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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 9, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Wednesday links — Rain in Los Angeles, Kearse’s draft stock, and more

Depending on how the schedule works out, this could be UW’s last trip to Los Angeles until 2014.

The Pac-12 schedule rotation calls for UW to play USC home-and-home this year and in 2012 — meaning the Huskies will come to Seattle next year. Then UW will get UCLA in 2013-14, but it’s not stated yet which would be the home game and which would be the away game. (Here’s the entire rotation through the 2018 season).

And right now, it looks like the trip to LA could be a rather cool and wet one, with the forecast calling for a high of 61 and thunder showers on Saturday.

UW no longer getting an annual trip to LA was one of the consequences of the Pac-12 expansion. UW coach Steve Sarkisian has downplayed the impact of not getting to LA every year on recruiting, saying the LA game that most helps in that regard is playing in the Rose Bowl. Realistically, I’m not sure we’ll ever really be able to detail how it might or might not impact recruiting. For now, UW fans will have to enjoy this trip knowing it might be the last one they get there for a while.

IN OTHER NEWS. …

— For my story for today’s paper, I wrote a little about how USC is managing the impact of NCAA sanctions. Because the scholarship reductions have yet to take hold, there’s a long way to go for USC to feel out of the woods. But so far this season, the Trojans appear to be weathering the emotional impact of not being able to play for a bowl game. After a slow start that could have been due as much to youth as anything else, the Trojans have played about as well as anyone else in the conference the last month. UW obviously hopes to change that Saturday.

— I haven’t been able to get an official “on-the-record” count of Apple Cup tickets sold (First & Goal is handling those sales). But one rumor is that about 55,000 have been sold, for what that’s worth. CenturyLink Field seats about 68,000.

— Sarkisian’s comment the other day that he’d take Matt Barkley rather than Andrew Luck continues to draw attention. Here’s an ESPN debate on the topic. And the LA Times leads off its notebook with Barkley’s thoughts on the comments, which included his thought that it’s “definitely a little bit of sugarcoating.” Yahoo.com also assesses the comments including some analysis from Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.comm.

— Speaking of Rang, he wrote this week that Jermaine Kearse’s NFL Draft stock could be slipping greatly due to his continued problems with dropped passes. Wrote Rang of Kearse:

“Viewed by some scouts as a possible top 75 pick heading into the season, Kearse has slipped into the draft’s third day (fourth round and beyond). Considering that with the normal addition of a few talented underclassmen, wide receiver could be the strongest position for the 2012 draft, it’s possible Kearse could even slip out of the draft entirely.

Scouts want to see receivers catch every pass, but understand drops will happen. When the drops come in critical situations, however, the negative impression is amplified.

Washington was fighting from behind for much of the night against Oregon last Saturday, but with an especially raucous crowd on hand to bid Husky Stadium farewell, the Dawgs seemed just a play or two away from turning the game into a nail-biter.

An opportunity lost by Kearse in the fourth quarter might have killed Washington’s last decent chance to close the gap.

Down 34-17 with half of the fourth quarter left, Nick Montana (yes, the son of Joe) entered the game to complete an improbable 53-yard stop-and-go route to Kasen Williams, a true freshman. Starter Keith Price was back on the field for the next play and drove a beautiful ball to a crossing Kearse between two Ducks defenders. The ball slipped through Kearse’s fingers and the Husky crowd, frothing a second earlier, groaned with recognition.

It was at least Kearse’s second drop of the game. It was also the third game this season I’ve watched him drop multiple passes.

Kearse has the size and athleticism to make an NFL roster but he may not even get the opportunity if he doesn’t start catching the ball.”

— The LA Daily News ponders if Sarkisian is right when he talks about all the talent USC has.

— The Daily News also offers this notebook,

— The Sports Network picks USC 34-23.

— CollegeFootballTalk picks USC 34-27.

— Here’s the CBSSports.com preview of the game.

— The USC student newspaper analyzes the legacies of Sarkisian, Nick Holt and others who have come and gone through Heritage Hall.

— The writers at the UW student paper debate what the Huskies need to do to win at USC this weekend, among other topics.

— The Orange County Register also chimes in on the Sarkisian-Lane Kiffin chatter.

— ESPN.com’s Ted Milller says this week’s game is for the unofficial title of “third best team in the Pac-12.”

— The Sports Business Daily examines the latest news on the Pac-12 Network.

— The Salt Lake Tribune rates UW sixth this week in the Pac-12 and also leads off its conference notebook with the Sark-Kiffin back and forth.

— 247Sports has a free story on Alphonso Marsh’s trip to UW over the weekend.

— And forgot to get this in there earlier, but Oregon yesterday released more documents related to the Willie Lyles investigation.

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