Sam Fisher: Stanford 24, Washington State 17
This game scares me, as all Pac-12 road contests seem to. However, I’m not sure how good Washington State is; yes, the win at University of Southern California looked impressive, but the Trojans are not nearly as good as advertised. Still, traveling to CenturyLink Field is always perilous, especially when going against a Mike Leach offense without two of your top six defensive backs (probably at least for a half). And with All-American offensive guard David Yankey out for family reasons, the surprisingly strong Cougar defense could present serious problems for Stanford’s rushing attack. Due to this perfect storm, I think Wazzu gives Stanford all it can handle, but senior safety Ed Reynolds’ second-half return and junior quarterback Kevin Hogan’s poise under pressure combine to give Stanford a one-touchdown victory.
George Chen: Stanford 31, Washington State 17
Given the fact that Stanford has somewhat surprisingly struggled against an overmatched Washington State program in the past three seasons, it’s difficult to see the Cardinal blowing out the Cougars at CenturyLink Field this Saturday. However, the Cardinal players left the Arizona State game with a bad taste in their mouths, and because of the lessons learned from that frustrating fourth quarter, they will be able to avoid the trap of complacency. Wazzu’s air raid will score a touchdown early, but the Cardinal defense will slow down quarterback Connor Halliday and company for the remainder of the game. Running back Tyler Gaffney should notch his third 100-yard game of the season, and quarterback Kevin Hogan will hit receivers Ty Montgomery and Devon Cajuste for big gains off play action during the second half of a comfortable Stanford victory.
Winston Shi: Stanford 28, Washington State 14
It would be difficult to dream up a bigger trap game than Washington State Saturday. Wazzu has had a long string of poor years, and with No. 16 Washington visiting Palo Alto the week after, it’s not impossible to imagine that Stanford could get caught sleeping. Even though Mike Leach’s offense has been sputtering in Pullman, he still has a well-deserved reputation for being able to hang 50 against anyone, anywhere, anytime. As Stanford’s first matchup against a classic pass-happy attack, WSU will be a key barometer to the pollsters for the Cardinal pass rush. I think the Stanford front seven will control the game; Stanford wins by two touchdowns.
Contact Sam Fisher at safisher ‘at’ stanford.edu, George Chen at gchen15 ‘at’ stanford.edu and Winston Shi at wshi94 ‘at’ stanford.edu.