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The Compulsive Purchase Award

This one is for the defense

Stanford v Washington Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Few purchases rival that of a jersey bought in the light of a beautiful sport’s moment. Allowing the crazed excitement of an incredible play or an unforgettable instant to dictate the acquisition of a players jersey is all part of this thing we call being a sports fan. In the spirit of such a moment, this is the jersey from week ten I would buy in the heat of the moment.

The jersey belonging to the player who raised me to my feet the most, elevated my blood pressure consistently and gave me no choice but to invest in his numbers. This is the winner of the Compulsive Purchase Award- week ten.

Again, the Stanford Cardinal attempted to win a football game by only playing 30 minutes. It was a first half in which they relented 21 points, turning the rock over twice in the first half bludgeoning. The 23-point second half can be deceiving, making this game look almost entertaining or close.

But the Washington Huskies went into cruise control in the second half, giving the Cardinal a heavy dose of running back Myles Gaskin, who rushed for 83 yards in the half while Washington kicked two field goals to keep Stanford at bay.

It seemed very much like an older brother holding back a sibling with one hand pressed firmly against the child’s forehead, lazily waiting for the clock to expire on the activity as the younger brother swings wildly at the air, seemingly making ground without ever getting anywhere, all the while tiring out.

But there are some positives from the tough loss to the Huskies in yet another back to back tumble at the hands of the Washington duo.

Winner - Casey Toohill

Stat Line - three tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1.5 tackles for loss

The Cardinal were not able to coax the ugly out of quarterback Jake Browning, failing to cut off the running attack that kept Washington burning clock, but they were able to create pressure.

For the fifth time this season, the Cardinal recorded three sacks, also posted five tackles for loss. Stanford has been able to find pressure far more consistently than expected, ranking 33rd in the country with 23 sacks. Headed into the season with concerns about getting to the quarterback, the Cardinal have found pressure with creativity and versatility in their front seven.

The tragedy is that this surprising success has not translated into stymieing opposing running attacks. The Cardinal rank 51st, surrendering 1,306 yards on the ground (145.1 per game). Some of the problems have been solved on in the front seven, but Stanford is far from making teams one dimensional and has the same issues pitching a full game that their offense possesses.

The offense gave the Huskies extra possessions but failed to corral Browning in the face of adversity, recording one sack and zero tackles for loss in the first half. The defense has had their moments, some pleasant surprises, just like the offense.

But the entire team has struggled to lock in for 60 minutes week in and week out. The biggest indictment of this squad this season is effort above all else. A far more troubling prospect than any problems along the trenches or consistencies at quarterback.