The hits just keep on coming for Pac-10 quarterbacks this season, and Washington Husky star Jake Locker is the latest to go down and out in the midst of very physical Pac-10 play.
Locker has been nursing a rib that went from a cartilage injury to a full-blown break after a hit in Washington's game on Saturday.
The loss of the star, who was an early contender for the Heisman Trophy, has made the Ducks a 35.5-point favorite in Vegas for their match at Autzen Stadium at 12:30 Pacific on ABC this Saturday.
Filling in at quarterback for the Huskies is dual-threat redshirt freshman Keith Price.
Let's meet the QB named "Most Likely to Be Picked Five Times by an Opponent's Third String," Mr. Keith Price.
Weight: 191 pounds
Forty: 4.7 secs
Bench max: 200 pounds
Squat max: 315 pounds
Vertical: 32 inches
Shuttle: 4.4 secs
Completed 143 of 200 (.715) passes for 2,260 yards, 24 touchdowns and only six interceptions as a high school senior.
Price rushed for 579 yards and 10 touchdowns as well in his final year at St. John Bosco.
Has been compared (like most tall, skinny, black quarterbacks) to Dennis Dixon.
Winner of the Bob Jarvis Offensive Scout Squad MVP award last year at the Huskies' postseason awards banquet.
As did Arizona State, Washington State, Louisville, Nevada, San Diego State and Utah. Washington scout Tim Lappano was the one who was able to get the quarterback to sign on the dotted line.
St. John Bosco ran a spread offense where the dual-threat Price could take off with the ball when the read was right.
He told reports in Seattle that "his jaw dropped" when he came to Washington and saw their playbook, and he has struggled with the system a bit since arriving.
Washington offensive coordinator and QB coach Doug Nussmeier said, "He's a fun kid to be around. But his learning curve right now is very steep. He's a young guy and that's not easy in our system."
When Locker was knocked out of the Huskies' game against USC last month in a crucial fourth quarter drive, Price was called in for a play.
He rose to the occasion and threw for a pivotal touchdown, immediately after taking the field.
Washington ended up winning with a field goal as time expired.
Next in line for the Huskies QB spot is Nick Montana, youngest son of Mr. Joe Cool, the Comeback Kid himself, Joe Montana.
Nick is a freshman from Thousand Oaks, CA who led his side to a win at Washington's Spring Game by throwing 21-of-34 with two touchdowns.
Am I the only one who thinks Washington's best chance would be if Joe suited up for the Dawgs?
None of this changes anything as far as Oregon's game plan goes. If Coach Kelly was actively recruiting Keith Price, he must see something there.
Darron Thomas started out as a backup quarterback, and he's doing pretty well this year after being put into the position earlier than expected.
Looking past teams and not focusing on the squad in front of you is how upsets happen. Ask USC about this year's Husky team. Ask Oregon State. Both teams were in the Top 25 when they fell to Washington in matches that were each decided by one point.
To me, that says that the 2010 Huskies are finishers, no matter who the QB is, and that a wounded, cornered Dawg can be dangerous.
That being said, Oregon will do the finishing on Saturday and will cover the 35.5-point spread with ease.
My prediction: Ducks win 62-15 in a wet and wild one at Autzen Stadium.