Oct. 31, 2006
SEATTLE (AP) - The task of quarterbacking the Washington Huskies, who need two more victories to become bowl-eligible, will first be in the hands of banged-up junior Carl Bonnell.
If Bonnell falters, then Johnny Durocher would get the call.
Or, as coach Tyrone Willingham said Monday, maybe it could be freshman Jake Locker.
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It's a highly unlikely scenario, and not one Willingham prefers, but it remains a possibility.
"What I'm always saying is: I'll make the best decision for this football team," Willingham said. "If that means Jake should play at the end of the season, if that was the very best thing for Jake and this team, then I would make that decision. I would not hesitate to make that decision."
Washington is now 4-5 (2-4 Pac-10).
Bonnell was injured in the fourth quarter of Saturday's 26-23 overtime loss to Arizona State and Willingham turned to DuRocher. After the game, offensive coordinator Tim Lappano indicated that Locker would not be used this season.
In a perfect situation, Locker never steps foot on the field this year and Bonnell stays healthy enough for the Huskies' final three contests.
Bonnell suffered a mild concussion against the Sun Devils, but should be able to fully participate in practice this week and start on Saturday at No. 24 Oregon. It's the second significant injury in Bonnell's two starts since taking over for Isaiah Stanback, who's out for the year with a foot injury. Bonnell sprained his non-throwing shoulder against Cal, then hit his head on the Husky Stadium turf after he threw and was hit.
Bonnell said Monday it was his first concussion, but most of the symptoms were gone. He struggled before his injury, completing just 9 of 23 passes, and threw two interceptions.
"I don't think it was very good. I think the stats speak volumes," Bonnell said. "We have to move the ball."
DuRocher would get the call against the Ducks should Bonnell be unable to play. It would bring DuRocher full-circle, as the junior started his career at Oregon, before transferring to Washington.
Last week, DuRocher got virtually no snaps in practice, while Bonnell got the majority of the reps with Locker getting a few. Willingham said he made the decision to substitute DuRocher on Saturday based on brief information he received that led him to believe Bonnell would not miss any significant time.
Without any practice, DuRocher performed well in the fourth quarter, leading the Huskies to a tying touchdown. DuRocher was 4-of-8 passing for 40 yards.
"I just got to be ready to go, similar to last week, and if it happens, I'll be looking forward to it," DuRocher said.