The first in a series of games against ranked opponents for Washington, it’s their chance to join the discussion about the best team in the Pac-12, while for Stanford there is the implication of going, or not, to the national championship game, partially determined by the outcome of their matchup with the Huskies.
Last year, Washington handed Stanford their only loss of the season, as the Cardinal failed to score an offensive touchdown, as Josh Nunes got a step closer to losing his job as the team’s starting quarterback. He kept throwing the ball at receivers’ feet, while Stanford’s mighty running game was halted at only 65 yards.
With Kevin Hogan at quarterback, things look better, with Stanford hoping to have their second 5-0 start in three years, hoping that it leads to something greater than the Rose Bowl this time around. They’re averaging 218 yards per game on the ground through Tyler Gaffney (scoring five touchdowns this season so far), but Hogan had a big game in Seattle against Washington State, throwing for 286 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-17 victory.
When it comes to running, Washington have Bishop Sankey to run behind. The Junior has already ran for 607 yards and five touchdowns this season, helping the Huskies rank 10th in the nation with their ground game, averaging 288.8 yards per game. Their defense has been doing very well so far, allowing just over 10 points per game, although the opposition has been less than impressive in Boise State, Illinois, Idaho State and Arizona.
For Washington, a win will mean a 5-0 start for the first time since 1992, and a strong start to a stretch of playing Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State. The road to becoming nationally prominent again goes through getting big wins over elite programs, which Stanford have been for the last four years.
Prediction – While Washington rely on the same strong defense, power running game Stanford are proud of, the Cardinal just have more talent at depth at the positions that motor this kind of style, which means Stanford remain perfect after this one, while the Huskies hope it doesn’t become a slippery slide into another disappointing season.