If the Stanford Cardinal had any hopes of contending for anything more than the Pac-12, Washington squashed them. Two teams without a lot of offense and some great defense, and a quarterback that pulled off that one big play (Keith Price) facing Josh Nunes, who just didn’t get that kind of support from his receivers.

When Ty Montgomery keeps dropping pass after pass and Nunes’ arm isn’t accurate enough to place the ball in the hands of his 6’8 tight end, Levine Toilolo, all the defense in the world isn’t going to help. Stepfan Taylor was stopped at 75 yards on 21 carries, and a team that’s built on running game more than some seem to notice couldn’t get very far against a fired up Washington team, finally proving it’s worth against a top 10 school.

It was about defense, defense, defense for Washington, losing four straight games to top 10 opponents and finally breaking their win-less streak against the Cardinal. As Desmond Trufant mentioned a few minutes after his interception that sealed the last offensive effort from Josh Nunes – I’ve lost to Stanford every time since I’ve been here. It’s great to be on the other side this time. 

This was about a program that has achieved excellence over the past few years, a loss or maybe two away from a national championship game, coming over against a school still trying to grasp and find that winning streak and coming through game against a favorite and better team. Between losing to LSU in Baton Rouge, visiting Oregon and a visit from USC (Washington’s last big win) in the following weeks, Steve Sarkisian has his first BCS-caliber scalp, which might also be his last this season. Brutal schedule, and an offense that doesn’t shine too often, might not be enough against the Ducks and the Trojans.

There was something about CenturyLink field this week, as the Huskies followed the illegal (should’ve been illegal) win by the Seattle Seahawks over the Green Bay Packers, also coming in as big favorites. For Washington, this may be a win to build on as this program tries to rise from mediocrity and get a bit nearer to the top and the best of the Pac-12. For Stanford, it was a wake up call, showing that after everything, maybe losing Andrew Luck was a big deal, and beating USC doesn’t promise you anything great later on in the season.

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