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King’s Keys: Just win, Stanford

The first half of Stanford football’s 27-23 road loss to Washington last week was nightmarish. The Huskies scored on their first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead, junior quarterback KJ Costello threw two costly interceptions, and senior wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside- Stanford’s best player- went down with an ankle injury that knocked him out for the rest of the game and has him sidelined this week against Oregon State. Indeed, that miserable half was a microcosm of the horrendous past month and half for the Cardinal. Since then-seventh ranked Stanford beat Oregon in an overtime thriller on September 22nd, the Cardinal have lost four of five games and have fallen from the College Football Playoff discussion into a discussion about whether or not they will make a bowl game.

King’s Keys: The Desperation Bowl

Before the season, Stanford football’s week 10 road trip to Washington looked like one of the most important games on the Pac-12 calendar. The November 3rd showdown was set up to be a de-facto Pac-12 North championship game between two preseason top 15 teams. As late as week 4, both teams were ranked in the AP Top 10 and seemed to be on a collision course that would decide the Pac-12’s College Football Playoff fate. Even a week ago at this time, most assumed Stanford-Washington would be a battle of ranked teams for Pac-12 supremacy. But then, Washington lost to Cal and Stanford dropped a heartbreaker to Washington State, leaving both the Huskies and the Cardinal out of the first College Football Playoff rankings and setting up Wazzu as the prohibitive division favorite. The Pac-12 is Mike Leach’s world, and Washington and Stanford are just living in it.

Volleyball scores ranked wins in Southern California

Second-ranked Stanford Women’s Volleyball (20-1, 12-0) picked up two more wins over ranked teams this weekend, going on the road to sweep No. 15 USC and No. 20 UCLA in Los Angeles. The Cardinal have twelve such ranked victories, first in the nation by a wide margin. Junior outside hitter Kathryn Plummer led the team with 28 total kills and also chipped in 20 digs over the weekend to help Stanford secure its 18th straight 20 win season and move closer to a second straight Pac-12 Championship.

King’s Keys: Playing for the Pac-12

No. 24 Stanford football (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) got the win they needed last week at Arizona State. The Cardinal now control their own destiny in the Pac-12 North and will have a chance to play for the Rose Bowl if they win out. Every Pac-12 showdown is massive at this point because the North is essentially a four team race between Stanford, No. 19 Oregon, No. 15 Washington, and No. 14 Washington State. Every team except Oregon has just one conference loss, so any Pac-12 defeat would drop the Cardinal off the pace and make it nearly impossible for them to still reach the conference championship game. Every game is important, but the next two weeks are just a little bigger.

Football Round Table: Mike Leach and the Cougars

The No. 24 Stanford Cardinal (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) is back in the AP rankings after falling out following their home loss to Utah. This week they take on No. 14 Washington State (6-1, 3-1) in their fifth home game of the season. The team faces an uphill battle against the Cougars’ head coach Mike Leach and his unconventional, yet successful offense, which gave a beating to the Oregon Ducks just last week. The Daily’s King Jemison, Julio Ballista and Shan Reddy share their thoughts on the unstoppable Cougar offensive, the recent history between the Cardinal and Washington State and the woes of the Stanford offense.

Football bounces back, takes down Sun Devils in Arizona

Stanford football (5-2, 3-1) recovered from two straight painful losses to get a huge 20-13 road victory over Arizona State (3-4, 1-3) on Thursday night. Senior wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside had seven catches for 91 yards and the go-ahead touchdown, his ninth of the year. The Cardinal defense forced three turnovers to keep the Sun Devils offense in check and move Stanford one step closer to a Pac-12 North title.

King’s Keys: Schooling the Sun Devils

Stanford football (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) enters this Thursday’s matchup with Arizona State (3-3, 1-2) unranked for the first time this year thanks to two straight losses. The season has taken a sharp turn after such a promising 4-0 start that raised expectations to Andrew Luck era levels. The exhilarating comeback victory over Oregon and Top 10 ranking feels like a different season at this point, and yet the Cardinal still control their own destiny in the Pac-12 North. With a Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl appearance still on the table, Stanford can turn 2018 into a success. The sky is not falling. But it might be if the Cardinal lose to Arizona State Thursday night.

Football Round Table: Arizona State

The Stanford Cardinal football team now sits unranked in the AP poll, following a blowout loss against now No. 4 Notre Dame and their unfortunate home upset at the hands of Utah. Following a week off to rest and reflect, the Cardinal charge back into the fray, taking on unranked Arizona State and head coach Herm Edwards in a Thursday night showdown. Daily writers Julio Ballista, King Jemison, and Shan Reddy share their thoughts on the improvements of Stanford position groups, the health status of Bryce Love, and the state of the Pac-12.