by Jerry Feitelberg
The Stanford Cardinal (2-1 overall and 0-1 Pac-12) travels to Seattle to play the Washington Huskies Saturday afternoon. The Huskies are 4-0 under new coach Chris Petersen and will be playing it’s first Pac-12 game of the year against Stanford. Petersen coms to the Huskies from Boise State where he had phenomenal success with the Broncos. Under Petersen’s leadership, Boise State had a record of 92-12 and went to eight bowl games in his eight seasons there. Boise State’s biggest wig came in 2007 when they upset mighty Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
The Huskies , as mentioned above, have won the first four games of the year. They started the year with a trip to Honolulu where they barely squeaked by the University of Hawaii’s Rainbow Warriors 17-16. They played the next three games at Seattle where they beat Eastern Washington 59-52 in a shootout.
The University of Illinois came calling and they were trounced by the Huskies 44-19 and then last week, the Huskies spotted Georgia State a fourteen point lead but came roaring back scoring 45 unanswered points to win going away.
The key players on offense for the Huskies will be new quarterback, 6ft 4 inch sophomore,Cyler Miles and the Huskies will rely on Dwayne Washington and Lavon Coleman to be the running backs.. The Huskies also have a very talented wide receiver/kickoff in the person of one John Ross who averages 155 all purpose yards per game good for 15th in the nation and right behind Stanford’s Ty Montgomery who has 156 and is 13th nationally.
Washington’s defense is anchored by by 6ft 2 inch,339 pound senior Danny Shelton. Shelton leads the nation with seven sacks and his partner on the line is Hau’oli Kikaha who has six sacks to his name.
Other standouts are Shaq Thompson who scores two touchdowns against Illinois. One was on an interception and the other on a fumble recovery. Marcus Peters,from Oakland, is an outstanding cornerback.
Stanford will again be led by quarterback Kevin Hogan and Ty Montgomery on offense. The running backs are done by committee and coach Shaw will utilize Barry Sanders, Christian McCaffrey and Ricky Seale for maximum results. The Cardinal has a good receiving corps manned by stellar tight end Austin Hooper and Wide receivers Michael Rector, Francis Owusu and Devon Cajuste.
On defense, defensive ends Henry Anderson and Blake Luedens have performed well so far. Kevin Anderson and A.J.Tarpley have been outstanding for Stanford as has safety Jordan Richards.
It should be an exciting game. The Cardinal will be playing in a hostile environment and may have trouble with the noise level. The Cardinal need the win as a second loss in Pac-12 play could doom the possibility of a return to the Rose Bowl. The Huskies, who have not been to the Rose Bowl in 13 years, will be looking to extend their winning streak to five so far this year but no one really knows how good they are. The beat a Hawaii team that is now 1-3 on the season and the won by just one point.. They gave up 52 points to Eastern Washington and beat Georgia State by a wide margin but neither school is a football power. The did trounce Illinois and it was Illinois’ but their three wins came over schools that could not be considered powerhouses and they have yet to play a Big-10 opponent.
Who will win? No predictions here but it looks like an evenly matched game with a lot at stake for both clubs.