Washington quarterback Keith Price sat in a folding chair near the 20-yard line inside Dempsey Indoor after practice Wednesday morning, head down as he talked on a cell phone with a Sports Illustrated reporter.
He rose about 10 minutes later and stood at the center of a huddle for his weekly gathering with local media. Then came a scheduled photo shoot with ESPN and a chat with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi.
Must be a big week for the Huskies, eh?
“I think this is where we should be, getting this kind of attention,” Price said. “But we understand that that’s not what’s going to make us win games. We understand the preparation it took to get to this point and we’re not going to forget what happened last season. This team still has a chip on its shoulder, and I know I do personally. So it’ll be fun this weekend.”
Price and the No. 15 Huskies (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) take on No. 5 Stanford (4-0, 2-0) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for an ESPN broadcast. The winner has the inside track to challenge No. 2 Oregon for the Pac-12 North title.
“This is right where we want to be, contending for a Pac-12 championship and this is the first obstacle — one of the best teams in the country,” Price said.
The Huskies upset then-No. 8 Stanford 17-13 at CenturyLink Field last year, but Price — playing behind an injury-riddled offensive line — spent much of the night running for his life. He was sacked twice, intercepted once and finished 19 of 37 passing one touchdown — a 35-yard strike to Kasen Williams for the game-winner with 4:53 remaining in the game.
“This is when I perform better, when I feel like I have something to prove,” Price said. “I think this is when the team plays better, when we feel like we have something to prove. We know this is just the next step in our journey to becoming a team that we know we can be.”
“We still have a long way to go,” he added. “We understand that Stanford is a very good football team, a very disciplined football team. Defensively, they’re very physical and we know it’s going to take our ‘A’ game. We can’t go out there and just turn the ball over ridiculous amounts of times and think we’re going to have a chance to win the game. We have to be sound fundamentally, but it’s going to be a fun game to play in.”