The Stanford Cardinal look to solidify their case as a top team with a win over the surging Washington State Cougars. The Cardinal have been steamrolling the competition since an early season slipup against Northwestern. At 6-1, Stanford faces an unlikely challenge tonight against Washington State. Don’t look now, but Mike Leach has the Cougars looking like a legit team. He gets a lot out of players that are 2 and 3 star recruits in his dynamic offense. Leach finds wide receivers from nowhere and turns them into productive members of the offense. There were players that weren’t even on the depth chart for Washington State last week that were catching balls in the 45-42 win over Arizona. The Cougars were in complete control of that game, but in typical Mike Leach fashion, Arizona came back to make it an interesting game. The offense is designed to go full throttle at all times and never slow down. When it is time to go slow and eat up clock, they have no idea what to do. Against Stanford, I don’t think they will be trying to eat any clock up.
The Cardinal are double digit favorites in this one on the road. With Washington State at 5-2 and feeling confident, they probably feel like they shouldn’t be as big of favorites. This hasn’t been a typical Stanford team, they are winning games, but doing it in a different way. Stanford hasn’t been shy about scoring points this season and it has resulted in one of the best offenses they have had in years, since Andrew Luck left school anyway. Even then though, Stanford wasn’t scoring at quite the same clip. Kevin Hogan has been playing terrific football at quarterback.
He has been there long enough to how to operate the offense at a high level. In fact, Hogan is the last quarterback to take over for Luck. It feels like Luck has been in the NFL for ten years already. Super high scoring games haven’t been in the equation for Stanford in the past, but like the rest of college football, the point totals have been up significantly in Stanford games. They have an offensive team on their hands tonight, so we’ll see how things play out in Washington. If Stanford can continue to pummel teams and win the PAC 12, they might be looking at a college football playoff spot. After a 31-14 win over Washington also last week, Stanford turns their attention to do the same thing against another foe in the same state.
Stanford Cardinal vs. Washington State College Football
Stanford -10.5 (-110)
@Washington State +10.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Stanford vs. Washington State Pick:
Quarterback Kevin Hogan had one bad game against Northwestern, throwing for no touchdowns with an interception. Hogan hasn’t looked back since then, as he is now at 14 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He hasn’t had a game in which he’s passed for more interceptions than touchdowns since week 1. Hogan has been the beneficiary of operation under center with a monster behind him at running back. There are so many talented running backs in this years class and Christian McCaffrey is no exception to that. After 109 yards and a touchdown against Washington, McCaffrey officially threw his name into Heisman talks. On the season, he has 1237 all-purpose yards and 8 touchdowns. The Cardinal have averaged 42.6 points per game since the Northwestern game. 31 points against a pretty good Washington defense last week was no easy thing to do.
This just looks like a terrible matchup for Washington State in this game. Washington State has major problems trying to stop the run game. The Cougars are allowing 203.9 yards per game on the ground. Stanford made it look easy running the football against a pretty decent run defense. The beauty of their ground attack is in the offensive line. They generate massive holes and the backs rip off big runs frequently. I see a tremendous advantage for Stanford in that regard. This game looks something similar to the UCLA game, where Stanford won 56-35. Washington State should be able to score the football too, but not before Stanford has a sizable lead. The Cougars have hit their stride on offense the last few weeks, averaging 47.3 points per game. I like Stanford, but like the OVER even better at 62.
PICK: OVER 61 POINTS (-110)