Charting Katz

RYAN KATZ WAS just about flawless against Arizona. He stood strong in the pocket, took hits a heartbeat after he let fly -- and those passes were thrown with pinpoint accuracy. Against UW, he tossed three picks, never found a rhythm and looked like a completely different guy from the week before. Why? And which one is the real Katz -- the guy who tore up 'Zona, or the one who struggled against UW?

In all likelihood, he's neither of those two extremes.

Ryan Katz isn't going to 30-for-42 for 393 yards and two touchdowns with no picks every time out, like Katz did at Arizona -- he isn't going to make four first downs with his feet most Saturdays, (and neither is most anyone else.)

Conversely, Katz also is not going to frequently go high, wide, left and right on his way to completing 17-of-31 passes for 206 yards with 1 TD and 3 picks, like he did in Seattle.

IT'S WORTH REMEMBERING that Katz is still just a first year starting quarterback in the Pac-10.

He's still learning on the job. He's still just a redshirt sophomore.

The really good quarterbacks, they get that way through experience. And usually, it really and truly clicks their senior year, albeit with plenty of high points during a junior campaign laying the groundwork for their final collegiate season.

Katz? He looks ahead of that schedule.

The Arizona game was something to behold. The potential is there, and right now, here in 2010.

And so is the potential for him to struggle, as the UW game so clearly illustrated.

THERE'S GOING TO be some stops and starts along the way for Katz this season. They will number less than most first year starting quarterbacks tally, but they'll still be there.

That still doesn't erase the bottom line -- through the first part of the 2010 schedule, Ryan Katz has performed above the norm for a first year starter, and he holds star potential firmly in his grasp.

In the long term, Beaver fans should be thrilled at Katz' prospects for 2011 and 2012. And in the short term, in 2010, as he continues to learn over these coming six games, he's only going to get better.

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