SEATTLE - Washington coach Keith Gilbertson said Monday redshirt freshman Carl Bonnell will be the starting quarterback when the Huskies visit Stanford next weekend.
Casey Paus, a junior who started the first three games, is still expected to play but now is considered the backup.
"We labored on these thoughts," Gilbertson said. "I'd like to see a guy go in as the starter and stay there. Obviously, we're struggling offensively."
Some other changes were forced by injuries. Receiver Corey Williams is out for the season after surgery Sunday for a separated wrist. Williams ran into a brick wall after running through the end zone during a 38-3 loss at Notre Dame on Saturday.
He was examined after the Huskies (0-3) returned from South Bend, Ind., and doctors recommended immediate surgery.
Receiver Charles Frederick, who also returns kicks and punts, is "very, very doubtful" for the Stanford game because of a strained hamstring, Gilbertson said. And fullback Zach Tuiasosopo probably is finished for the season after breaking a bone in his right leg at Notre Dame.
"This happens to just about everybody at some point," Gilbertson said. "You're not always going to have smooth sailing."
The Huskies, winless after three games for the first time since 1969, are becoming much younger. Sophomore Quintin Daniels and redshirt freshman Bobby Whithorne are the starting receivers.
Several other youngsters have been getting more playing time, including freshman starting defensive tackle Jordan White-Frisbee. Erick Lobos and Greyson Gunheim also have been playing significant minutes on the defensive line.
The young Huskies might be struggling, but Gilbertson said they'll improve.
"We're not going to make seniors out of freshmen in just a few weeks," he said. "A month from now, they'll have a month more experience. A month from now, they'll be a much better football team. They've got to know it."
The demotion came as a surprise to Paus, who was informed by a school publicist when he arrived for Washington's weekly round of interviews with reporters. He was 10-of-26 for 130 yards with no interceptions in the first half at Notre Dame.
"It's not really up to me," Paus said. "I thought I played pretty well. Unfortunately, wins are what matter."
Gilbertson said he made the decision earlier Monday after meeting with his offensive coaches.
"I don't want anyone to feel I don't think Casey Paus isn't a great player or that I don't have confidence in him. I do," Gilbertson said. "I just think this is the best thing for our offense right now."
Bonnell, who played mopup duty in the opener against Fresno State, was 7-of-18 for 93 yards with one interception against the Irish. Except for an interception where he lofted the ball like a punt, the coaches liked Bonnell's effort.
"He did everything else very well," Gilbertson said. "I think he threw the ball on time. He did a good job scrambling to get out of trouble. He did a good job of running the option."