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Originally published September 16, 2013 at 7:19 PM | Page modified September 17, 2013 at 11:08 PM

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Huskies’ Price not overlooking lower-division team

Washington quarterback remembers near upset at hands of Eastern Washington two years ago

Seattle Times staff reporter

Saturday

Idaho State @ UW, Noon, Pac-12 Networks

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Keith Price didn’t need the reminder.

Two years ago, in Price’s first appearance at Husky Stadium as Washington’s starting quarterback, the Huskies narrowly escaped an upset bid by lower-division foe Eastern Washington, with UW holding on for a 30-27 victory.

Price pointed to that game Monday when discussing the matchup Saturday against another FCS team, Idaho State, with a noon kickoff at Husky Stadium.

“I’ve had a scare already, and that’s all I needed,” Price said. “I’m not looking past (Idaho State) by any means.”

Others certainly like UW’s chances.

The 17th-ranked Huskies (2-0) opened as a 53-point favorite by at least one oddsmaker against a Big Sky Conference team that finished 1-10 last season. Idaho State has bounced back with blowout victories over Dixie State and Western State-Colorado to open this season, and the Bengals rank among the FCS national leaders in total offense and total defense.

Eastern Washington, of course, did pull off a major upset over a Pac-12 Conference team earlier this season, going to Corvallis and shocking Oregon State 49-46. In all, eight FCS teams went on the road to upset an FBS team in Week 1 this season.

“They’ve seen all those (other FCS) teams win,” UW coach Steve Sarkisian said of the Bengals, “and they’ll be fired up to come into the Husky Stadium and try to knock us off.”

Regardless of the opponent, Sarkisian reiterated there’s “plenty of stuff” for UW to work on after the 34-24 victory over Illinois last Saturday.

“The one thing about this game, as with every game … is it’s about the process and embracing the process,” he said.

Huskies see the light(pole) in Chicago

Washington ended up practicing Friday at a city park in downtown Chicago after Northwestern — at the request of the Big Ten — backed out of an agreement to let the Huskies use one of its practice fields a day before playing the Illini, fellow Big Ten members.

“I don’t think there’s a whole lot of love lost right now between the Big Ten and Pac-12 , quite honestly, especially after the Arizona State-Wisconsin game,” Sarkisian said. “So it is what it is. (Northwestern coach) Pat Fitzgerald and I exchanged some comments, and we’re fine. …

“In the end, for me, I think it was a positive,” he added. “It just kept lending to, there’s no distractions for us on this team. If we have to walk through the streets of Chicago to a park in downtown Chicago with a lightpole in the middle of the field to practice, we’ll do it. And our guys didn’t skip a beat.”

Timu update

Middle linebacker John Timu, Washington’s leading tackler in 2012, is day to day with a “deep” bruise in his rotator cuff, Sarkisian said.

“(He’s) getting better,” Sarkisian said. “His arm is improving. I would say he’s day to day, quite honestly, of how the inflammation in the shoulder goes, but there’s nothing structurally wrong in there, which is a great sign.”

Timu injured his shoulder sometime in the first half against Illinois. He did not play in the second half.

UW-UA on FOX

Washington’s Pac-12 opener against Arizona on Sept. 28 will kick off at 4 p.m. at Husky Stadium for a national broadcast on FOX (Channel 13), it was announced Monday.

The Wildcats (3-0) have a bye this week. Arizona defeated UW 52-17 last season in Tucson.

Adam Jude: 206-464-2364 or ajude@seattletimes.com.

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