I’ll start the Tuesday links with my story for today’s paper that hit on the highlights of Monday’s press conference — Keith Price vowing to bounce back this week, and UW coach Steve Sarkisian saying that he’d take Matt Barkley over Andrew Luck and that Nick Holt’s comments comparing USC’s and Oregon’s offense aren’t a big deal.
A few of my own thoughts on each:
— Price is still having one of the best seasons in UW history, and a season that has far exceeded the pre-season expectations of even the most eternal Husky optimist (and no, not Jim Moore, though he’s often mistaken for that). But as Price himself said yesterday, his recent struggles coincide with UW playing some better defenses and secondaries doing a better job covering receivers, forcing Price to have to make more difficult reads and throws. He’s thrown six of his 10 interceptions in the last three games (though worth acknowledging all three against Arizona had some pretty mitigating circumstances). Regardless, the stats are what they are and
those picks have contributed heavily to Price having a passing efficiency rating the last three weeks of 119.04 compared to 177.91 the first six weeks. For the season, he has a rating of 155.97 which remains on pace to break the school record of 153.8 set by Brock Huard in 1997.
— As for Sarkisian’s comments about Barkley, it is obviously hard to separate them from the fact that Sarkisian helped recruit Barkley to USC and as such knows him better than an opposing coach might normally know an opposing quarterback. I’ve seen all sorts of theories for why Sarkisian said what he said — maybe he just really believes it. It’s worth noting Sarkisian has made bold statements before, such as his proclamation on signing day in 2010 that James Atoe “is a potential NFL top five draft pick,” or saying before last season that Senio Kelemete would be an all-conference first teamer at left tackle before he’d ever played a down at that position. If nothing else, it took the attention away from the Oregon game pretty quickly.
— As for Holt and his comments, I side with Sarkisian in thinking it won’t matter a thing come gameday. Things are said all the time before games, but usually only remembered afterward if the game goes in a direction that confirms those comments — and forgotten if it doesn’t. Should USC win and pile up a bunch of yards, though, no doubt it will provide something of a post-game storyline.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Times columnist Steve Kelley discovered another side of Barkley, whose girlfiend plays soccer at Seattle Pacific.
— I want to link again our Husky Stadium page which includes video interviews, polls and one of my favorite features — a bunch of front pages of the Seattle Times of great moments in the stadium’s history.
— CoachSark’s site has photos from practice.
— The LA Times on Sarkisian’s Barkley comment.
— More USC stuff from the LA Daily News.
— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller dishes on Sarkisian-Barkley-Holt.
— Jon Wilner delves into the details on the news of the Pac-12 Network announced Monday.
— The Eugene Register-Guard offers its weekly Pac-12 notebook.
— Lots of links around the conference from Vince Grippi.
— The Eugene Register-Guard with some more post-mortem on Oregon’s defensive play against UW Saturday.
— And The Oregonian notes that despite some sloppy play by the offense, members of the Oregon offensive line felt they played one of their best games against UW.