When Washington has the Ball
According to reports Jake Locker is healthier than he has been in the past three weeks which is good news for Husky fans. When Jake is in a mobile pocket the Husky offense is at its most productive. Look for Washington to attack the Cardinal deep and often early.
Chris Polk and Jessie Callier will keep the Stanford D from focusing completely on the pass. Look for Washington to use the fly sweep quite a bit to take advantage of Stanford's lack of speed in the second level. Chris Polk continues to grade high every game and is expected to carry the ball around 20-25 times on Saturday which will be a major key to UW pulling off the upset.
The Husky offense matches up extremely well with the Stanford defense. As a unit the Card are probably a bit better than last season on defense but the back seven isn't very fast and they will be missing Safety Delano Howell. The return of Devin Aguilar to compliment Jermain Kearse is huge for the Huskies.
The Cardinal have 17 sacks this season, and its pass rush has been its best weapon against the pass so far this season. Keeping Jake mobile to avoid the rush may be the games biggest key for the Husky offense.
When Stanford Has the Ball
The Cardinal run a balanced offense that features both the run and pass in equal doses. QB Andrew Luck is one of the best in the country and is on top of the draft boards at this point of the season. Luck averages around 250 yards in the air per game.
Toby Gerhart is gone but the Cardinal have found an adequate replacement in Stephan Taylor who has put up consistent numbers on the ground this season. Nobody can really replace Gerhart who was a once in decade type talent but Stanford still runs the ball with power.
WR Chris Owusu has been injured off and on this season and is questionable for Saturday. When healthy he has the ability to run right past the Husky DB's. Ryan Whalen ranks among the best receivers in the conference this season. He will be Lucks main target on Saturday.
The offensive line is one of the very best in the Pac 10. These guys are physical and they will challenge an inexperienced and undersized Washington defensive line.
We all know what Chris Owusu is capable of. When healthy he can exploit the leaky Washington kickoff coverage for long touch downs. He is questionable this weekend so maybe Washington will end up dodging a bullet. Stanford's coverage units have been doing a great job all season and the kicking game has been flawless.
Jake Locker is as close to 100% as he is going to get this season.
Devin Aguilar returns to the starting lineup after missing action due to a hip flexor injury.
Victor Aiyewa is expected to return to starting status.
Will Shamburger is questionable with a concussion.
Erik Kohler returns t the starting lineup this week at right tackle.
Cameron Elisara will miss the game with shoulder stingers. From what we hear he could return for the UCLA game.
Chris Izbicki sprained a foot in practice and will be a game day decision.
Stanford WR and KR artist Chris Owusu is listed as questionable.
TB Tyler Gaffney has missed Stanford past three games with an undisclosed injury is listed as questionable.
Quarterback : Even
Running Back : Washington
Receivers : Washington
Offensive Line : Stanford
Defensive Line : Stanford
Linebackers : Even
Secondary : Even
Special Teams : Stanford
Steve Sarkisian Quotes
"They were good against everybody last year. One is being stout at the point of attack. When they really get rolling offensively, at the point of attack, they are able to create movement. With movement, now our linebackers aren't able to play as fast because they've got things at their feet. So we've got to be stout at the point of attack, and there's a variety of ways we can do that. And the second thing is when they go to their pass game mode even off a play-action pass or off a drop-back pass, we've got to be able to generate our pass rush against those guys to take advantage of our opportunities in one-one-one pass-rushing settings. I think it's two-found: One stout against the run, and two, we've got to be able to create pressure on Andrew Luck. He's a talented guy."
Jim Harbaugh Quotes
"We look at this game as the most important game on our schedule,'' Harbaugh said as he concluded the answer. "Everything that Washington does schematically on defense and offensively, there is just a high volume that they have got in, and the players execute it. It's impressive. We are in the midst of that preparation and it just really captivates all your thinking.''
Stanford can get to the Rose Bowl without winning the Pac-10 conference if Oregon plays in the national championship game and either Boise State, TCU or Utah is the Ducks' opponent.
Stanford has the second-best running attack in the Pac-10 after Oregon at 216 yards per game.
Stanford enters the Washington game with a 6-1 record overall and 3-1 in the conference.
Washington leads Stanford 40-36-4 (last meeting, 2009, 34-14 Stanford).
Mason Foster leads the Pac 10 in tackles with 11.7 tackles per game which has him tied for third in the nation.
UW is 20 of 22 in the red zone to rank eighth in the nation.
Chris Polk is averaging 90.9 yards per game on the ground.