Washington quarterback Keith Price says he'll bounce back against USC
Sophomore quarterback Keith Price has thrown seven interceptions in Washington's past three games but says he expects to perform well when the Huskies play at USC on Saturday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
UW @ USC, 12:45 p.m., FX
Latest from the Husky Football & Basketball blogs
Washington quarterback Keith Price set such a high bar at the start of the season, a bad game or two almost seemed unfathomable.
And Saturday's performance in a 34-17 loss to Oregon was hardly a disaster — Price completed 24 of 35 passes, with two touchdowns.
Price, though, also threw two costly interceptions, and his completions went for just 143 yards.
And on Monday, Price had no trouble acknowledging he'll need to be better for UW to win Saturday at USC.
"I'm going to bounce back," the sophomore quarterback said. "I'm not worried about that. I've just got to get back to the fundamentals and just getting completions, easy completions. I'm going to get back to that this week."
The two interceptions gave him six in the past three games, during which he's thrown four touchdown passes, after tossing 21 in the first six games.
Two of the games have come against the two-highest rated teams UW has played, Stanford and Oregon.
Price said he needs to do a better job finding receivers when his first options downfield are covered.
"We're playing against good teams and they're covering deep guys," he said. "I've just got to get used to checking the ball down when things aren't there."
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said he thought Price could have been caught up a little in the magnitude of the game, the last in Husky Stadium before a $250 million renovation.
"He might've pressed a little bit," Sarkisian said. "You get into this moment, and the excitement of the stadium, and the game, and it's Oregon, and all the stuff that went into it. I think he tried a little too hard. I think he wanted to go out and play great. Well, that's fine, but you end up playing great by playing within the system and relaxing."
Price, who said the injury to his left shoulder that knocked him out for a play against Oregon is fine, will be back in a comfort zone this week when the Huskies play at USC.
Price grew up just a few miles away from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Compton, Calif. He also threw his first touchdown pass last year in the Coliseum in UW's 32-31 win over USC — a 1-yard toss to tight end Chris Izbicki — when he stepped in for a briefly injured Jake Locker.
He remembers being calm that night, a feeling he hopes to replicate this week.
"I just need to settle down, especially in big games like that when everybody's emotions are on high," he said. "I just need to be the guy to level us down."
Sark: Barkley over Luck
Asked a question about USC quarterback Matt Barkley — whom Sarkisian helped recruit to the school when he was an assistant coach — Sarkisian responded with a comment that raised a few eyebrows.
"I said this earlier to the staff and I'll say it to you guys: If I'm an NFL head coach, I'd pick Matt Barkley over (Stanford's) Andrew Luck," he said. "I think he is playing at that high a level. I think where he fits into the NFL and his pocket presence and what (USC coach) Lane (Kiffin) is doing with him, the variety of offense that they're playing with, his ability to make all of the throws, anticipate throws, throwing them on time, throwing them accurately, he's fantastic to me."
• It didn't take long for a comment by UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt that he would "rather play USC than Oregon" to make the rounds in LA. A picture widely circulated on Twitter showed the comment posted in Heritage Hall, USC's athletic center.
Sarkisian, though, defended Holt and said he wasn't concerned how USC might react.
"I think you could ask every defensive coordinator in our conference the same question and they'd tell you the same thing — Oregon is hard to prepare for because of how unique they are," he said. "That doesn't mean that SC is not really good — I think they are a tremendous football team, and I think Nick would agree with that.
"The comment was about the preparation of an offensive style, and as we've all seen it now for years since (coach) Chip (Kelly) has been at Oregon, they are hard to prepare for. The speed and the tempo in which they play at — it's difficult. If that quote makes SC play better, then it makes them play better. I don't know. We don't motivate that way here."
• The Nov. 26 Apple Cup game against Washington State will kick off at 4:30 p.m. and will be televised by Versus. The game will be played at CenturyLink Field.
Washington is still waiting for a time for its Nov. 19 game at Oregon State. That game was not picked for telecast by the Pac-12's TV partners on Monday, leaving it in the hands of OSU — as the home team — to settle on TV arrangements and a start time.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com.
Information in this article, originally published Nov. 7, 2011, was corrected the same day. A previous version of this story incorrectly said that Washington quarterback Keith Price had thrown seven interceptions in his past three games. He has six.
Trending on seattletimes.com
Most viewed photo galleries
The Morning Memo
The Morning Memo jump starts your day with weather, traffic and news
Career Center Blog
Sign up for our newsletter
Get creative suggestions for making your house a home weekly in your inbox!