Washington State vs. Stanford fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 27
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, CA
Network: Pac-12 Network
Washington State (6-1) vs. Stanford (5-2) Game Preview
One Reason Why Washington State Will Win
The passing game continues to be magnificent, and Gardner Minshew continues to be exactly the right fit for the attack.
He might have thrown two picks last week against Oregon, and he and the offense might have stalled a bit after a hot start, but it got the win, it took control of the Pac-12 North – for now – and it became the only viable option left for the conference in the College Football Playoff chase.
Minshew is hitting 70% of his throws with 23 touchdowns and over 2,700 yards, and now he has to keep it all going against a Stanford pass defense that has a problem doing that whole defending the pass thing.
There’s talent in the Cardinal secondary, but Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Notre Dame’s Ian Book, and Utah’s Tyler Huntley picked it clean. And last week, Arizona State’s Manny Wilkins hit Stanford for 353 yards.
Just assume 350 for Minshew a jumping off point.
On the other side, the Wazzu defense continues to be great against the run, and Stanford continues to have no real running game. It’s getting timely defensive plays, and just enough of a passing attack to survive at times, but if Wazzu can get up early and make Stanford rally, forget what happened against Oregon … game over.
One Reason Why Stanford Will Win
So what is Washington State doing wrong?
There’s not much of a ground game, but that’s to be expected. It doesn’t turn the ball over, but it also doesn’t come up with a slew of takeaways.
Stanford has to dominate the clock – not easy, considering Wazzu leads the Pac-12 in time of possession – and it has to win the turnover battle. It can’t get into any sort of a shootout, and it can’t start to make this about the respective passing games.
The Cougars can be run on. Oregon wasn’t able to do it, but Oregon State was able to rumble the week before for 276 yards and five scores, and Utah ran well the week before. No one else had the ability to do it.
Stanford’s ground game has been putrid. However, if there was ever a time for the O line to rise up and start to produce, this has to be it. The Cardinal might have only rushed for 127 yards last week in the win over ASU, but it was just effective enough to get by.
This week, the Cardinal have to get creative, they need at least some semblance of a ground attack, and the defense has to pitch a gem.
What’s Going To Happen
Okay, so how is Stanford somehow still alive for the Pac-12 title?
It can’t run, doesn’t throw all that well, , the offensive line is mediocre and the defense is okay, not great.
To be blunt … not quite sure.
The Oregon comeback was an aberration. The Ducks are better, but they melted down and the Cardinal found a way to get out alive.
This is a team that’s good at home against flawed and mediocre teams – especially at home. That’s not Washington State.
This is the true test case for the Wazzu head. Last year, it was the Cal debacle when the strong team melded down in the 37-3 loss. This year’s team is different, and it’s about to show it.
Stanford is 5-0 this season when holding teams to 13 points or fewer, and 0-3 when teams score more.
Washington State will score more.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Washington State 34, Stanford 23
Line: Stanford -3, o/u: 53
ATS Confidence out of 5: 4
Must See Rating: 4
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