Washington coach mum on starting QB vs. Cal; San Jose State QB honored

In Jimmy Lake’s debut as Washington head coach, he’s not going to share anything about who his starting quarterback will be before Saturday’s opener at Cal.

“Great question. I guess we will find out about 7:34 p.m. Pacific time, right around there on Saturday night,” Lake said Monday.

No bigger question surrounds Lake’s first game in charge of the Huskies than who will be under center against the Bears. After several weeks of practice and a few scrimmages, Lake is still keeping the decision under wraps as to which of his four options will take that first snap.

The favorite from the start has appeared to be graduate transfer Kevin Thomson because he has the most experience. Thomson was the Big Sky Conference offensive player of the year last year at Sacramento State before deciding to transfer back home to finish his college career at Washington.

Thomson threw 450 passes and 27 touchdowns in 2019. Washington’s other three QB options — Jacob Sirmon, Dylan Morris and Ethan Garbers — have combined to throw three passes in college, all of them by Sirmon last season.

Whoever the starter is, he will direct a new offense under first-year offensive coordinator John Donovan. Lake has also said the Huskies could use multiple QBs to start and all four were listed as potential starters on the depth chart.

“If there’s a guy that can just take over the reins and be the guy, then he’ll be the guy,” Lake said. “But from a defensive standpoint, if there’s a guy back there that can just take control, that’s difficult to defend. If there’s a two-headed monster back there, that’s difficult to defend. We’re going to do whatever is best for our team to make sure we get victories.”

Washington has been blessed with experience at the position for years. Jake Browning was a four-year starter at quarterback for the Huskies and Jacob Eason brought one year’s worth of experience starting in the SEC when he took over for Browning last season.

San Jose State quarterback Nick Starkel was named Mountain West bOffensive Player of the Week.

San Jose State quarterback Nick Starkel was named Mountain West bOffensive Player of the Week.

Tony Avelar / Associated Press

Lake said his decision to not announce the starter comes from a competitive standpoint. His predecessor, Chris Petersen, did the same ahead of Browning’s first game in 2015.

Honor for Spartan: San Jose State quarterback Nick Starkel was named the Mountain West Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week. The grad transfer from Arkansas completed 34 of 47 passes for 467 yards and five touchdowns in the Spartans’ 38-21 win over New Mexico on Saturday. The Spartans will try to go 3-0 for the first time since 1982 when they face San Diego State (2-0) in Carson (Los Angeles County) on Friday night.

— Steve Kroner

Briefly: Pittsburgh safety Paris Ford, a redshirt junior and an All-ACC selection last season, has opted out of the Panthers’ final four games. … The SEC docked Florida coach Dan Mullen $25,000 for his role in a benches-clearing brawl against Missouri on Saturday night.

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