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Barkley, No. 11 USC visit Washington

Barkley, No. 11 USC visit Washington

SEATTLE (AP) Matt Barkley was just a freshman and knew there would be other chances later in his career to get even with Washington.

It didn't make watching Huskies fans pour onto the field following Washington's upset of the then-No. 3 Trojans three seasons ago any easier for Barkley to accept after sitting on the sidelines the entire game with a sore shoulder.

Barkley and his No. 11 Trojans make their first visit to Seattle since that 2009 upset when they face the Huskies on Saturday at CenturyLink Field. Even though he didn't play the last time USC (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12) ventured north, Barkley doesn't view this matchup with any more importance with the Trojans trying to rebuild a resume that took a hit less than a month ago with their upset loss at Stanford.

``It's just another game on the schedule,'' Barkley said. ``It's exciting, and they're a great opponent, but I don't look at it any other way.''

Barkley at least has an idea about the venue he'll be playing in, the home of the Seattle Seahawks that is serving as Washington's home for the 2012 season while Husky Stadium is being renovated. He's attended Seahawks and Seattle Sounders games in the past and Saturday is a precursor for a pro career that will likely see Barkley play in Seattle at some point.

He's well aware of how loud the stadium can get - but only if the Trojans let Washington hang around.

``You've got to be more disciplined in an atmosphere like that, and it starts from the little things,'' Barkley said. ``I've been there before. It gets loud, but we've played in loud environments before. I've been to that stadium before. It's a great atmosphere, and they've got great fans.''

Washington (3-2, 1-1) is at the tail end of a brutal six-game stretch that included road games at then-No. 3 LSU, No. 2 Oregon and home games against Stanford and now USC. But a win Saturday and a third upset of the Trojans in the past four meetings would be a major coup for the Huskies considering how daunting the schedule looked before the season began.

``I don't know if I'm looking forward for it to be over. I think there is something to be made about the psyche of a team and the mental makeup of a team and the mental toughness of a team to embrace these opportunities and I think we do. I think we go in with our fists up and our sleeves rolled up and ready to go to battle and compete,'' Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said. ``And the next six are not going to be a whole lot easier. We've got some other guys down the pipe that are pretty good teams, too, so you can't worry about who you just played, you can't worry about who is coming, you just focus on the task at hand and we have USC this week.''

The tasks facing Washington's defense the past few weeks have been diverse. On Sept. 27 against then-No. 8 Stanford, the goal was shutting down the Cardinal run game and trying to make young QB Josh Nunes beat them. Washington was successful, holding Stanford to 65 net yards rushing in the 17-13 upset.

Last weekend, it was trying to slow down Oregon's spread offense, although Washington's defense got no help from its offense with five turnovers in the Ducks' 52-21 victory.

Now comes USC's offense. Since losing at Stanford, the Trojans have gone back to focusing on the run with the improvement of Silas Redd and return of Curtis McNeal, but they also have Barkley and two of the most talented receivers in the country in Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, who have combined for 83 receptions already.

Washington is likely to put cornerback Desmond Trufant on one of the Trojans' top receiving threats, but the other could have a big day with the Huskies mostly unproven at the other cornerback spot.

``I still think we need to attack the ball downfield,'' Barkley said. ``Robert knows that, Marqise knows that, and (coach Lane) Kiffin knows that. We're trying to do it.''

Washington would like to see its offense finally show life. The Huskies have yet to score more than 21 points against an FBS opponent and quarterback Keith Price has not approached the dynamic numbers he posted a year ago. Price was candid this week, saying the loss of playmakers from a year ago and injuries to the offensive line have kept him in the mindset of trying to do everything.

Price has not thrown for more than 200 yards since the season opener against San Diego State and his completion percentage is more than seven points lower than a year ago, when he completed more than 66 percent of his throws.

``I think I am at my best when I am relaxed and not worried about everybody else around me, that's when I'm at my best,'' Price said. ``When I am worried about `hey, is he going to do the right thing?' and worried about my protection and then trying to worry about what the defense is doing to me, I just need to cancel out all of those components and just stick to what I see and stick to my preparations and just make those plays when I need to make those plays.''

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AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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Capitals vs. Sharks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Capitals vs. Sharks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

It's shaping up to be the Washington Capitals' most important game of the season.

Having lost eight of their last 11 and five straight games for the first time since October-November 2014, the Caps host the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night desperate for a win in their first matchup of the season.

The Sharks (28-16-7) are on a three-game losing streak themselves, losing to the Florida Panthers 6-2 Monday night. Despite their slump, the Sharks rank third in the NHL in scoring this season with 178 goals. 

Ahead of what you could consider a must-win for both teams, here's everything you need to know. 

CAPITALS vs. SHARKS HOW TO WATCH

What: San Jose Sharks at Washington Capitals, 2018-19 NHL Regular Season
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Sharks at Capitals game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals take on the Sharks on the new MyTeams by NBC Sports App.
Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS vs. SHARKS TV SCHEDULE

6:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:00 PM: Capitals vs. Sharks
9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live
10:30 PM: D.C. Sports Live

CAPITALS vs. SHARKS INJURY REPORT

Capitals: 
Sharks: D Erik Karlsson (undisclosed injury)

CAPITALS vs. SHARKS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Capitals (8 goals, 30 assist, 38 points): Kuznetsov was demoted to the third line ahead of Sunday's loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in an effort to spark the slumping offense. Kuzy only has one five-on-five goal this season, and has only one goal and one assist in the last five games. Will Tuesday's matchup bring an end to that trend for the centre? 

Joe Pavelski, C, Sharks (26 goals, 15 assist, 41 points): The Sharks' Captain leads the league's third-highest scoring team with 26 goals this season. However, Pavelski hasn't scored since Jan. 12 against the Ottawa Senators. Expect the centre to be on a mission.

CAPITALS vs. SHARKS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 41 
All-Time Series Record: Sharks lead 27-11-1
Last Meeting: Caps win 2-0 (3/10/18)
Last 10: Sharks lead 6-4

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As the NFL heads to the Senior Bowl, what do Redskins need most?

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As the NFL heads to the Senior Bowl, what do Redskins need most?

It's a bit of a weird annual tradition. Almost the entire NFL world descends upon Mobile, Alabama, a small city on the Gulf Coast far away from the big metropolises most teams call home. 

The reason? The Senior Bowl, a showcase of much of the best talent getting ready for the upcoming NFL Draft. 

Like the name suggests, underclassmen can't play in the Senior Bowl, and that means some of the most elite players that will hear their names called in the first round won't be in Mobile. But while much NFL Draft focuses on the first round, the best teams are built by day two and day three draft picks.

Mobile is the best place to find them.

The Redskins' staff heads to Alabama with many more questions than answers. The team has a major need at quarterback and all over the defense. The skill positions could use a boost too. 

Starting with the QBs, there is a lot to watch in Mobile.

Duke's Daniel Jones, West Virginia's Will Grier and Missouri's Drew Lock are probably the headliner's of the cast in Mobile, but don't count out Washington State's Gardner Minshew II. Mark Rypien's nephew, Brett Rypien, won't play in Mobile, but another intriguing name: University of Buffalo's Tyree Jackson. He's 6-foot-7 and raw, but has a cannon of an arm. 

The two biggest QB names - Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray - won't be in Mobile, but that doesn't mean all eyes won't be on the passers. The Redskins need to bring in a young signal caller, and the Senior Bowl has a deep pool to scout. 

Offensively, the team also needs to add interior offensive line players and wideouts. 

On the line, there are guys to like. Wisconsin's Michael Dieter, Oklahoma's Dru Samia and Kansas State's Dalton Risner all project as guards in the NFL. Dieter and Risner are known for a nasty streak, the same thing that got said about Brandon Scherff coming out of Iowa. Samia has great feet for a man his size.

Washington needs to address their long running weakness at left guard, and this should be the draft for that.

At wide receiver, the Redskins could lose Jamison Crowder to free agency. Beyond Crowder, the team simply isn't getting enough production on the edges.

One NFC scout talked about Missouri's Emmanuel Hal as a player with a big opportunity to impress this weekend. Two lesser known prospects to watch: UMass WR Andy Isabella, who has 4.3 speed and could play the slot, and UC Davis WR Keelan Doss, who put up huge numbers the last two seasons. West Virginia's David Sills is another wideout with video game numbers on the college level that will be in Mobile. 

Defensively, the Redskins need help on each level.

Starting up front, Washington likely needs to add another pass rusher and every football team in the universe always needs to add defensive line depth. The Redskins could lose Preston Smith in free agency, and need more speed opposite Ryan Kerrigan on the edge. 

A player to watch: Wyoming OLB Carl Granderson. At 6-foot-5 and 261 lbs, he has all the physical tools to be a menace on the outside. One Midwest scout explained that with Granderson, he could have a tremendous week of practice for NFL scouts, assuming he's locked in and focused.

A lot of buzz centers around Mississippi State's Montez Sweat, a probable first-round pick. He was a star in Starkville. 

Smaller college players like Old Dominion's Oshane Ximines and Louisiana Tech's Jaylon Ferguson produced significant sack totals, enough to get them invited to Mobile and compete with the Power 5 school players. This is there opportunity to prove they belong, much like UTSA's Marcus Davenport did last season when the Saints drafted him 14th overall. 

Washington also needs help on the back end.

Their safety situation has significant holes as the team released DJ Swearinger before the final game of the 2018 season and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is set for free agency. 

Two local players of note: Virginia's Juan Thornhill and Maryland's Darnell Savage. Thornhill had six interceptions as a senior and Savage is one of the bigger hitters in the Big Ten. Both need to improve their tackling.

Another semi-local name to watch: Nasir Adderley of Delaware. The young man flies to the football and never stops running. Want a high motor potential special team stud? Adderly could be that guy. 

Much will be learned during the week in Mobile.

The Redskins will send a full cast to scope out the talent and talk with coaches and other scouts. Teams will interview the players, and figure out which targets they want to go deeper on over the coming months of the draft process. The NFL Scouting Combine is only about a month away, and plenty of college pro days after that. 

For Washington, the first steps toward an improved season in 2019 begins this week. 

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