FROM STANFORD — If Weather.com is to be believed, the temperature here should register somewhere between 68 and 73 degrees by the time Washington and Stanford kickoff at 7:30 p.m. A high of 81 is expected. In other words, it should be just a little nicer than last weekend in Seattle.
On to the links.
— First, a note that we’ll have a live game thread/chat starting at 6:30 p.m. today. We linked our Twitter account to it, so our in-game updates will all show up in the chat window once the game starts. You can monitor the game from there, if you so choose. If you have questions or comments about the game, feel free to chime in starting at 6:30. We’ll be there.
— From our story today about Washington trying to ignore distractions and focus on Stanford:
STANFORD, Calif. – Keith Price sat in a chair with a cell phone to his ear, still wearing his yellow practice jersey after the conclusion of Washington’s Wednesday workout.
As UW coach Steve Sarkisian strolled past, he asked his quarterback: “Who are you talking to?”
“Sports Illustrated,” Price responded.
An ESPN photoshoot also awaited Price after the fifth-year senior quarterback spent a few minutes answering questions from local media.
These are the spoils – attention, national headlines and such – that accompany an unbeaten start and top-15 national ranking. Both of those achievements are on the line Saturday night when the Huskies travel to face No. 5 Stanford, a Pac-12 North and national championship contender that boasts a similar 4-0 record. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.
If Sarkisian had his way, the Huskies would remain blissfully unaware of any of the aforementioned stakes. That’s been the goal for the fifth-year coach since the beginning of preseason camp: no distractions, no looking past each repetition, each practice, each meeting.
“I don’t feel like they’re making this game out to be bigger than it is,” Sarkisian said Thursday. “It’s a football game that we get to play at 7:30 on Saturday.”
— We passed along our prediction for today’s game on the blog last night.
— Adam Jude of The Seattle Times writes about the stakes getting higher for the Huskies.
— Sounds like Washington returned some of its ticket allotment:
— Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times writes about the similarities between Sarkisian’s Huskies and Pete Carroll’s Seahawks, with this interesting tidbit about UW’s penalty woes:
The two head coaches keep in contact during the season with text messages and the occasional call.
“I actually confided in him about a week ago about our penalty situation,” Sarkisian said. “We lead the country in penalties, and [the Seahawks] have been getting quite a few penalties too. I said, ‘Coach, I don’t know what to say to these guys.’ He said, ‘You know, Sark, if you go back to ‘SC, we got a lot of penalties. I think that’s just the way we coach our guys. We allow them to be free and play fast.
‘They want to sustain their blocks, and that’s why they might get a hold or two. They play aggressively on defense. So it’s not always a bad thing that you’re getting penalties.’ “
Sarkisian calls that “playing in the gray,” and said: “But that’s a good place to be. I’d rather be there than not playing hard enough.”
— Sarkisian was a guest on the Tim Brando show this week.
— Stanford is preparing for an improved Keith Price.
— This weekend begins a crucial stretch for the Cardinal, too.
Elsewhere in Pac-12 action today …
Arizona State vs. Notre Dame (Cowboys Stadium), 4:30 p.m., NBC — The Arizona Republic scouts the game and offers a prediction.
— USC coaches are using their bye week to recruit.
— The Pac-12 doesn’t care about fans who actually attend games, but that isn’t news at this point.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple