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.
The Stanford Cardinal football team (5-3, 3-2 Pac-12) has fallen out of the AP College Football Top 25 once again, after yet another heart-wrenching loss to Washington State. The good news? The Cougars look like the best team in the Pac-12 and might be heading to the Rose Bowl. The team suffered a ‘quality loss.’ The bad news? Any loss is still a loss. The Cardinal are now effectively eliminated from winning the Pac-12, and to make matters worse, they take on the Washington Huskies on the road this weekend. The Huskies aren’t looking too hot either though, getting upset by Cal just last weekend. What was once billed in the preseason as a marquee matchup is now just a Saturday evening game between two unranked teams. The Stanford Daily’s Andrew Tan, Shan Reddy, and Gregory Block take a look at Stanford’s offensive identity, the defensive game plan against Jake Browning, and the outlook for the rest of the Cardinal’s season.
For the third straight year, No. 24 Stanford (5-3, 3-2 Pac 12) fell to No. 14 Washington State (7-1, 4-1). For the second straight year, a heartbreaking margin of three points separated the two sides, as the Cougars were able to kick a go-ahead field goal with nineteen seconds remaining to defeat the Cardinal 41-38.
In what very well may have been quarterback KJ Costello’s best game for the Cardinal, ending with 323 yards and four touchdowns and a strong completion percentage of 79%, Stanford came up just short Saturday night in a tough 41-38 loss to the Washington State Cougars. It was certainly Stanford’s debut as a pass-first team, throwing 43 times compared to only 23 plays on the ground.
Saturday is homecoming for the No. 24 ranked Stanford football (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) who return to the Farm for the first time since October 6th to take on No. 14 Washington State (6-1, 3-1) in a top-25 showdown to determine control of the Pac-12 North.
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.