The biggest game of the Pac-12 season thus far is upon us. The No. 5 Stanford Cardinal host the No. 15 Washington Huskies Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. Last season, the Huskies upset the Cardinal in comeback fashion, scoring 14 unanswered second-half points. Desmond Trufant picked off Josh Nunes to seal the game. Now, Trufant and Nunes are out, and Marcus Peters and Kevin Hogan are in.
1. Which team’s improvement at quarterback is more significant?
Both teams went under significant changes at the quarterback position over the offseason, but only one changed quarterbacks. Since Hogan took over in Week 10 last season, the Cardinal are 10-0. He’s widely regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in the Pac-12 but so is Price. Now that Price has figured things out this season, he’s looking like he did in 2011, when he burst onto the scene as a sophomore.
2. Power vs. Speed.
The biggest change for the Huskies is their offensive scheme. Last season, they were still running Steve Sarkisian’s pro-style offense, but this season, they’ve run at least 80 plays in each game. Will the Huskies speed be able to overwhelm the Cardinal? Or will the tried-and-true smash mouth football the Cardinal play prevail?
3. How will the Huskies fare away from home?
Washington has yet to play a true road game. Its game against Illinois was played 200 miles away from campus in a quarter-empty stadium. The Huskies played well enough to win, but were far from impressive. Stanford Stadium is one of the least intimidating road environments in the Pac-12, but it’s the road, nonetheless. If anything, the Huskies don’t have the home field advantage of Husky Stadium.