Stanford vs. Washington Prediction, Game Preview

    Stanford vs. Washington prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Friday night's matchup between the Cardinal and Huskies.

    September 30, 2016

    Stanford vs. Washington prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Friday night’s matchup between the Cardinal and Huskies.

    When: Friday, Sept. 30 – 9:00 p.m. ET
    Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle, Washington
    TV Broadcast: ESPN

    It doesn’t always matter how you win, just that you do win. Last weekend, Stanford trailed UCLA from the end of the first quarter until the very end of the fourth quarter but still managed to beat the Bruins, 22-13. The Cardinal took a 16-13 lead after Ryan Burns hit JJ Arcega-Whiteside for an 8-yard touchdown pass. On the ensuing UCLA drive, Solomon Thomas returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown to put the nail in the coffin.

    The Huskies were also taken to the brink in their first real challenge of the season. Rich Rodriguez’s Arizona Wildcats forced overtime with a 3-yard touchdown pass with 17 seconds remaining in regulation. Arizona and Washington exchanged the lead a couple of times throughout the game, but it was the Huskies who came out on top when Jake Browning hit Dante Pettis for the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime.

    The all-time series between Stanford and Washington is as close as it gets at 41-41-4. The Cardinal have won three straight by an average of nine points. The last time Washington won was at home in 2012, 17-13.

    What To Know About Stanford

    It’s not a secret that Christian McCaffrey is one of the best players in college football. He’s a Heisman Trophy finalist and a workhorse. Through three games, the star running back has already received 91 touches combined between his rushing attempts and receptions. He’s totaled 555 yards and four touchdowns from scrimmage. As far as the passing game is concerned, Stanford will be without wide receiver Francis Owusu, who’s out with a concussion. Starting fullback Daniel Marx is also out for the game.

    On the other side of the ball, the Cardinal enter with the nation’s No. 8 scoring defense, allowing just 12 points per game. The injury bug is floating around the defensive side of the ball, too. Aside from Owusu, both of Stanford’s starting cornerbacks, Alijah Holder and Quenton Meeks are out for the game against Washington.

    What to Know About Washington

    The Huskies are ranked No. 15 in scoring defense (14.5 ppg) and No. 26 in total defense (320.8 yds/game). Linebackers Azeem Victor and Keishawn Bierria have led that attack. Offensively, the weight has been shouldered by quarterback Jake Browning. He’s completed 70.5 percent of his passes 904 yards and 14 touchdowns to only two interceptions. He’ll spread the ball around, too. Eight different Husky players have caught a touchdown pass during Washington’s 4-0 start.


    Offense: Stanford – As lights out as Browning has been, Burns’ stats don’t reflect how solid he’s been. As long as he can find a way to give McCaffrey the ball, Stanford gets the edge.

    Defense: Washington – The Cardinal have been slightly better so far, but the Washington linebacking core is for real. The Huskies get the nod.

    Special Teams: Stanford – Conrad Ukropina has been spot on in the kicking game, and with McCaffrey returning kicks and punts, Stanford gets the advantage.

    Coaching: Washington – David Shaw is a great head coach, but Chris Petersen has done some brilliant things. He worked wonders at Boise State, and he’s doing it at Washington now. The edge goes to the Huskies, barely.

    Matchup To Watch

    Jake Browning vs. Christian McCaffrey

    The Washington quarterback doesn’t quite have the star power that McCaffrey has, but he has been playing great so far this season. The matchup to watch is between those two playmakers. Both need to have big games to set the tone for their teams. McCaffrey needs to provide some pop in the return game, and Browning needs to work the varying parts of the field to keep the ball out of McCaffrey’s hands.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Washington – 3
    Over/Under: N/A

    Stanford vs. Washington Prediction

    Stanford flirted with disaster against UCLA, and it almost handed the Cardinal its first loss of the season. Josh Rosen is still a great talent, but there’s a difference between being great and playing great. Browning has been playing great. He’ll continue that against Stanford. The two Pac-12 powers will trade offensive blows. McCaffrey will have his Heisman moments, but Browning will eventually lead the go-ahead drive to give the Huskies the win.

    Stanford vs. Washington Score Prediction: Washington 38, Stanford 35

    MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 5


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