Man, I've tried to convince myself otherwise.
What could the Huskies do to beat Stanford? Jake Locker could throw five touchdown passes. Chris Polk might run for 200 yards. The defense could force a turnover or two.
All I came back to was one simple fact: Opponents committed to the run game ... well, run wild on the UW defense.
Nobody does that better than the Cardinal under coach Jim Harbaugh.
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Here is the breakdown:
No. 13 Stanford (6-1, 3-1 Pac-10) at Washington (3-4, 2-2)Kickoff: 4 p.m. PDT, Husky Stadium, Seattle.
TV: Versus. Radio: 950-AM.
The series: UW leads, 40-36-3, and has gone 21-6 against the Cardinal since 1977. But Stanford has won four of the past five meetings, including a 34-14 thumping last season, and has won games in its prior two trips to Seattle.
What to watch: How do the Huskies possibly think of slowing down Stanford’s offense? A first-quarter lead is a must, for starters. As good as quarterback Andrew Luck is – some say he’s the best in the country – if the UW’s defense can’t get a hold of running back Stepfan Taylor and company, it’s likely a lost cause. The Huskies have given up an average of 215.3 rushing yards in their four defeats. … Does Stanford even have a weakness? Not many, but when teams strike deep in the passing game, the Cardinal has had difficulty stopping tall, fast receivers. … Another UW offensive line realignment? Erik Kohler and Colin Porter have been impressive enough in spot starts to get full-time nods. They’ll be on the right side of the line together.
What’s at stake: Both teams have imminent goals – the Cardinal wants to stay in the league title hunt, and the Huskies need a win to keep their faint postseason hopes ticking. A loss ruins those designs for one team.
TNT pick: Cardinal, 37-26.
PRIME NUMBERSStanfordNo. Name (position) Ht./Wt. Year12 Andrew Luck (QB) 6-4/235 SophomoreWas Pac-10’s best signal caller last season; now it’s not even close.26 Delano Howell (SS) 5-11/198 JuniorHealth issues (hand), playing status leave vulnerable secondary in limbo.48 Owen Marecic (FB/ILB) 6-1/244 SeniorNo time for rest, he is the only full-time two-way starter in NCAA Division I.81 Chris Owusu (WR/KR) 6-2/200 JuniorBurned Huskies for opening kickoff return score last season; could do it again.94 Thomas Kaiser (OLB) 6-5/244 JuniorIf Cardinal plans on spying Jake Locker, he is certainly the guy for the job.
WashingtonNo. Name (position) Ht./Wt. Year10 Jake Locker (QB) 6-3/230 SeniorWould like nothing more than to outshine Stanford’s Andrew Luck – and win.15 Jermaine Kearse (WR) 6-2/205 JuniorBig-time receivers giving Stanford fits (three 100-yard efforts in past two games).40 Mason Foster (OLB) 6-2/242 SeniorPac-10’s top tackler (11.7 tpg) might need to be everywhere tonight – and more.55 Sione Potoa’e (DT) 6-2/285 FreshmanFor depleted defensive line, ex-Lakes High star makes first career start inside.75 Erik Kohler (RT/RG) 6-5/306 FreshmanTrue frosh is already team’s second-best blocker behind junior Senio Kelemete.