Keith Price expected to be available vs. Cal, but unclear if he’ll start

Senior quarterback Keith Price, nursing a thumb injury on his throwing hand, is expected to be available for the Washington Huskies on Saturday night, but coach Steve Sarkisian didn’t specify whether Price would start against California.

Redshirt freshman Cyler Miles had been taking the bulk of the snaps with the No. 1 offense at practices Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Thursday, Price resumed throwing during practice and “looked really good,” Sarkisian said after practice. “I’d be surprised if he didn’t play (Saturday). We had a plan for today of what we wanted to get done on the field and then looking at the film as a staff. So stick to the plan. But just off of first glimpse, real time, I thought he looked really good.”

Price, UW’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, aggravated his thumb injury in UW’s loss at Arizona State last Saturday, with Miles relieving him in the fourth quarter. The Huskies didn’t practice on Monday, and Price was “limited” on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sarkisian said.

That time off allowed Price “to clear his mind a little bit, watch Cyler play and watch Cyler do some good stuff,” Sarkisian said. “To come back today energized, I think there’s some merit to that, that that helped.”

Some have suggested that, with UW having a bye next week, Price could sit against Cal and let his thumb heal further. Sarkisian insisted that isn’t part of his thought process.

“The thought’s to win the game,” Sarkisian said. “The thought’s to go win the game Saturday.”

The Huskies (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) have lost three in a row entering the game against Cal (1-6, 0-4).

Sarkisian was as brief as he’s been all season in his post-practice media availability Thursday. Asked about Cal’s defense, he cut off the question: “It’s not about Cal. It’s not about Cal. This is all about us.”

Grad rates hold steady

Washington football held steady with a graduation rate of 74 percent, third-best in the Pac-12 Conference, according to the Graduate Success Rate scores released by the NCAA on Thursday.

The latest data counted athletes who entered school between 2003-04 and 2006-07 and earned their degrees in six years.

The NCAA average for FBS programs was 71 percent, the highest ever.

Stanford football led the Pac-12 with a 93 percent GSR, followed by UCLA (82), UW (74), Utah (73), Oregon (72), Colorado (70), Arizona State (67), Oregon State (66), Arizona (60), Washington State (57), USC (53) and California, which ranks last among all BCS-level automatic qualifying schools with a 44 percent GSR.