A matchup that’s been circled on Stanford fans’ calendars for over a year now looms even larger as it approaches. This time, Stanford’s matchup against Washington will be a battle between two top-ranked teams as Stanford enters at No. 5 and Washington at No. 15.
The parallels are everywhere: A 3-0 Stanford team heads to CenturyLink Field to take on an unranked but upstart school from the state of Washington for a prime-time matchup on ESPN.
Though Saturday proved to be a tale of two halves, Stanford made a big statement under the national spotlight after two convincing, but unremarkable, wins to start the season. In front of a sold-out crowd of 50,424 fans at Stanford Stadium, the No. 5 Cardinal (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) defeated No. 23 Arizona State (2-1, 0-1) 42-28 in its first conference matchup of the season — and the weekend’s only matchup between ranked college football teams.
In 2012, much of the spotlight on the Cardinal’s secondary was focused on the electric Ed Reynolds. But while Reynolds was raising eyebrows with his knack for terrorizing opposing quarterbacks, safety Jordan Richards was quietly having one of the most productive seasons for a Cardinal defensive back in recent memory.
While Cardinal fans will have to wait an extra week to see their team kick off its highly anticipated 2013 campaign, head coach David Shaw provided a clear picture of who will take the field first when Stanford hosts San Jose State on Sept. 7.
True freshman quarterback Ryan Burns may have accounted for the team’s only points, but the Cardinal offense showed off its depth in Stanford’s open scrimmage on Saturday morning, converting three fourth downs and spreading the ball around at halfback and wide receiver.