Stanford is looking to prove that last week's sluggish performance against Washington State was an anomaly, while Washington is aiming to keep its bowl hopes alive with an upset at home.
Opening Number: 10
As in the number of passing touchdowns Stanford has allowed in the last three games, including four by Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel last week. Washington quarterback Jake Locker is two weeks removed from a 5-touchdown performance against Oregon State.
Players to Watch
Chris Polk, Washington RB: Locker can't do it all himself. OK, maybe he can, but it would certainly help the Huskies' chances if they could establish a running game. In Locker's 5-TD game against the Beavers, Polk ran for 105 yards on 25 carries.
Devin Aguilar, Washington WR: The junior, who missed the last three games with a strained hip muscle, should return to the lineup Saturday, giving Locker an experienced receiver to target if Stanford focuses most of its energies on slowing Jermaine Kearse.
Ryan Whalen, Stanford WR: If Chris Owusu is unable to play, Andrew Luck will once again rely heavily on Whalen, who is coming off his most productive game of the season (6-71, 1 TD).
Johnson Bademosi, Stanford CB: The junior, who had a game to forget against Washington State, will be targeted early and often by Locker.
"Luck vs. Locker" -- More than a dozen NFL scouts are expected to be in attendance to watch the showdown between the likely future first round picks. Luck, a redshirt sophomore, has outshined the senior Locker this season, helping propel him to the top of many mock drafts. It will be fun to watch the Pac-10's top two quarterbacks go head-to-head for the second and final time. Stanford won last year's meeting, 34-14, but Luck wasn't asked to do much. He was 7-for-14 for 103 yards, while Toby Gerhart ran for 200 yards
"Rain City" -- As of this posting, there's a 70 percent chance of rain at Husky Stadium. While Arizona State had no problem weathering the rain to knock off the Huskies in Seattle earlier this season, Stanford looked sloppy in dreary conditions last week.
- "Injuries" -- Will Owusu play, and if so, how much? What about starting safety Delano Howell? When it comes to Stanford injuries, your guess is as good as mine. Playing without Howell for a second consecutive week would be bad news, especially given that Locker is looking as healthy as he's been in several weeks.
- "Losing Streak" -- Washington is 3-4 and coming off a 44-14 loss to Arizona. The Huskies haven't lost consecutive games this season. Can Stanford put an end to UW's L-W-L-W pattern?
Additional Reading (For You Dedicated Students):
- The Daily Axe predicts Luck and the Cardinal offense will be too much for the Washington defense, which is allowing 33 points per game.
- Phil Steele picks Washington to pull off the upset.
- UW Dawg Pound exchanges questions with a couple of Stanford blogs, including this one, and previews Saturday's game.
- Stanford safety Michael Thomas says "guys are not doing their job" in the secondary.
- Ted Miller offers some Halloween costume suggestions for the Cardinal. Owen Marecic as the Juggernaut? Bravo.
Closing Number: 91
As in Stanford and Washington's red zone scoring percentage. The Cardinal is 40-for-44, while the Huskies are 20-for-22. They're tied for eighth in the nation in that category. California (93 percent) and USC (92 percent) rank fifth and seventh, respectively.
Prediction: Stanford 42, Washington 31. Luck has all day to pick apart the Washington secondary and throws for three touchdowns. Locker piles up yards through the air and on the ground, but is undone by a couple of costly interceptions.