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September 25, 2012

Stanford prepares for Washington

With Stanford's 21-14 win against USC, Cardinal cornerback Terrence Brown upped his career record against USC quarterback Matt Barkley to 6-0: four with Stanford, two with Orange Lutheran High in Southern California.

When the Cardinal travels to Seattle for Thursday's first road game of the season, Brown will have the opportunity to make it six-straight wins against Washington quarterback Keith Price, too.

Like Barkley and Brown, Price played in the vaunted Trinity League in Southern California -- for St. John Bosco -- widely considered the most competitive high school football league on the West Coast. And while Brown knows he's undefeated against Barkley, he's not quite so sure if he can make the same claim against Brown.

"We played against each other in Pop Warner too, so I don't really remember," Brown said.

He does remember when he and Price first came to know each other.

"It was at Ambler Elementary in Carson, California," Brown said. "It was fourth or fifth grade when we kind of built a good relationship."

They ended up going their separate ways from there, but, thanks to football, their paths continue to meet. Brown intercepted a pass from Price in a high school game and recalls a similar scouting report now to the one he heard is his more formative years.

"I remember the week preparing for him and our coach was like 'The guys is fast. The guy can get out of the pocket and has a pretty powerful arm,'" Brown said. "When we play him in the game, that's what he's going to be like."

Coach David Shaw's scouting report of Price sounds a lot like the one Brown received years ago:

"(Price is an) athletic kid, accurate," Shaw said. "Does some really nice things in every single game."

While Shaw was complimentary of Price, he was equally as impressed with the steps Brown has made this year.

"Terrence has come in and, for the first time, feels like a vet," Shaw said. "Knows the defense and is playing with confidence."

No film study from last year: With the ouster of former Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt, Stanford is paying no attention to last year's game film. The Huskies brought in Justin Wilcox from Tennessee on Jan. 2 to implement his defense, which will include more 3-4 looks. Running back Stepfan Taylor said watching the Huskies on film is a lot like watching Stanford, at least schematically in how they move guys around.

In other words, a repeat of last year's school-record 446 yards rushing isn't likely.

"We don't anticipate that happening again," Shaw said. "We expect more of a balanced attack from us."

Williamson looks good in practice: Despite missing three field goals against USC, Shaw said he isn't worried about K Jordan Williamson, though he would like to see more consistency from the sophomore.

"The field goal is all about timing and technique," Shaw said. "When he's on, he's as good as anybody in the country. When he's not, then he's not. He knows that. It's all about consistency.

"He's coming off a great week of practice. We've just got to make sure it transfers to the game."

Notre Dame series will continue: With news that Notre Dame's long-standing rivalry with Michigan is ended, it's appropriate to note Notre Dame and Stanford plan to continue their series, Shaw said.

Shaw said the schools have been in touch and both have expressed their intent on keeping the series going for the foreseeable future.


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