Tomorrow, No. 5 Stanford (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) hopes to avoid a similar letdown when it takes on Washington State (3-1, 1-0) in Seattle. Despite a shaky fourth quarter against Arizona State last weekend, the Cardinal is coming off a statement win and looks to keep its momentum heading into the middle segment of the season — a task that it failed to accomplish last year. And once again, the test will come within the hostile confines of CenturyLink Field.
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.
During training camp, Stanford football head coach David Shaw repeatedly emphasized how pleased he was with his team’s overall depth. Now, facing a Saturday night showdown at CenturyLink Field against Washington State without heralded seniors Ed Reynolds (suspended for the first half) and David Yankey, the Cardinal will certainly be putting this depth to the test.
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.