What Beating Stanford Looks Like


Stanford has not lost many times in the last few years. In fact, in the last three years Stanford has a record of 26-6. Five of those losses came in 2009. 2010 was marked with only one loss, Oregon, and Stanford has yet to lose in 2011.

Washington is tasked with that challenge this weekend, beating the number 8 team in the nation on the road. It is an uphill battle going into this weekend for the Huskies. And in order to win, UW will need to play to the best of their abilities, especially on the defensive end.

What Does Beating Stanford Look Like? 

  • Washington and Stanford have faced each other 81 times and UW holds the advantage; 40-37-4. However, UW was last able to do so in 2007, winning 27-9. Louis Rankin ran all over the Cardinal that day, compiling 255 yards and a touchdown. However, the Stanford team is vastly different now and thus there isn’t much to glean from this matchup.
  • Oregon is the most recent team to beat Stanford. Last Season, the #4  in the nation (at the time) Ducks beat #9 Stanford by a score of 52-31. Oregon won after being down 21-3 at one point. They forced key turnovers and then took advantage of them. Andrew Luck in this game had 341 yards and 2 touchdowns but he also threw 2 picks. If you don’t remember the game, here are the highlights:
  • In the end it came down to a powerhouse offense and a couple big mistakes by Stanford and the Ducks were able to win. As painful as that may have been for a Husky fan to watch, there is something to learn from that victory.

How Can the Huskies Beat Stanford?

  • Force turnovers– The Huskies won’t be able to contain the Cardinal offense on a consistent basis but they have shown an impressive ability this season to punch balls loose and create turnovers. If the Dawgs are able to win the turnover battle they have a legitimate shot to win the game.
  • Look for points on every drive– This may be a little unrealistic but if the Huskies are able to put points up on almost every drive, if not every drive, they can win this game. More often than not they need touchdowns over field goals. One thing the nation knows for certain about Andrew Luck and Stanford is–they will score points. Only once in the last two years has the Cardinal scored less than 30 points in a game. They will score, UW needs to score more.
  • Make Luck uncomfortable– This is a hard task. This is nearly impossible but the Huskies need to find a way to make Luck feel uneasy. Luck is easily one of the most poised quarterbacks in the game, and it’s hard not to be when he has only been sacked once this year. He also can read coverages, can audible at the line, and chooses plays he knows will succeed. UW is faced with a near impossible task but if they can get Luck to feel uncomfortable it will be a version of Luck no one has ever seen. This may come through pressure, mixed coverages, different looks, fresh bodies, or a combo of all of those things.
  • Find the momentum– This may come by electing to receive and scoring first. Teams don’t score first against Stanford. The Cardinal is 50-0 in first quarter points. If UW is able to take the momentum early, Stanford may look a little bit different than they have this year.

Can the Huskies win this game against Stanford? Yes, but it is a very hard task. ESPN Game Day described the matchup this way:

"Stanford gets its first real test of the season when Washington heads to the Farm. Andrew Luckis the Heisman frontrunner, but UW’s Keith Price has more touchdown passes. Price has 21 scoring tosses to Luck’s 18. Nationally, only Robert Griffin III (22) has more. Price, running back Chris Polk, who’s averaging 121 yards per game rushing, and receiver Jermaine Kearse will give Stanford’s Pac-12-leading defense a challenge.Pass defense has been shaky at times for the Huskies. That’s not a great résumé to bring in against Luck. But Steve Sarkisian has the Huskies on their way back to prominence. That trip may be a little closer to its destination should they pull the upset.Washington wasn’t overwhelmed during its trip to Nebraska. A serious self-inflicted wound on the kickoff return team squashed any hope Sark’s squad had of knocking off Big Red. There’s a difference between an upset and a landmark win. Beating USC in Sarkisian’s first season was an upset. Beating Stanford would be a landmark."

Coach Sark and his UW Huskies are looking for that landmark win and they have a shot this weekend against Stanford.