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The good, the bad & the unknown: Stanford

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Washington's offense predictably sputters against Stanford.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Run defense - The Husky run defense is on fire. They have held Royce Freeman and Christian McCaffrey to less than five yards per-carry combined the past two weeks. You simply don't face a tougher back-to-back running back running back slate than that and the Husky run D still stood strong.

2nd Half - At this point I wonder if Petersen's strategy is to lure the opponent into thinking you are terrible in the first half so they let up in the second and you can then make your move.

No quit - Once again, the Huskies fought to the end in a game that a lot of teams would have let Stanford roll out to a huge difference.

Myles Gaskin - Gaskin is the only thing going for the Husky offense. He put together another 100-yard game with limited carries and is the best freshman player at any position in the conference this season in my opinion.

Kick defense - The Huskies did just about as good of a job as possible defending McCaffrey on kick offs and punts.

Offensive line progress - They still have miles to go, but the Husky offensive line flashed some serious progression against Stanford and maybe start to turn into a nice unit the rest of the season against weak defenses.

The Bad

K.J. Carta-Samuels - He made some nice plays late when the game was over, but hard to say Carta-Samuels' first start was anything but a trainwreck. It seemed at times that he might not be able to get another pass over the line of scrimmage. He had a golden opportunity to create a quarterback controversy and he did just the opposite. He made fans quickly miss Jake Browning.

Slow start - The Huskies find out what happens when you start slowly against good teams... they end the game in about half a quarter.

Approach - I  might  be theorizing too much here, but I felt that  the staff may have gone into this game a bit defeated and content with just not getting embarrassed while getting ready for a winnable stretch of games the rest of the way.

Play calling - I have avoided jumping on the bash Jonathan Smith team maybe just because it is too cliche at this point, but I simply did not like the play calling Saturday. Once again, it seemed like the Huskies passed when they should have ran and got too cute at crucial times.

The Unknown

How long can the defense hold up? The Husky defense has become Felix Hernandez and I can't help but wonder if they will have a late-season swoon the way Hernandez always seems to after getting not even a little bit of support from their offense. I really hope they can hold on because they can probably beat a couple of the teams remaining on Washington's schedule on their own, but I can't help but worry if they will run out of gas after being on the field seemingly all season.

Jake Browning? I don't know if we will hear anything about Browning's status before kick off Saturday, but I really hope he is ready to go after seeing Carta-Samuels' first start.

Passing game progression? The run offense is coming along, but the Husky pass offense hasn't shown anything since Utah State. Can the Husky pass offense start becoming even just functional?

3-2? My expectations are low, but I still think getting to a bowl game, any bowl game, should be Washington's goal at this point in the season. All five games left on the schedule are winnable, but running the table or even 4-1 just don't seem realistic to me with Washington's passing game. Can, the Huskies find a way to grind out three more wins in the final five and get back to another bowl game?