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Stanford vs. Washington: Four (Not So) Preposterous Predictions

Let's get crazy, shall we?

Otto Greule Jr

Here are four things that probably won't (but maybe will) happen Saturday at Stanford Stadium. Vote for the least preposterous prediction and feel free to leave your own in the comments section.

1. Bishop Sankey will rush for 50 or fewer yards.

Why it’s preposterous: Sankey leads the nation in rushing yards per game (151.75) and hasn’t been limited to fewer than 50 yards since he had 16 on eight carries in a September loss to LSU last season. The junior burned the Cardinal for 144 yards on 20 carries last year, with 61 coming on a third quarter touchdown run, and he had 77 yards on only four carries in a 56-0 win over Idaho State on Sept. 21.

Why it could happen: The 5-foot-10, 203-pound Sankey also leads the nation in rushing attempts per game (26) after carrying the ball a school-record 40 times in last week’s win over Arizona. That's a lot of carries for a guy who's about to face the best rushing defense he's seen all year. "He was a little sore, but he looked good today," UW coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday. While Marion Grice isn't in the same class as Sankey, the Cardinal limited the ASU back to 50 yards on 17 carries two weeks ago. If Stanford jumps out to another big early lead, Sankey won't approach his average workload. For the record: If this prediction comes true, I hope that Sankey's 68-year-old grandfather, who has been blind in both eyes for five years and recently regained his sight after a cornea transplant, gets to see his grandson rush for 200 yards against the Ducks next week.

2. Stanford will sack Keith Price at least six times.

Why it’s preposterous: Washington has allowed three sacks all season. Stanford's defense has nine sacks through four games, well off of last year's FBS-leading pace. Price has one of the best tight ends in the country in Austin Seferian-Jenkins and he could have a huge game against a Stanford pass defense that hasn't been that good.

Why it could happen: What's that? Stanford's pass defense has been excellent? OK then. Perhaps the #partyinthebackfield will be rocking after all. Last year, the Huskies were tied for 110th among FBS teams with 38 sacks allowed, including three against Stanford.

3. Kevin Hogan will throw at least four touchdown passes.

Why it's preposterous: Hogan hasn't thrown more than three touchdown passes in any of his nine starts. Washington is one of two FBS teams that has allowed only one touchdown pass this season. Should I go on? The Huskies have six interceptions and have limited opponents to 4.2 yards per attempt, second-best in the nation. While those numbers are boosted somewhat by playing FCS lightweight Idaho State, two of Washington's other three opponents (Illinois and Boise State) have combined for 22 touchdown passes this year.

Why it could happen: Two of Hogan's three career three-touchdown games have come this season and the Cardinal has shown a willingness -- and ability -- to throw deep. Stanford has six pass plays of 40 yards or more this season. Last season, Stanford had eight such plays. Refusing to believe that Stanford's passing game could possibly have improved that much since the teams' last meeting, Washington stacks the box and dares Hogan to beat them. He does, with regularity.

4. Stanford will score at least 50 points.

Why it’s preposterous: Washington's defense has been nasty, allowing 10.8 points per game.

Why it could happen: Three of Washington's four games this season have been at home, and the Huskies allowed a total of 19 points in those games. In its only non-home game, Washington gave up 24 points to Illinois at Soldier Field. The Huskies have struggled on the road in recent seasons and the Stanford offense seems to be hitting its stride.