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.