Matchup: #16 Stanford at Washington (Stanford -8, 47.5 at JustBet)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 27th @ 4:15 pm (EST)
Location: Seattle, WA (airing on FOX)
Preview: The #16 ranked Stanford Cardinal travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Washington Huskies in a key PAC-12 conference battle.
Stanford comes in to Saturday’s matchup at 2-1 and lost their lone conference matchup at home to USC. They are your typical Stanford team, they run the ball effectively and play outstanding defense. Now when I say outstanding defense, it’s pretty much a regular thing when it comes to Stanford. The Cardinal are #1 in the nation in total defense and scoring defense, allowing just 204 yards and 4.3 points per game. They’ve held two of their opponents scoreless and gave up 13 points to USC in their only loss. Their offense is led by senior quarterback Kevin Hogan, who is completing 73% of his passes for 705 yards and 7 touchdowns. They run the ball with success as well, averaging 158.7 yards per game.
Washington is currently 4-0 on the year and Saturday will be the first PAC-12 conference game for head coach Chris Peterson. Anyone who follows Chris Peterson knows his credentials; he took a small program in Boise State and made them relevant on the national level. The Huskies started off a tad shaky this season, with close wins at Hawaii and at home against Eastern Washington. In the past two weeks against better competition they’ve looked much improved, beating Illinois 44-19 and Georgia State 45-14. The Huskies are running the ball well, averaging 239 yards on the ground. Their quarterback sophomore Cyler Miles is completing 67% of his passes for 525 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Huskies have a solid defensive line returning 4 starters and are stout against the run, allowing only 113 yards per game.
I’m going with the home dog on Saturday in Seattle. Washington’s defensive line is solid, and Stanford has a young and inexperienced offensive line with 4 new starters. This might make Stanford one dimensional, which is not a bad thing because Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan will have some success against a young Husky secondary. While Stanford’s defense is great against the run, they will go against what might be the PAC-12’s best offensive line. The Huskies offensive line is solid and returns all 5 of their starters, 4 of whom are 5th year seniors. Washington will have success running the ball, and will keep this game close. Both head coaches are outstanding football minds, and I see this game being a chess match. I think Stanford grinds out a win here behind the experience and arm of Kevin Hogan, but the hostile home crowd and a Washington team that’s solid in the trenches should provide a stiff test for Stanford.
2014 Week 5 NCAA Football Picks: Washington +8, Under 47.5
Stanford at Washington Score Prediction: Stanford 20 – Washington 17