Grade the performance of Steve Sarkisian so far this season. Is he just unfortunate to be dealing with a multitude of injuries or is the team underachieving?
I would probably give Sark a C- so far. While a coach has to take responsibility for everything that happens while he is the head of a program, that doesn't mean it is all in his control. The slew of injuries to the offensive line, the sudden struggles of Keith Price, these aren't things that are direct results of Sark's shortcomings. He gets credit for the Stanford win, and even if losses to Oregon and LSU were ugly, wins couldn't reasonably be expected. Before the Arizona game I may have said C+ or even B-, but that Arizona game was a turning point. No excuse to lose that badly to a 3-3 team, and if things keep heading that direction in the weeks to come, my C- might look much too generous.
Keith Price has been struggling this year. Are most of his struggles due to personnel issues, or is he just not as sharp as he looked last year?
If I had an absolute answer to that question, I think I would have been brought on by Sark as an assistant just so I could tell him. The struggles look like a combination of different things. Poor offensive line play, carelessness with the ball, the graduation of several veteran receivers, shakiness in the pocket, these are all things that have been problems, but it clearly goes beyond this. Price has not delivered the ball accurately. He overthrew passes fairly often last year, but this season he has often missed like Locker used to miss. Watching him in the pocket, he has no presence. He looks uncomfortable, like he is expecting to get hit or expecting to throw a pick. Playcalling hasn't always been very good either, which isn't Prices fault. Sark has also commented fairly often about the mental aspects of the struggles, that Price isn't in the right frame of mind and that he hasn't been trusting his coach. So many issues, and I'm not sure they can all be solved.