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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Washington Huskies head coach Chris Petersen watches his team Saturday, April 19, 2014, during Washington's spring NCAA college football preview in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
New Washington coach Chris Petersen up for Pac-12 challenge

It's been bugging Chris Petersen more and more since he arrived in Seattle.

He looks out on Lake Washington and wonders, "How can I get my guys out there?"

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Before long, the Washington Huskies football team is likely to be rowing boats on the water when they aren't pushing iron in the gym or hitting each other on the field.

"We do a whole thing during fall camp that's competitive, fun thing with different events," Petersen said in a Pac-12 conference call. "Certainly with me staring at this beautiful venue of Lake Washington every day, something needs to happen out there with our team."

Yep, Coach Pete does things a little differently.

The Huskies are hoping their new head coaching arrangement pays off this fall, when one of the most successful mid-major field generals tries his hand at leading a Pac-12 program. With a 92-12 record at Boise State, Petersen is commonly seen as one of the best coaches in the game.

But there's a lot to do at Washington. And it starts with the quarterback situation.

The logical successor to Keith Price would've been Cyler Miles, but the talented quarterback has been suspended since he was linked to an assault - but not charged - in February. For now, Petersen is moving forward with sophomore Jeff Lindquist and Troy Williams as the two competitors for the job.

If one of them has the edge, he's not saying.

"It's easier when you have a clear cut guy," he said. "We're still kind of wide open on this deal."

Price isn't the only star on offense that Washington has to replace: Bishop Sankey and Austin Seferian-Jenkins both were selected in the NFL Draft, a reminder that the Huskies are looking for playmakers to step up. Among redshirt freshmen, Petersen mentioned running back Lavon Coleman as a guy he was impressed with.

Ultimately, Washington's goal is to build the program to the point where they can get into the national title conversation, a coversation Petersen was consistently in at Boise State but could never truly break through. Petersen acknowledged he'd love to get to the top of the Pac-12 and win a berth to the college football playoff.

But baby steps. Get the canoes out first.

Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon

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