The Washington Huskies and Stanford Cardinal meet in a rare marquee matchup on Friday night. We get spoiled a day early, as Washington and Stanford embark on a Pac-12 showdown in Palo Alto. Stanford with 3 losses is removed from the playoff picture, but can still qualify for a top-tier bowl if they can hold pat. They are currently projected to be going to the Foster Farms Bowl. Washington, on the other hand, are still alive in the playoff race with 1 loss. There are four undefeated teams, Miami, Wisconsin, Alabama, and Georgia.
A win for Miami on Saturday against Notre Dame would springboard them higher. Wisconsin is just a victim of a weak schedule. If they win-out and win the Big Ten, there will certainly be a lot of debating. They won’t have the opportunity to beat an undefeated team in the conference, or 1 loss for that matter. With Ohio State and Penn State both losing last week, there is Wisconsin and then 2 loss schools behind them.
Washington is currently 9th in the country. A lot must go their way to move up five spots. However, we’ve had some crazy weeks with teams moving around drastically, so it wouldn’t be surprising. It wouldn’t be surprising, but it isn’t going to be easy for the Huskies. Just winning the Pac-12 isn’t going to be easy, which they must do to be considered for the playoff.
Note that a 1 loss Alabama or Georgia team may very well be given the 4th seed. It’s about to be a wild ride over the next few weeks. The Washington already took one opponent lightly on the road. They went to Arizona State and laid a dud, taking a 13-7 loss to the Sun Devils. The Sun Devils have been pretty useless on defense this season, but the Huskies didn’t show up to play. The Stanford defense is exponentially better than Arizona State. Come in with the same attitude, and it’ll be another loss for Washington. Get our free Washington vs. Stanford pick below for Friday night.
Washington Huskies vs. Stanford Cardinal Betting Odds:
vs. Stanford +6.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Washington vs. Stanford Pick:
Stanford played Washington State tough, but ultimately came up short in a 24-21 losing effort. The Cardinal were on a nice five-game winning streak before the Cougars cut it short, 24-21. Washington State aren’t a bad team, but it was a winnable game for Stanford. They previously dropped back-to-back contests back in September, a loss to USC and San Diego State the following week. Stanford used a lot of energy against USC, and had nothing in the tank for the following week.
The Cardinal must be aware of dynamic punt returner, Dante Pettis. If Stanford even kick it to him, I don’t see it as the best idea in the world. Just angle the punt out of bounds and avoid putting it in his hands. Pettis has already broken the NCAA record for punt returns in a season with 9 and we’re not even done yet. This should be rule number 1 for Stanford on Friday night. They also must be aware of him in the passing game. Washington are not as good as they were on offense a year ago. John Ross is no longer here blowing the top of defenses, but Pettis is still a threat.
The focal point of the Washington offense centers around running back Myles Gaskin. Gaskin is rushing for 6.2 yards per carry with 918 yards rushing this year. I don’t care for Washington quarterback Jake Browning as an NFL prospect. Ross made him last season. Nevertheless, Browning has 16 touchdowns and 5 interceptions with a 67.8% completion percentage.
In any event, their success is predicated around the defense. Washington are 1st in the nation, allowing just 241 yards per game. On the ground, they’re giving up 91.1 yards per game. Stanford will pound it with Bryce Love, the leading rusher in the nation to test that unit. Love has rushed for a staggering 1,456 yards with a 9.6 average. The offensive line just has to open up a small crease and Love will find it.
Washington hasn’t had the most difficult schedule. Their best win is against UCLA? It sure looks that way. And even then, Josh Rosen exited that game with an injury. The following week they got to take advantage of an Oregon team without their starting quarterback. Most importantly, they haven’t faced an offensive line and runner like Bryce Love. Since 2011, they’ve lost in Palo Alto by more than 6 points just once. It should be a close one, so I’d go with the points here.
PICK: STANFORD +6.5 (-110)