The Stanford Cardinal, now ranked 25th in the country, welcome in the Washington State Cougars in college football action on Friday night. The game is scheduled for a 9:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have the Cardinal favored by 17 points at home in this one.
Couple of teams coming off some pretty deflating losses last week. Once again the Washington State Cougars found a way to score, look good offensively and find a way to lose. Tough losses to Rutgers, Nevada, Oregon and California have the Cougars sitting a 2-4 for the season, losing four games by a combined 22 points.
Stanford took a lead over Notre Dame in a sloppy contest last week, but found a way to give up the game-winning touchdown to the Irish on fourth and a mile. Now the Cardinal, who lead the country in scoring defense, are just 3-2 with several key games remaining on their schedule.
In this series Stanford has picked up six consecutive wins, doing so by an average of 28 points per game. Yet, David Shaw's team has not been scoring a lot of points this season, posting just 20 points per game against FBS opponents this year. The defense has been great, however, as opponents have scored just 8.6 points per game, with UC Davis and Army being shutout. They will have their work cut out for them with Wazzou coming to town.
The Cougars got 734 yards through the air from Connor Halliday in the loss to the Cal Bears last week. Halliday has already pitched for better than 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns this season. Stanford's defense isn't going to allow him to throw for anywhere close to what California did, so Washington State will have to find a way to adjust. They're one of the worst teams in the country at running the football, collecting just under 57 yards per game on the ground.
But Washington State has played the underdog role well. The Cougars sport a 9-1 against the number record in conference games when they are getting 15 or more points. The Cougars have Arizona on deck next week in a game that will see some points scored.
Stanford has Arizona State on the road next week in a big Pac-12 meeting. If the Cardinal aren't focused on Wazzou and looking ahead to Arizona State, they're going to give up points to the Cougars in this one.
But expect a big game here from Stanford. The Cardinal should be picking up a solid conference win over a Washington State team that has no defense. Look for Kevin Hogan to have a nice game and get the job done.
Free Pick: Stanford 38, Washington State 28
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