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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Washington Huskies head coach Chris Petersen watches his team Saturday, April 19, 2014, during Washington's spring NCAA college football preview in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Pac-12 football preview: Chris Petersen takes center stage in Seattle

He makes no bones about it: Chris Petersen doesn’t love the spotlight. He doesn’t love talking to media about whether he’ll run a trick play, or who his quarterback will be.

In late July, a relatively chipper Petersen joked that outside of trips to Paramount Studios for conference media days, he’s actually more anonymous on the streets of Seattle than he was in Boise, and he’s been thankful for that.

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Enjoy it while it lasts, Chris.

Washington managed to replace Steve Sarkisian with one of the most coveted nations in the country — a renowned tactician who went 92-12 as head coach of the Broncos, and 5-2 in bowl games.

And now the nation will want to know: Does what works in Boise, also work in the Pac-12?

Petersen has said that he plans to continue the hurry-up no-huddle from last year at Boise State.

Most of his assistant coaches are former Broncos coaches.

And yes, he will still employ the occasional trick play.

In every facet, he plans to do things his way, he said at media days, from weight-lifting to classroom standards to Twitter policy — or at least a happy medium between his no-Twitter policy and the Huskies’ comparatively laissez faire status quo. Asked whether he sought Sarkisian’s advice on personnel, he said, "No, not one time. … Everybody has their own opinion, and everybody gets biased, so I just don’t ask the question."

It’s not a lack of respect, or a knock on Sarkisian. It’s just that Chris Petersen is 92-12. Everybody else … isn’t.

2013 IN REVIEW » 9-4, 5-4 Pac-12

RETURNING STARTERS » 12 total (7 offense, 5 defense)

TOP RETURNING PLAYER » UCLA’s Myles Jack made it popular, and now junior Shaq Thompson is likely to see time both hammering the ball carrier and BEING the ball carrier. One of the Pac-12’s best linebackers, Thompson rushed for 1,135 yards and 15 touchdowns on 120 carries as a high school senior (he was also quarterback and punter), and during spring and fall camp he’s spent time on both sidelines.

BIGGEST QUESTION MARK » They still don’t have a quarterback. Fall camp has seen three-way battle between Jeff Lindquist, Troy Williams and Cyler Miles, with the latter seeming the heavy favorite. But Miles won’t start at Hawaii due to his involvement in two assaults after the Super Bowl, opening the door for one of his challengers to make his case.

SCHEDULE OUTLOOK » As Pac-12 schedules go, this isn’t so bad. Home for toughies against No. 11 Stanford, No. 19 Arizona State and No. 7 UCLA. Lone roadblock is No. 3 Oregon, and the rest of the road schedule — Hawaii, Cal, Colorado, Arizona and Washington State — is eminently winnable. Other out-of-conference games should be cakewalks: Eastern Washington, Illinois and Georgia State.

— Matthew Piper


Twitter: @matthew_piper

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Rich Rod and players discuss their tough win
» UA football: Report card for Cal game
» UA football coaches, opponents, results since 1899
» UA football: Arizona scores on last play, defeats Cal 49-45

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Jordan Simone goes from walk-on to playmaker
» How ASU football's commits fared Friday night
» ASU soccer wins its sixth consecutive match
» Colorado State volleyball holds off ASU

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal Bears' big night in Arizona ends in nightmare finish
» Local sports digest: Stanford, Cal in water polo showdown
» Cal to release report next week on how to improve athletes' classwork
» Fact box: Cal at Arizona

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Speedy freshman Donovan Lee gives CU Buffs another playmaker
» Colorado coached to avoid coin-toss glitches, MacIntyre says
» Colorado's MacIntyre gratified Buffs practiced hard Monday
» CU Buffs tackle Jeromy Irwin might play vs. Hawaii after concussion

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» Royce Freeman starts slow, gains steam in Oregon Ducks' 38-31 win over Washington State
» Willie Lyles returns to scouting after Oregon Ducks investigation
» Utah vs. Michigan highlights Pac-12 football games; Live updates: Full schedule, TV listings

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State roundup (Sept. 19)
» OSU men's basketball: Tinkle says positive steps being made
» Spencer to become new AD at Evansville
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Local sports digest: Stanford, Cal in water polo showdown
» Stanford coach David Shaw goes digging
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Local sports digest: Stanford's Maverick McNealy ties for medalist honors

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Video: UW's Danny Shelton, John Timu after victory over Georgia State
» Nelson, Meyers win Sundodger titles for Huskies
» Huskies don't appear ready for Pac-12 play
» Huskies weather a dismal first half to run away from Georgia State in the second half, 45-14

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Video: Xavier Cooper after Oregon
» Video: Connor Halliday after Oregon
» Video: Mike Leach after Oregon
» Final thoughts from the Oregon game

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