Stanford and Washington started with similar expectations of second-tier Pac 12 title contention. Both teams met up with perceived national title contenders and had contrasting outcomes. Stanford upset USC, or really just beat them for the fifth time in six years 21-14. The win pushed them into the Top 10 and the fringe of that first-tier with USC and Oregon. Fans celebrated by not going to class, on Sunday before the fall quarter started. Washington got steamrolled by LSU in Baton Rouge, committing four turnovers and being held to 183 total yards and one field goal. The Huskies leave many lingering questions.
Perception is far apart, though reality may be quite closer. Stanford opened as (-7) favorites on the road. Despite a 65/35 public tilt toward Stanford, the line has not moved. One reason for furious brake-pumping should be Stanford’s offense. Losing Andrew Luck will be significant. The Cardinal rank just 73rd nationally in yards per play. They have a steady rushing attack, but hardly an explosive one. Then there is quarterback Josh Nunes who has completed just 53 percent of his passes and ranks 77th nationally in passer rating.
The Huskies lost skill players, but quarterback Keith Price had a higher passer rating than both Matt Barkley and Brandon Weeden last season and outplayed RG3 in the Alamo Bowl. If Price can get in rhythm and get Washington up by a couple touchdowns, Stanford could have a hard time clawing their way back.
For Recreational Purposes: Washington (+7)
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