Stanford over Washington was the Hotline’s pick in August, and Stanford over Washington is the Hotline’s pick in November.
The Huskies are on a short week, looked wobbly the last time they were on the road and are losing playmakers seemingly by the day (the latest: receiver Quinten Pounds and tight end Hunter Bryant). The Cardinal has played well at home, owns loads of big game experience and has a defense that’s just good enough to provide resistance. Yep, the Huskies are granite. Yep, the Cardinal looks lost.
But Stanford has options in the passing game and coach David Shaw, stung by the flatline at Washington State, will make a point of calling plays for his tight ends. (Their size will be problematic for Washington.). Quarterback K.J. Costello is mobile enough to elude the pass rush and should complete just enough third-down passes to keep drives alive.
Bryce Love will squeeze through just enough openings for the Cardinal to muster a few touchdowns. Meanwhile, Washington’s offense will encounter problems similar to those it encountered at Arizona State, where the running game sputtered, the protection broke down and there simply weren’t enough options for Jake Browning.
If Washington scores touchdowns on defense or special teams (Dante Pettis), the calculation would change. But Stanford should be sound enough to avoid breakdowns and turnovers.
The line is only six, folks. A Cardinal victory would hardly be a shocker.