Washington vs. Stanford: Why The Cardinal Win


Sep 28, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Stanford Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan (8) passes the ball against the Washington State Cougars during the 1st half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s note: Yesterday, I wrote why the Huskies will upset Stanford for the second straight year. Here’s a view from the opposite perspective.

The Stanford Cardinal are going to win Saturday, and it’s not going to be close. The Washington Huskies haven’t faced a quality opponent yet, let alone on the road. They played Illinois in Chicago, but there were as many Huskies fans as there were Illini fans. Boise State isn’t the same as it was a few years ago, and beating the Broncos at home is no real accomplishment.

Stanford is without a doubt one of the top teams in not only the Pac-12 but the country. It relies on a power running game behind its massive offensive line, complemented by one of the better quarterbacks in the conference, Kevin Hogan. He may prove to be the difference between last year and this year. When the Huskies beat the Cardinal in Seattle last season, now-retired Josh Nunes was behind center for the Cardinal. To be fair, Keith Price is a completely different player this season compared to last.

Ultimately, Stanford is too big, too talented and too well coached. The Huskies are going to put up a fight in the first half, but their up-tempo offense won’t be able to wear out the Cardinal like it does other teams. Bishop Sankey isn’t going to be able to find any holes running against the big Stanford defensive line, allowing the Cardinal to drop back into extra pass defense. Once the Cardinal take out Sankey’s running attack, they take out UW’s entire offensive gameplan.

The Huskies have to play a near-perfect game in order to take down the Cardinal on the road. They haven’t done that all year, and they surely won’t against one of the best teams in the nation. For Stanford to lose, things have to go wrong. For Stanford to win, it just has to play like it has the rest of the season. There is just too much in Stanford’s favor for the Cardinal not to win.

No matter what, it should be an entertaining affair. Make sure to stop by Husky Haul during the game to participate in our first live game thread of the season, run by yours truly.