Here’s our last article on the Washington game. As always, we write about Stanford football games right when they end in Quick Reads, and the Postgame Report Card marks our last verdicts on a week’s performance. Watch out, Huskies: your GPA is going down. Unsurprisingly, the Stanford kids walk away with a 4.0.
Stanford Offense: A
470 yards and nearly 38 minutes of possession in a rainy day in Husky Stadium should assuage Cardinal fans after the down game last week against Washington State. The run game was successful enough to take pressure off of Andrew Luck, who went 19-26 throwing for 192 yards and a touchdown. Luck also threw an interception, but it came in the end zone with no time left in the first half after Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh opted to call a Hail Mary and send Washington to the (locker room) showers down 35-0. In other words, Luck was nearly flawless throwing the ball.
He also contributed with his feet, and ranked second among all players with 92 rushing yards and a touchdown on a 51-yard scamper. Stepfan Taylor became one of only a handful of Stanford players to rush for 100 or more yards in 4 consecutive games by contributing 104 yards and 2 touchdowns to the Cardinal cause. Wideouts Ryan Whalen and Doug Baldwin posted nearly identical stat lines for the day: both caught 5 balls, while Whalen gained 59 yards and Baldwin gained 56.
Washington Offense: F
The Huskies didn’t score a single point. How could they get any grade other than an F? Star quarterback Jake Locker had another disappointing game in completing only 50% of his 14 passing attempts for a measly 64 yards and 2 interceptions. The statistical parameters to predict Washington’s success that we pointed out on Thursday held true, and Locker’s putrid performance not only kept Washington from being competitive against Stanford, but also damaged his NFL draft stock even more.
Keep in mind that Locker had no support from his running game–Husky tailback Chris Polk, who’s looked good in several games (most notably in the double-overtime victory against Oregon State, in which Polk rushed for 105 yards) only picked up 17 yards on 13 carries this Saturday. The Husky offensive line failed to open lanes for Polk and could not keep the Stanford pass rush from getting to Locker before he had time to throw or even get out of the pocket.
Stanford Defense: A
3 sacks, 2 forced turnovers, and 107 yards allowed are the kinds of numbers that Stanford fans wish this defense could put up every weekend. Stanford completely shut down the Washington offense in virtually every facet of the game, despite the significant advantage that Husky Stadium provides to Washington when it’s at home in Seattle. Remember that senior Matthew Masifilio led the way with two sacks, and deserves the game ball for his play in this game. Linebacker Chase Thomas had the other sack, while Delano Howell and Johnson Bademosi each chipped in an interception for the Card.
Washington Defense: F
Washington simply did not make plays on defense. Their only turnover was on the aforementioned cheap interception, and they allowed Stanford to score 28 points in the first half alone and essentially end the game after two quarters. Senior linebacker Mason Foster does deserve credit for his 18 tackles during a game in which many of the men around him were not up to the task of stalling, let alone stopping, the Stanford attack.
Washington Final Grade: F
You probably noticed that there’s a trend emerging on Washington’s report card. They failed. As much as Stanford fans would like to attribute the Husky’s troubles on Saturday to an overwhelming performance by the Cardinal, it’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that Washington did not play well by any measure. The Huskies’s play this weekend would not have kept them in a game with any PAC-10 team other than, perhaps, Washington State. Buy your tickets now, fans: the Apple Cup is going to be a thriller.
Stanford Final Grade: A
Not much more need be said here. Stanford bounced back from a mediocre game last week and stuck it to a struggling Washington team in their own building. Stanford will now have to refocus quickly in order to prepare for a big game on the Farm against Arizona. Not only will the victor emerge as the favorite to secure another BCS Bowl berth from the PAC-10 (after Oregon’s) but the showdown will be broadcast on ABC in primetime to approximately 75% of the nation. Gear up, Cardinal fans. This is going to be a fun one.