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Neuheisel Waiting to Decide On Quarterback
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 10/19/2001
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Oct. 19, 2001

By GENE JOHNSON
Associated Press Writer

SEATTLE - Washington coach Rick Neuheisel said he will wait until later in the week to decide which of his battered quarterbacks, if either, will start Saturday against Arizona.

Cody Pickett, his preferred starter, separated his right shoulder against Southern Cal on Oct. 6. Taylor Barton, who performed admirably in Pickett's place, was banged up in the 15th-ranked Huskies' 35-13 loss to No. 4 UCLA on Saturday and spent the night in a hospital.

Both say they're eager to play.

"I feel good," Barton said Monday. "I'm going to be ready. I'm not going to be 100 percent, but I don't think a lot of guys on our team are going to be 100 percent."

Barton was woozy when he was taken off the team bus after the game and brought to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, Calif. A CT scan and other tests were normal, but he was undergoing further tests Monday in Seattle, Neuheisel said.

Barton said he also has a sore foot and ankle from being hit during the game.

For his part, Pickett said his shoulder is healing faster than expected. Doctors told him "my shoulder's totally separated. I can't make it worse than it is, so if I can just stand the pain I can play," he said.

Pickett has been undergoing therapy - workouts followed by ice treatments - three times a day. On game days, he can have a cortisone shot, he said.

Pickett dressed for Saturday's game and began throwing on the sideline when it appeared Barton might come out. His shoulder was sore and remains so, but he said he could put some zip on the ball.

Neuheisel said there's a chance that neither Barton nor Pickett will be able to play, in which case freshman Casey Paus would get the call. Paus would face the task of restoring confidence to a team that fell five places in the rankings with its first loss in more than a year. Washington had won 12 straight, dating to a loss to Oregon last September.

"We got whipped. We're going to learn from it. We're going to get better," Neuheisel said.

He gave credit to UCLA's defense, which kept Barton under pressure all game and sacked him four times. Barton was 22-of-44 for 316 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

UCLA jumped three spots in the poll with the victory.

Whoever starts, protecting him and establishing the running game are going to be crucial, Neuheisel said. Washington has a relatively young offensive line that has to mature immediately, he said.

"We've said all along there were going to be growing pains, and this was a major growing pain," Neuheisel said.

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