Huskies vs. Stanford

By Clark September 26, 2009

Following their huge upset victory over USC last week, the Huskies travel to the Bay Area tonight to take on Pac-10 rival Stanford in their first road game of the year. Since last week, U-Dub has climbed into the AP Top 25 rankings at No. 24—only the fourth team in CFB history to be ranked just a season after going winless. Washington is clearly a much improved team under new coach Steve Sarkisian, with a healthy Jake Locker leading the offense.

But Husky homers shouldn’t get too giddy as they get ready for tonight’s matchup vs. the Cardinal. Stanford owns this matchup on paper. The Cardinal’s Toby Gerhart is one of the best running backs in the nation, and while he’s no Locker, redshirt freshman quarterback Andrew Luck has averaged 8.8 yards per pass play and is a top 25 passer statistically.

Against both a solid rushing and passing attack, the Huskies stop unit simply isn't on par. The defense has given up more than 6.5 yards per play in every single game this year, including a pathetic Idaho team. The Husky defense was not what won last week’s game or limited USC to 13 points—the Trojans outgained UW 6.6 yards per play to 4.3. It was the minus-3 turnover ratio, as the Huskies benefited from sloppy turnovers at key moments.

The Stanford defense is slightly worse than average, so Locker and the Huskies will be able to move the ball and score. But they’ll need to win the turnover battle again and play better defense tonight to have a chance. With two good offenses (Stanford’s is better) and so-so defense, expect a high-scoring game.

Prediction: Stanford 42, Washington 24.
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