As Saturday dawns, one of the biggest games of this Washington Huskies season -- and perhaps many seasons yet to come -- draws ever closer.
Here's my preview story from today's paper. Here's a look at the coaching implications from the Mercury News in the Bay Area. And here's one from Redwood City, Calif., that kind of reminds that Stanford fans sort of expect to win this one just as much as UW fans.
I'll be leaving for the stadium in the late afternoon and will begin normal gameday blogging then. Meanwhile, a quick look ahead:
STANFORD (2-2 OVERALL, 1-1 PAC-10)
AT WASHINGTON (0-3, 0-1)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Husky Stadium.
Television: FSN. Radio: 950-AM.
The series: Washington leads, 40-34-3, including 21 wins in the last 25 meetings. The Huskies won last season, 27-9, at Stanford. The Cardinal won its last time in Husky Stadium, 20-3, in 2006.
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What to watch: Both teams want to establish the run. That should be especially important for the Cardinal, which will send the Pac-10's No. 3 runner against the nation's No. 100 run defense. However, if the UW defensive can hold its ground, Stanford will have to try to fire up a passing offense that ranks last in the league and 109th nationally.
What's at stake: Washington is looking for its first win, after starting 0-3 against three ranked teams. A loss to Stanford would ignite UW's coaching controversy to new heights. Meanwhile, a Cardinal win would move them into the top half of the suddenly wide-open conference race. The bowl math gets far more difficult for tonight's loser.
TNT pick: UW, 26-24. Two pretty evenly matched teams, but home field and Jake Locker should tip the scales.