Can they end the streak?
The Washington Huskies are back in action tonight at Century Link Field fresh off their bye week. The Stanford Cardinal are on the menu this week and boy did they set this game up to be a big one. Tonight’s game is on primetime (ESPN) and the Huskies are going with a full blackout at the CLink. This ought to be good.
Stanford at Washington
When: 9:00 PM ET, Thursday, September 27, 2012
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
Team Records: Stanford (3-0) , Washington (2-1)
Standings: Stanford 2nd Pac-12 North, Washington 4th Pac-12 North
Stanford has dominated Washington the last 5 years, but nothing is as bad as the last 2 years of meetings between these teams. The Huskies haven’t beat the Cardinal since 2007 and in the last 2 years alone have been outscored 106-21.
This is first game of 3 in a row for Washington facing an opponent ranked in the top 25. After the outpouring of points in their last game, the Huskies will look to put some crucial points on the board against this undefeated Stanford team.
Washington holds the series lead 40-38-4
What to Watch: Stanford
Coming off a huge win against conference giant USC, Stanford will be looking to carry that momentum into this game. The Huskies are hoping the physical game Stanford played against the Trojans will help give them any advantage possible.
Stanford’s defense is physical and tough and it’s evident after holding USC and it’s explosive offense to 2 scores last week. Not only that, but they have the potential to run the score up on you if you’re not careful. Coach David Shaw picked this team up and carried it along the same path that last head coach Jim Harbaugh took it down. They could be a sleeping giant team in this game.
What to Watch: Washington
Injuries have struck the Huskies again and continue to decimate what’s left of the starters. With only 12 returning seniors, the Huskies were already at a disadvantage and now they’ll have to work even harder to make up for the senior leadership this team has been sorely lacking.
Washington is going to have to play physical in all aspects of this game in order to stand a chance against this bruising Stanford team. We all know they’re up for the challenge…but will they be able to compete? That’s the underlying question in this one.
UW Offense vs. Stanford Defense
Stanford’s stingy defense will be a big obstacle for the Huskies. Being offense oriented, Keith Price and company will have to be perfect in this game to pull off the upset. He will no doubt be looking to hit big play guys TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and WR Kasen Williams in order to put the points on the board.
If that doesn’t work, though, the Huskies will have to look to the young guys to get things done. Freshmen wide receivers Jaydon Mickens and Kendyl Taylor will have to step up big time in the passing game as will sophomore DiAndre Campbell. If the Huskies want to move the ball, these guys need to be ready to play a big part in this game.
Washington will also need to control the ground game and do it in a way they haven’t done it yet this season. Stanford’s defensive ends are some of the best in the country and will not allow Husky running backs to get the edges on them. Washington will need to figure out a way to run between the tackles and hit them in the mouth with a very physical game.
Bishop Sankey and Erich Wilson will need to find the holes and get through them quick, but the key could be putting in bigger backs in this game like Dezden Petty and FB Jonathan Amosa. Stanford’s defense is #1 against the rush, only allowing 41.7 yards per game so far this season.
Stanford Offense vs. UW Defense
Stanford lost a lot of their big offensive guys. Linemen David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin moved on to the NFL, as did TE Coby Fleener and QB Andrew Luck. That hasn’t stopped them, though, as Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor is being mentioned as a legitimate Heisman contender and has the ability to make teams suffer by running through them all game long. This season, Talyor has 338 yards on the ground.
Quarterback Josh Nunes is playing his first game away from Stanford is is unproven, but has shown so far that he can get the job done. If the Huskies manage to wrap up the Stanford running backs, they need to look at Zack Ertz, Nunes’ top target on the team.
The Washington defense will need to bring their bigger linebackers and put em in the box in order to stop this attack. We will see plenty of Thomas Tutogi in there, trying to play the role of brick wall.
Stanford vs. Washington Prediction & Analysis
This is going to be a very hard game for the Huskies. Of the 3 daunting games ahead, this one seems like the most winnable and even that will take some serious magic. Hopefully the combination of playing at home in Seattle and going with a blackout for this game will pump them up and inspire them to play on a whole new level.
Stanford is looking to keep rolling and take the Pac-12 north decisively after their huge win over USC. If they get past Washington in this one, only Oregon stands in their way for the North Title.
It’s going to be a game of inches and I think the Huskies will step up. It won’t be good enough, though, as the Stanford defense could potentially do what LSU did to these Huskies.