Various Angles for Washington Week


ESPN Pac-10 blogger Ted Miller provides a few tidbits to get us through the week:

"Will the real Jake Locker please step up: Locker never asked to he hyped for a Heisman Trophy or announced as the top quarterback on the NFL radar, but we media folks put him on that pedestal and he’s fallen short of our predictions. So far. People who ask, “What has Locker done?” haven’t been paying attention. He’s done a lot while surrounded by a little (no college QB in the nation can produce as spectacular a highlight tape as Locker). But previous suggestions of tremendous upside need to be realized in tremendous performances delivered on a consistent basis. And so we have a visit to USC. Trojans make a stand: USC has been kicked around (irrationally) in the polls. The Trojans might be the most maligned team that has won three road games on their way to a 4-0 start in the history of the… universe. Of course, polls in September aren’t remembered in December. What might happen if USC suddenly finds consistency on both sides of the ball and delivers a butt-whipping to a Washington team that is superior at… what position, other than QB? Of course, there’s the opposite take: USC isn’t mentally tough and will yield under adversity."

As well as providing a short preview and prediction for the revenge game this week:

"Washington (1-2, 0-0) at No. 18 USC (4-0, 1-0) (ESPN2, 8 p.m.): USC is looking for revenge for last year’s loss in Husky Stadium. Washington hasn’t won on the road since 2007. Jake Locker wants to get back on track after the terrible performance versus Nebraska. Up next: USC is at Stanford; Washington plays host to Arizona State. USC 38, Washington 27: Huskies QB Jake Locker will bounce back and turn in a solid performance. But the Huskies defense won’t be able to get enough stops on the road for the upset to happen."

The Los Angeles Times looks at Nick Holt and his first trip to the Coliseum since he left his position as defensive coordinator at USC. Last year, Holt’s defense forced turnovers and held USC to 13 points as the Huskies pulled off the shocking upset. 

Coming off of a bye week, Washington coach Steve Sarkisian expects Jake Locker to bounce back from his horrific showing against Nebraska the Seattle Times reports.

Two Pete Carroll disciples–Sarkisian and Kiffin–square off this weekend in the Coliseum. Despite the competitive nature of both coaches, they remain friends who communicate on a regular basis.

Although Stanley Havili held his coming out party for the year at Washington State, he wants to atone for his mistakes a year ago.

Steve Sarkisian is expecting the Trojans to incorporate Dillon Baxter more heavily this weekend. Certainly, Baxter’s role will be increased as the season progresses, but I would be surprised if Kiffin unleashes him this week. October 9 at Stanford seems more likely.