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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 21, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Friday links — Off to Stanford

It’s off to the airport this morning and down to the Bay Area this afternoon for a game that will obviously tell us a lot about the Washington Huskies.

We already know some things, such as how much better Keith Price is than anyone anticipated, how big a difference Austin Seferian-Jenkins could make in the offense, and how solid the entire foundation of the program seems to be in the third year under Steve Sarkisian (a lot better than year four of UCLA under Rick Neuheisel, that’s for sure).

Historically, Stanford hasn’t often been in this position to be a team by which the Huskies would judge their progress. In fact, this will be the highest-rated Stanford team UW will have faced since 1970, when the Huskies faced a Cardinal team rated No. 6.

There are a few similarities between that game and this one.

Then, as now, Stanford is led by a quarterback who is a Heisman Trophy favorite and a likely No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. Then it was Jim Plunkett, who indeed accomplished both feats — and now it’s that Andrew Luck guy you may have heard of.

Then, as now, UW is led by a sophomore quarterback turning into one of the surprise stories of the college football season. Then it was Sonny Sixkiller, who was pretty obscure outside of Seattle before winning the job in the spring and suddenly turning into one of the best passing quarterbacks in the nation (he led the nation in passing that year with 2,303 yards — and in showing how times have changed, that’s now 12th on UW’s single-season list). Now it’s Keith Price, whose 21 touchdown passes are already two more than Warren Moon threw for in his entire Husky career.

What UW hopes might change is the result — Stanford won that game 29-22, which proved the difference in sending the Cardinal (then called the Indians) to the Rose Bowl instead of UW.

Since then, Stanford has been rated just 10 times when playing UW, the Huskies going 8-2 in those games, usually rated themselves. One exception? Last year’s 41-0 win by the Cardinal in Seattle when it was ranked 13th in the country.

Enough with the history lesson, on with the links. …

— For my story for the Friday paper I wrote about the line matchup of Alameda Ta’amu and David DeCastro, two area players who now each could be first-round picks next spring.

— Times columnist Steve Kelley says it’s time to appreciate how much Steve Sarkisian has changed UW football.

Bud Withers explains the hidden reason why Stanford is favored by so much.

Danny O’Neil writes about the newest Seahawk, who is Josh Shirley’s brother.

— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller and Kevin Gemmell debate the UW-Stanford game, though ultimately both pick a fairly comfortable Cardinal win.

— GoHuskies.com says Stanford’s tight ends are the key to the game.

— Here’s a link to the preview of the game from College Football Live.

— And here’s a video breakdown from handicapper Lee Sterling (the guy on with Softy every week), who says he’s expecting a breakout game by Andrew Luck.

— GoMightyCard sought out a few people who follow UW, including yours truly, for some thoughts on the game.

— Scout.com has a detailed preview of the game.

Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com says UW can win a shootout (and yes, that’s shootout, not shutout).

— This is an ESPN Insider piece, but worth linking as football analyst KC Joyner makes the case for Keith Price being the most underrated player in the country. He also quotes Mel Kiper saying this about Price:

“Keith Price is a guy I’ve watched develop from a player who was considered a typical running quarterback to a passer who shows a lot of instinct for the position. Is he a prospect? Well, he can be. For one, he’ll have to prove that his lack of height (he’s barely 6-foot-1) won’t be an issue — just like it was for Joe Montana, Doug Flutie, Drew Brees or Robert Griffin III. Secondly, he’ll need to show he can produce against real competition. Price is off to a brilliant start, but he needs to play somebody. So when the Huskies face Stanford, Oregon and USC in the coming weeks, we’ll have a better sense of where he’s at. If he aces that test, he could be in the mix with the better junior quarterbacks next year, but it’s fair to say there’s plenty of work to be done.”

Jon Wilner picks UW to cover but Stanford to win.

— GoHuskies.com broke down the game with Tom Fitzgerald of the San Francisco Chronicle.

— The San Francisco Chronicle writes about guard David DeCastro, a Bellevue High grad.

— Miller also reviews what some of ESPN.com’s draft experts have to say about Pac-12 players.

— UCLA got thrased last night by Arizona, and T.J. Simers says that leaves little doubt about the future of Rick Neuheisel.

— ESPN.com, though, says Neuheisel is not going anywhere anytime soon.

— Dr. Saturday also ruminates on Neuheisel.

— One of Arizona’s best cornerbacks, Shaquille Richardson, was thrown out of the game following a fight late in the first half. That could mean he would not be able to play next week against UW, though I haven’t seen anything definitive one way or the other yet on that.

— Good USC-Notre Dame debate in Miller’s blog, as well.

— Some good stuff on BCS possibilities in a Rivals.com mailbag.

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