Intriguing Game- College Edition (Week Five)
(7) Stanford Cardinal (3-0) at (10) Washington Huskies (4-0)
Stanford: They’re much different than what we see from most college football teams. They almost remind me a bit of the Kansas City Chiefs when they’re on the field because they aren’t necessarily flashy. They run a pro-style offense, spread the receivers out and they want to run the football and control the clock. Christian McCaffrey is second in the nation in rushing yards per game but to some, he’s considered to be having a down season. I wouldn’t go that far. He’s averaging 145 yards rushing per game and defenses have crowded the line, stacked the box and tried to take away the ground attack. It’s hard to duplicate what he did last year in back to back years so saying he’s having a “down year” is way off. He must be doing something right if he’s second in the nation in rushing yards per game. The defense, on the other hand, ranks eighth nationally. How come we never hear about them in any playoff conversations so much? After escaping the challenge from UCLA, they now face a hungry Washington team.
Washington: When I previewed their division, I was pretty high on them and so far, they’ve got off to a fast start. 4-0 to be exact and quarterback Jake Browning has played really well this year. He’s thrown 14 touchdown passes and only two interceptions and is the anchor of an offense that’s ranked tenth overall nationally in offense scoring almost 46 points a game. Junior running back Lavon Coleman had the best game of his collegiate career last week rushing for 181 yards on just 11 carries in the victory over Arizona in double overtime. My biggest takeaway from that game was their defense. They gave up over 300 yards rushing to Arizona last week and with a star like McCaffrey coming to town, this makes the challenge even bigger now with David Shaw and his Stanford Cardinal football team coming to town for a Friday night showdown.
Stanford Player To Watch– Trenton Irwin: When we talk about the Cardinal offense, one guy always comes to mind of course. As a defense, you want to load the box up and force Burns to throw the football from the pocket. The other weapons on this offense are discussed as much but here’s one to watch. Wide receiver Trenton Irwin will be a key factor in the passing game. In his last game against UCLA, he caught seven passes. He could be the guy that can take pressure off McCaffrey.
Washington Player To Watch– Azeem Victor: This won’t be easy for the Huskies now having to shut down one of the best all-around players in the country. Azeem will need to bring it early and often. Wherever Christian is, you have to be. Swarm to the football and hold everything down in that defensive front.
Prediction: Stanford is a team that likes to start physical and they feel that can lead them to victory but, that won’t work against this Huskies offensive line. Washington will try to play their game and get Burns out the pocket and let him move around to make plays. I’m taking the Huskies in this one. Washington 30 Stanford 24