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Stanford Cardinal vs. Washington Huskies predictions from the Rule of Tree staff

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We asked the writers their thoughts on the upcoming Stanford football game against Washington

Stanford v UCLA Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

TonyFernandesSports: Stanford heads into the Pacific Northwest a wounded animal. Three crucial starters are out, and the Cardinal are facing a vastly improved Huskies squad that is well coached. Sorry to say this Cardinal fans, but I see it going the way of the Huskies. Washington plays the game on both sides of the ball with break-neck speed and ferocity. The Cardinal will fight hard, but the short week, and loss of key personnel will allow Washington to prevail 28-17.

Matt Vassar: Tony is right. The injuries from the UCLA game leave Stanford at a disadvantage. Losing both of our starting corners (Quenton Meeks and Alijah Holder) makes it harder to keep up with Washington's explosive receivers, which include Myles Gaskin, Lavon Coleman, and the man that David Shaw called the fastest opposing receiver in the conference, John Ross. On the other side of the ball, it's also troublesome losing Francis Owusu and Daniel Marx, who was one of Christian McCaffrey's best blockers. That said, while Stanford has struggled on the road, it usually doesn't struggle in big games. In fact, David Shaw has the fifth-best win-loss percentage against ranked teams (.690) throughout all of history, and among active coaches, Shaw is second only to Urban Meyer (.711). This will be a nail-biter, but I'm taking Stanford: 24-21.

Matt Levin: After having a rather mediocre game last week against UCLA, Stanford will face a tough test against Washington. Ryan Burns will have to be a lot sharper than he was last week. Also, McCaffrey needs to get more carries. A major concern for me is how will the secondary hold with Holder and Meeks being out. Stanford will need a lot of help from the defensive line to help cope with the injuries in the secondary. This game is going to be tough for Stanford to win. That said, I believe Stanford will pull off the win. Stanford wins 17-14.

CMolesky: This is the game that Stanford's offense needs to help out the defense with Holder and Meeks out. Rector, Burns and McCaffrey all need to step up big and I think Shaw is going to put those playmakers in the best position to make Burns look exceptional. In the end the better coach will be the difference. 28-20 Stanford stays perfect.

Kyle Fierro: Last week's prediction may have been a little overzealous on my part. This week, I see a necessary shift away from the ground and pound offense due to injuries sustained in LA. With Daniel Marx out, the two-back sets will be less powerful and the loss of their top two corners might mean Stanford finds itself playing from behind. It'll be sink or swim for Burns with the outcome firmly resting on his ability to throw the ball effectively. Based on the first 58 minutes from last week, I'm predicting he sinks. UW 31- Stanford 17

John Loop: The journey up to loud and rainy Seattle could prove a slippery slope for the Cardinal with all of the talent they'll have sidelined by injury. Washington utilizes two running backs in Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman to the table who can really bring the pain, making the play of defensive lined improved gap integrity by the linebackers that much more critical to a Stanford win. Ryan Burns will have to pull out all the stops if the Cardinal want to have a chance on the road against a stingy Huskies pass defense. However, I am but optimistic of the outcome: Cardinal win 27-23.

Nerdnation23: For all of the hoopla surrounding this game, nobody is seeing this game from the perspective that Stanford could go into Washington and blow them out of the water. Stanford still has the best player in college football, they haven't even played a great game yet, and this isn't even the biggest game Stanford has played in the last calendar year. My only worry is I actually don't have one and I see Stanford winning 31 to 14.

Nick Dempsey: Washington could really be on to something great in Seattle and some of the outrageous hype that has surrounded the Huskies has been warranted. However, Washington struggled to beat Arizona but found easy wins against the likes of Portland State, Idaho, and Rutgers. Stanford is a huge step up from all of those teams so the average points per game and gaudy numbers are a bit inflated right now. The best thing Washington has going for them is that the game is in Seattle and the rowdy crowd could rattle young Ryan Burns. This is definitely a prove-it game for a very young Washington team and the pressure is on them to show the hype is real. Conversely, Stanford and Coach David Shaw have a strong history of winning high-pressure games even in hostile environments. I take David Shaw and Christian McCaffrey in this one. Stanford - 24, Washington - 19

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