|Elaine Thompson/Associated Press|
|Washington coach Steve Sarkisian has again denied interest in the USC job.|
Don James was the head coach at Washington for 18 seasons, winning a national championship in 1991 to earn everlasting admiration among Husky fans as "The Dawgfather." Steve Sarkisian is now in his fifth year holding that same position on Montlake, but he hopes to last at least that long, again declining interest in the vacant USC job in an interview Thursday.
"USC is a good place, don't get me wrong. I had a wonderful time there, but man, we are doing something special here," Sarkisian, a former Trojan assistant under Pete Carroll, told "The Dan Patrick Show." "It's been taking up four-and-a-half years to build this thing the right way.
"I love my job. I hope I get to coach here longer than Don James did. I hope I win more national championships than Don James did. That's the goal, but things happen in this world in my favor, not in my favor. That's the reality of life."
If Sarkisian is to last as long as James, at some point he will have to beat Pacific Northwest rival Oregon, preferably this Saturday. However, if the term rival is meant to convey competitiveness, the Ducks can more accurately be described as UW's nemesis, winning nine consecutive games in the series, all by 17 points or more.
Star quarterback Keith Price, who injured his thumb on his throwing hand in UW's 31-28 loss at Stanford, has shown no ill effects in practice this week and is good to go against UO.
"He looks really good," Sarkisian told the Seattle Times. "He is in a really good place physically. I think he is in a very good place mentally, which is always important for a quarterback."
After a dismal junior season, Price has responded by throwing for 1,394 yards and 11 touchdowns against three interceptions and is completing 71.2 percent of his passes.
"Coming back his senior year hardened, focused and having a tremendous senior season up to this point, I couldn't be more proud," Sarkisian said.
Price has resurrected his stock in the eyes of NFL evaluators, but beating UO would represent the signal achievement of his college career to date, and for Sarkisian's UW tenure, as well.
Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.