TO­DAY’S PICK

The Mercury News Weekend - - SPORTS - — Jon Wil­ner. For more Pac-12picks go to mer­curynews.com/ tag/pac12-hot­line.

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.

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