Huskies Don't Answer Qb Query In Scrimmage
So who's the quarterback?
University of Washington football fans who watched yesterday's spring intrasquad game were provided answers to just about any question they might have had about what will be Coach Don James' 19th Husky team.
In rushing for 71 yards on 16 carries Beno Bryant gave notice that Napoleon Kaufman isn't going to have the tailback position to himself.
Jason Shelley, Theron Hill and Joe Kralik combined for 10 catches to highlight a solid performance by the wide-receiver corps.
From weakside tackle to tight end, experience, depth and unity were evident on the offensive line.
Defensively, it appeared adequate replacements have been found for the six departed starters off last year's team.
But at quarterback, the inexperience of Damon Huard and Eric Bjornson was evident. Neither has taken a firm grip on the job vacated by Mark Brunell and Billy Joe Hobert.
"I think the area that needs the most attention and the most improvement is the quarterback position," James said after the Purple team (first and fourth unit players) beat the White squad (second and third units), 34-6 in windy, wet Husky Stadium.
James said his biggest concern about the quarterbacks was the five interceptions (three by Bjornson for the White team and two by Huard at the White squad helm).
Both were better when they were quarterbacking the Purples.
Huard, a 6-foot-4 sophomore-to-be who played behind Brunell and
Hobert last season, completed 12 of 20 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown for the Purples and was three for seven for 24 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions for the Whites.
Bjornson, a junior who returned to quarterback this spring after playing wide receiver last season, was five for 11 for 88 yards and a touchdown with the Purples; seven for 12 for 73 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions for the Whites.
Their battle for the opportunity to start the season opener at Stanford Sept. 4 will resume in August, James said.
"I'm not sure that one is so far ahead of the other that we can say he's the guy," James said. "I think it will be good for them to let them realize they're both in it, which they are."
James said he has mixed emotions about wanting one to become a clear choice over the other.
"If one is playing real good and the other is playing real bad you don't have any depth," James said. "I'd like them both to be making progress and looking fairly good. And they did that. But they also made about the same number of mistakes.
"It probably will be the guy who can eliminate the big mistakes who will have the best chance of winning the battle."
Bjornson and Huard both spoke philosophically about the situation.
"I think both of us made good plays today and I think both of us made big mistakes," Bjornson said. "Whoever works harder this summer is going to benefit the most and probably get the nod in the fall."
Huard said he doesn't intend to worry about the situation and, instead, concentrate on improving.
"All I can worry about is myself and going out there and getting better," Huard said.
Hill, who caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Huard in the second quarter and a 26-yard TD pass from Bjornson in the third period, declined to pick one quarterback over the other.
"To me they're both outstanding quarterbacks," Hill said. "I think they just need to mature."
In the second quarter, Andy Mason gave notice that switching positions from defensive end to outside linebacker was a good idea when he intercepted a Bjornson pass and returned it 63 yards for a touchdown and a 10-0 Purple lead.
In the third quarter, an interception of a Huard pass by inside linebacker Ink Aleaga led to Bjornson's 26-yard touchdown pass to Hill in the end zone.
Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.