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Huard to Share Job at Washington

October 20, 1998

Brock Huard will be back as Washington's No. 1 quarterback against Oregon State after being sidelined for two games because of a separated left shoulder.

But Marques Tuiasosopo, Huard's backup, will get some playing time on Saturday too.

"Brock is close to 100% so we're going with him," Coach Jim Lambright said Monday in Seattle. "He'll definitely start."

Huard was injured against Arizona when he was driven hard into the AstroTurf at Husky Stadium. In Huard's absence, Tuiasosopo led the Huskies to victories over Utah State and California.

"Marques deserves a percentage of playing time," Lambright said at his weekly news conference. "He definitely will play."

Lambright wouldn't say how much playing time Tuiasosopo would get, though, saying he doesn't have his game plan in for Oregon State.

Huard watched Tuiasosopo run for two touchdowns in the opening quarter against Cal last Saturday, a 21-13 victory for the Huskies. He was rooting for his teammate, but it wasn't easy.

"We only have five weeks left and every week flies by," he said. "I didn't want to miss the Utah State game or the game last week."

Huard, a three-year starter, considered entering the NFL draft after last season, but returned for his junior year.

The 6-foot-5 Huard is considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation, but has said he won't make a decision about his future until after this season.

So Washington's final five games--all against Pacific 10 Conference teams--will be as important to Huard's NFL future as they are for the Huskies' bowl aspirations this season.

While Huard was out, he made sure he paid attention to details in coaches' meetings and during practices.

"Our season isn't that long," Huard said. "If you take a week or two off mentally, it puts you a step back."

Huard, 22, has passed for 787 yards in four games this season to raise his career total to 4,605 yards passing. He needs to pass for 1,088 more yards to become Washington's career passing leader.

Also for Oregon State, Washington's passing game will get back wide receiver Ja'Warren Hooker and Gerald Harris, who missed the Cal game with injuries, Lambright said. That will allow the Huskies to move Dane Looker back to an inside receiver.

Lambright thinks an improved passing offense will help Washington's running attack. Tuiasosopo has been the Huskies' top rusher with 216 yards. Tailbacks Willie Hurst and Jason Harris have a combined total of 340 yards rushing this season.

"We have to have enough passing ability to hurt people underneath," Lambright said.

The Huskies have had 13 sacks in each of their last two games. Nose tackle Jabari Issa led Washington with three sacks in the Cal game.

"They've been going crazy with sacks," Oregon State Coach Mike Riley said. "It's an active, tough defense."

*

For the first time in 18 games, Arizona State will have a new quarterback when the Sun Devils take on Stanford on Thursday.

Coach Bruce Snyder confirmed that freshman Chad Elliott will start ahead of Ryan Kealy.

It's the first time since Jake Plummer left for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals after the 1996 season that someone other than Kealy will be in control of the Sun Devils offense.

"It would really be better if this were in the spring, or training camp, but we find ourselves where we are," Snyder said about the team's 2-4 record and two-game losing streak.

Snyder, the head coach at Utah State and California before arriving in Tempe in 1992, couldn't recall having to change quarterbacks in midseason before. He cited the quarterback tinkering at Washington State, USC, Washington and Arizona this season as reason not to feel alone.

The position is still under review, meaning Elliott will be evaluated again between the Stanford game and a trip to Eugene, Ore., to play Oregon on Oct. 31. But Snyder was enthusiastic about Elliott's arm strength and self-confidence.

"He loves throwing the deep ball," the coach said. "He likes it, and I think it's because he really trusts his arm strength. I would say that Ryan is probably more of an intermediate thrower because of accuracy--he's a very accurate passer, particularly when he was on top of his game--whereas Chad probably is a little more comfortable throwing the deep ball."

Kealy has completed 78 of 143 attempts for 1,061 yards and eight touchdowns. But he has only 759 yards in five games since throwing for a career-high 302 in the opener against Washington, and all seven of his interceptions have come in the last five games.

Elliott played in relief of Kealy four times, seeing the most action in the last two against USC and Notre Dame.

For the season, he has completed 26 of 48 passes for 249 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

The change, sure to spark the school's first quarterback controversy since Plummer, a freshman, beat out upperclassman Grady Benton in 1993, was only one of several changes Snyder implemented in the weekend the Sun Devils had off after playing Notre Dame on Oct. 10.

Against Stanford (1-5), defensive tackle Albrey Battle will move outside to defensive end to replace Quincy Yancy. His replacement will probably be backup Ryan Reilly. Thomas Schmidt will start at offensive right tackle, replacing Troy Davis.

Linebacker Stephen Trejo, who has been injured, has healed and should see considerable action.

The coaching staff also agreed that Jeff Paulk, a 247-pound fullback, needs to be used more to divert attention from J.R. Redmond. Paulk is averaging 3.3 yards per carry but has only touched the ball 24 times.

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