The Cardinal are vying not only for a PAC 12 North title but also a shot at a college football playoff spot. A stumble at home against a young Washington team at just the time many national pundits are singing the praises of their team would be a significant let down for David Shaw and his Stanford team.
On the other hand, the Huskies are trying to prevent this season from spiraling out of control and to demonstrate to a national audience that Chris Petersen has his young team on the rise. The Cardinal have pretty much dominated recent history with UW having won six of the last seven match ups with the Dawgs.
This will not be an easy one for the Huskies. The Cardinal are currently favored by 14 points which, if to be believed, almost exactly equals the sum of total point difference in all of Washington's losses combined (15). Stanford enters this one boasting the nation's second most efficient offense per FEI. UW will counter with the nation's seventh most efficient defense per the same ranking system. Both teams are playing better than their AP rankings as Stanford shows up #8 overall in Jeff Sagarin's rankings while UW, even at 3-3, still hits #29 in the same poll. Most simulations have Stanford winning this one in a close one, including WhatIf Sports showing an average score of 29-27 after 101 simulations.
Both teams are struggling a little bit with mid-season injuries. Washington is not expected to have their true freshman starting QB Jake Browning available for this game. Both UW backups, junior Jeff Lindquist and RS freshman KJ Carta-Samuels are expected to play for the Huskies. Stanford will be without star LB Kevin Anderson which could be a major factor against a UW offense that is expected to feature the rushing capabilities of surging true freshman Myles Gaskin.
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