Harbaugh still not bailing out on Pritchard

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Considering that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh was a longtime NFL quarterback, you'd think he might be impatient with inefficiency at the position.

So far, Harbaugh is showing a lot of patience with Tavita Pritchard, who has been decidedly more cold than hot this season.

He ranks eighth in the Pac-10 in pass efficiency, with nine interceptions vs. seven touchdown passes. His 130 yards passing per game also ranks eighth.

And when he completed just 5 of 12 passes for 51 yards with an interception in the loss two weeks ago to UCLA, it looked like Harbaugh's patience might run out.


"We've got a consistent starter in Tavita Pritchard," said Harbaugh, when asked to assess his quarterback situation.

That doesn't mean Harbaugh won't turn to Alex Loukas or Jason Forcier on Saturday against woeful Washington State. But Pritchard remains the first guy in line. And it's a near-certainty that touted freshman Andrew Luck will redshirt.

"We worked a lot on our passing game [during the bye] week," Harbaugh said. "I thought that was a real area of emphasis that we needed to improve in."

Harbaugh spreads the blame for the passing woes, too. And, in fairness, Pritchard is working with a very young receiving corps. The five receivers on the depth chart are sophomores (three) and freshmen.

With veteran Richard Sherman out for the year with a knee injury, the goal is to build a comfort level between Pritchard and his young receivers.

"We need more work on our timing throwing the football -- the timing with the quarterbacks and receivers," Harbaugh said.