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Stanford escapes with a victory over Washington: Rapid Reaction from a nailbiter in Seattle

It was ugly, but the Cardinal survived a critical road test

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Stanford's defense might be the best in the country

Look at those numbers: 2.63 yards per play, 7 offensive points,179 total yards. The Cardinal defense came up with critical stops time after time on Saturday and saved Stanford from another potential disaster. Every level of the defense was solid. The run defense cracked the Huskies at their very foundation, the pass rush was decent and the coverage downfield was flawless (except for one coverage bust by Zach Hoffpauir). I was particularly impressed with James Vaughters, who looked like a video game boss stopping the run. Peter Kalambayi was also superb (he looks like a stud in the making), as was Alex Carter down the field. Altogether, this unit appears to be good enough to give the Cardinal a chance to win every game on the schedule - the only question is if they can get enough offensive support.

Kevin Hogan was in the Danger Zone

Stanford's quarterback was inches away from his own Three Mile Island on Saturday, but he calmed down in the 4th quarter and survived the day once again. He almost threw two pick-sixes in the early going, then was high and inaccurate with his throws, then bombed an interception into tight coverage. On top of that, he dropped two fumbles including one in the red zone. Hogan was very lucky to escape the day without being the goat. He'll have a tough film session on Sunday to evaluate.

Stanford's red zone issues persist

Another game, another set of issues in the red zone. Some of it was execution - Hogan couldn't put the ball on target to Montgomery on what would have been a surefire TD - and some was play-calling (the very next play was a brutal long fade to the corner of the end zone). It doesn't have to be so hard. I did like the play-calling in the red zone a little more this week, but my solution for David Shaw would be to run the ball more frequently (and not out of the shotgun).

Ty Mongtomery is a stud

Let's not be all doom and gloom, huh?