Instant Analysis – UW-Stanford Halftime Report


Here are some observations, notes, and analysis for the first half of the Washington-Stanford game.

1) Andrew Luck is really good. Yeah, we already knew that. But, that roll and throw on 1st down of their second possession was a true NFL QB play! The second TD to Fleenor was also NFL quality. On the 3rd TD pass, he put it up to a place in the corner of the end zone where only the WR could get it, but it was soft enough to be caught up high.

2) Perhaps Keith Price’s biggest weakness, and probably one due to inexperience, is his lack of throwing the ball out of bounds when he is scrambling and the play is broken. He takes sacks he doesn’t need to.

3) The vision Chris Polk showed on that 1st TD run was amazing. He saw the gaps, made the adjustments mid-run, and showed the speed to get past the secondary. On the 2nd TD run, he simply took the gap his blockers gave him and then showed a burst of speed that was incredible. That safety had the angle to get Polk but simply couldn’t catch him. THAT is an NFL running back right there!

PS- there was some really nice downfield blocking as well, especially by Kevin Smith.

4) I thought run defense was the strength of the UW defense. But, Stanford is showing what a real running game with a big strong backs can do. Chris Polk is giving UW a chance. UW’s defense needs to step up and give this team a chance in the 2nd half. All this Stanford running will open things up for Luck in the 2nd half.

5) Sark made some really nice adjustments late on the drive after Stanford’s 70 yard run. He went with quick slants on multiple plays for long gains. Keith Price is so accurate with his throws, those slants will work all game long. That 3rd down and 10 run call for Polk was brilliant with Stanford set back for the pass. But, that hold by Kevin Smith killed that drive and Folk hit the upright to lose all momentum.

6) Stanford clearly saw some things on tape about our defensive line and knew they could exploit it. That is why they just kept running despite Luck’s obvious skills in passing.

7) Stanford is every bit as good as their #5 ranking shows. That game at home against Oregon is going to be epic. UW is clearly improved over previous games against the Cardinal, but they are not quite there yet.

 Predictions for the 2nd half

Nick Holt will desperately try to come up with a fix to stop Stanford’s running game. Thus, Stanford will open the 2nd half passing and will kill our secondary as they move seemlessly down the field for TDs on their first two possessions in the 3rd quarter.

UW will be stuffed on the first possession of the 2nd half and Stanford will put the game away after that. Keith Price will start to get into a rhythm late in the 3rd quarter and UW will score some additional points. Can UW hold them under 60 tonight? We’ll see what happens.