Merced Sun-Star (Saturday) - - Sports -

But it’s still a huge dis­ap­point­ment for Stan­ford and Wash­ing­ton to be in this po­si­tion. In a sign of how much lus­ter has come off what was sup­posed to be one of the big­gest Pac-12 North games of the sea­son, the Huskies and Car­di­nal are be­ing rel­e­gated to the Pac-12 Net­work.

Stan­ford’s big­gest ques­tion will be the sta­tus of run­ning back Bryce Love, who has rushed for only 413 yards and three touch­downs while deal­ing with a lin­ger­ing an­kle prob­lem. Love had 71 yards rush­ing last week against Wash­ing­ton State, but car­ried just six times.

Here are other things to watch as the Huskies and Car­di­nal meet with both teams un­ranked for the first time since 2008: MORE TACK­LES: Wash­ing­ton LB Ben Burr-Kir­ven con­tin­ues to lead the coun­try in tack­les with 122, 38 more than he had all last sea­son in 13 games. Burr-Kir­ven has recorded at least 13 tack­les in six of Wash­ing­ton’s nine games. He had 14 last week against Cal­i­for­nia.

“When I watch tapes of his high school games, all he does is tackle every­body. Since he’s been at Wash­ing­ton, all he’s done is tackle every­body. Call him a tweener or call him a safety-linebacker, the guy is a great foot­ball player,” Stan­ford coach David Shaw said. THROW IT UP: With Love’s lin­ger­ing in­jury, the Car­di­nal have put more of the of­fense in the hands of quar­ter­back K.J. Costello and his as­sort­ment of big wide re­ceivers and tight ends. Costello is av­er­ag­ing 270.6 yards per game pass­ing and ranks in the top 20 na­tion­ally in yards pass­ing, touch­downs and com­ple­tion per­cent­age. ES­TAB­LISH THE RUN: Wash­ing­ton was held un­der 100 yards rush­ing last week for the first time since it lost at Ari­zona State last sea­son. The Huskies had 91 yards rush­ing against Cal­i­for­nia; they had 91 yards rush­ing a year ago against Ari­zona State.

Get­ting Gaskin back would be a big boost, as would find­ing ways to get speedy Salvon Ahmed go­ing. Ahmed had eight car­ries for (mi­nus)-2 yards against Cal­i­for­nia. TURNOVER TIME: When Stan­ford forces turnovers, it wins. When the Car­di­nal don’t, they lose. It’s not of­ten that sim­ple, but that’s been the case for Stan­ford this sea­son. In their five wins, the Car­di­nal have forced 12 turnovers. In their three losses, they’ve forced zero.

Stan­ford has com­mit­ted six turnovers in the three losses.

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