by Jerry Feitelberg
The Stanford Cardinal returns home to meet the Cougars of Washington State University Friday Night at Stanford Stadium. Game time will be at 6pm and will be on national television broadcast on ESPN and on KNBR Radio 1050.
Stanford (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) will be looking to get back on the winning track after a tough loss last Saturday to Notre Dame. The will be playing the pass-happy Washington State Cougars(2-4, 1-2 Pac-12) coached by Mike Leach. Leach is in his third year as head coach and took the Cougars to their first bowl game in 10 years last year. Leach also coached at Texas Tech and was very successful using the passing game and had the Red Raiders ranked nationally during his tenure there. The Cougars lost a wild game last week to call 60-59. The Cougars’ quarterback, Connor Halliday, passed for a national record of 734 yards and six touchdowns but they did not win as they missed an easy field goal and let the game slip away. So far this year, Halliday leads the country in yards passing(3052), touchdowns (26) and total offense(498.0 yards per game.)
The Stanford defense will certainly have to be on their toes to stop the passing game. Stanford leads the country in scoring defense (8.6 points per game) and ranks second in passing yards allowed (107.04)
It does not look like the Cardinal defense will have to worry about the Cougars’ running game and they will be concentrating on stopping Halliday and the passing game as Halliday is averaging 62 attempts per game. However, Halliday will call a running play when he feels the play will confuse the Stanford defense and to keep them honest.
It is not known at this time if Stanford’s quarterback,Kevin Hogan, will play Friday. Hogan was injured in the Notre Dame game and did not practice Monday. Hogan was limited in Tuesday’s practice and was expected to practice without limitations on Wednesday. Backup QB Evan Crower has been taking snaps with the first-team offense and will be ready if Hogan can’t go.
Stanford is ranked first nationally in scoring defense and second in total defense(232 yards/game) and passing defense. Stanford has allowed just 43 points through five games. The defense allowed 36 and the other points came on an Stanford offensive fumble which was returned for a score.
Stanford has held opponents under 30 points in each of its past 28 games, the nation’s longest such streak. The Cardinal is 39-4 at Stanford Stadium since the final home game of 2007. Stanford is 8-0 following a loss under head coach David Shaw.
Stanford leads the series 38-25-1 and won the last meeting 55-17 last year.
The Cardinal has won the last six games in the series and has averaged 43 points per game during that span.
Should be an interesting game. Get there early as parking is going to be horrific due to the unusual 6pm start time Friday night.–