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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 10, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Quarterback Cyler Miles’ running ability adds new dimension to UW offense

Washington quarterback Cyler Miles rushed for 58 yards and three touchdowns Saturday in a 59-52 win over Eastern Washington. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)

Washington quarterback Cyler Miles rushed for 58 yards and three touchdowns Saturday in a 59-52 win over Eastern Washington. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)

In Cyler Miles‘ two career starts at quarterback, the Huskies have scored a combined 128 points and totaled 1,228 yards of offense.

Not bad, eh?

Miles, in his first start at Husky Stadium, completed 14 of 24 passes for 180 yards with one touchdown in Saturday’s 59-52 victory over Eastern Washington. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound sophomore also rushed for 59 yards and had three of the Huskies’ seven rushing touchdowns.

The Huskies will continue to utilize Miles’ threat as a runner — perhaps his best asset — to boost the ground game overall. Defenses have to respect his ability there, which should continue to open things up for UW’s other runners.

“He’s got a good feel for that when we’re doing zone-read, and we’re going to keep asking him to do that,” UW offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith after Wednesday’s practice. “And we’ve got to keep protecting him at the same time; he was pretty sore after the game, so he’s got to be smart with that.”

Of their 536 yards against EWU, the Huskies (2-0) had 356  yards on the ground on 57 carries, an average of 6.2 yards carry. There’s not much to complain about there. Miles’ timing with receivers in the passing game is still a work in progress, though.

“We still want to run the ball first,” Smith said, “but we still want to be more balanced in the passing game. …

“There’s room for improvement. He did some good things, no doubt. But he’d telling you the same, that there’s some things he can improve on. We feel like the passing game’s not quite where we want it. We need to improve on — not totally decision, but maybe with timing and getting the receivers on the same page. I think our protection’s been pretty good, but in the passing game we can make some strides.”

In his first career start at Oregon State last November, Miles helped the Huskies to a 69-27 road victory during which UW racked up 530 yards on the ground — and 692 yards total.

“Cyler just brings a whole different swagger to the game. … He’s always smiling and stuff like that,” senior running back Jesse Callier said. “It’s kind of cool to see him go out there and get started again.”

Miles was not made available for media interviews after Wednesday’s practice.

Video of Smith after Wednesday’s practice:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”3778200744001″/]

 

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