant to replace the starter.

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"It has nothing to do with Dylan; we just want to make sure we're ready because you could see at any time we could lose our starting quarterback, just like our opponent has lost two staring quarterbacks," the coach said, referring to the Wildcats. "We've got to make sure the next guy's ready to go."

Huard can appear in four games this season without giving up his redshirt status and has played in two. While the Huskies seem to be leaning in preserving the young quarterback's eligibility, Lake said everything is dependent on team need.

He expects to use Huard again, and can put him two more times without sacrificing his season needlessly. 

"Sam will get another opportunity down the road," Lake said. "We're not sure which game it will be."

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