university of washington blog

UW Huskies vs. Stanford Cardinal Week 8 Handicapping Preview

UW (5-1) at Stanford (6-0)

Washington is coming off scoring 52 points in their last game and they have won 3 straight, but they have a tall task in this game facing a Stanford team that not only has Heisman favorite Andrew Luck under center, but has the nation’s 5th highest scoring team and 5th ranked defense.

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Washington Huskies (5-1) @ Stanford Cardinal (6-0)
Saturday, October 22, 2011 8 PM ET
Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California
Favorite: Stanford -20.5 O/U 60.5

Maybe the revenge factor will motivate the Huskies in this game, as they were smoked losing at home 41-0 last season to Stanford.

A win for the Huskies would be HUGE, as they would move up in the polls and still have a chance to win the Pac 12 conference even though they still have to play Oregon.

Washington has a good offense and solid run defense, but one major concern in this game is facing Luck and a Stanford passing offense that ranks 14th in the nation since the Huskies’ pass defense only ranks 116th in the nation out of 120 FBS teams.

Huskies vs. Cardinal

UW (5-1) at Stanford (6-0) Can UW Score enough to beat Stanford?

QB Keith Price and RB Chris Polk have played great this season and may have to play stellar for the Huskies to pull off the big away upset. Price (1,466 yards 21 TD) and Polk (728 yards 3 TD) both played well last week in a 52-24 win over Colorado last week, but there may be more pressure on Price against the Cardinal. Stanford ranks 2nd in the nation in defending the run, but only 81st defending the pass.

Price may have to air it out early and often for UW to win, but can he stay upright facing a Stanford pass rush that has the 3rd most sacks in the nation?

Stanford is the 6th ranked team in the nation and UW lost their only game against a ranked team (Nebraska) and while Stanford has not faced a ranked opponent this season Luck is 5-1 in his career in a Cardinal uniform against teams in the top 25.

While the Huskies’ pass defense played pretty well last week against Colorado don’t expect them to do the same facing Luck (1,719 yards 18 TD). Luck has several solid targets, especially big play TE Coby Fleener, who has 6 TD and is averaging 23.9 yards per reception.

The Washington run defense has been legit this season ranking 17th in the nation and they totally stuffed the run last week against Colorado.

Stanford features RB Stepfan Taylor in the backfield and he has rushed for over 100 yards in 3 of his last 4 games and will be running behind one of the nation’s best offensive lines.

Price and the UW offense will have to light up the scoreboard, as it is unlikely that their defense will be able to keep Stanford from doing the same.

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