"Go Huskies" ringing loud and true through a still-filling stadium. Elsewhere in college football, I was going to write that this was a bad day for Stanford, with the only team ahead of us that lost the one team we didn't want to lose (No. 3 Utah). However, 2-5 Georgia Tech blocked a last-second No. 9 Florida State field goal and returned it to the house to knock off the previously undefeated Seminoles. Hope Florida State beats Clemson, and that's one fewer conference to worry about displacing Stanford in the playoff chase.
Christian McCaffrey isn't just flashy, but is a running back on this opening drive, displaying great vision and ability to pick his holes that I wasn't sure he had freshman year. I thought he had nothing on a second and three, but instead managed to squeeze through two defenders and find just enough to move the chains.
Kevin Hogan, meanwhile, scrambled twice on the drive, both times for first-down yardage, and broke Andrew Luck's career rushing yard mark in the progress. He then, on a wickedly effective playcall, overtook Jim Plunkett for fourth all-time in passing yards: Fake pitch to McCaffrey that pulled the Husky D out of formation, fake Hogan scramble, and instead a strike to an open Austin Hooper, who pinballed off his defender at the two to fall backwards into the end zone. That was clinical.
Stanford 7, Washington 0, 12 minutes remaining
With the Washington starter out, today's Husky QB is K.J. Carta-Samuels, a San Jose product with Stanford interest, but never earned an offer. We don't see much from K.J. early, as he hands off three times before Washington's first punt of the night. I thought Washington might have converted on second down, but after a favorable spot for the Card and Aziz Shittu in the third-down backfield, all for naught. Thought: I wonder if conference officials subconsciously protect the big dogs in their leagues. Never seen a study to show that, but jives with our impression as fans ("USC gets the calls") and financial incentive to protect whoever's that year's best shot at a BCS check. Well, folks, we're the big dog on the block now, and we might have a target on our backs, but we also get the benefit of the doubt.
Stanford goes run, run, incomplete, punt. The play-calling was much the same as against UCLA in that respect, but a different result on third down, as Francis Owusu fails to adjust to a corner route that looked well-thrown from my perspective 200 feet in the sky.
Huskies from their 27, and they do manage a first down this time, but no more thanks to Blake Martinez with a great tackle to stop a third and five flat route for four yards. Washington elects to punt on the fourth and short from their 48.
Card start their drive with four straight runs: seven, two, one, three. Next play, shout out to the offensive line for giving Hogan great time, as has been the trend so far. Michael Rector is flagged, correctly, for making his rub route a bit too obvious, so Card retreat to a second and 19 on their 13. Perfect time for a 24-yard dump off to Christian McCaffrey, as the linebacker covering McCaffrey bit hard on a fake. On each of the next two snaps, Hogan is a bit high downfield, but we see Austin Hooper bumped with the ball in the air to pick up a free 15. Bryce Love enters at the perfect time, making his man miss and picking up 12 on a screen. Hogan then with a nice pitch fake to grab three on an option keeper. Just a lot of pretty calls so far today. Card then run-block right but pitch left for three on a Love counter, and then Love takes a jet sweep out of a McCaffrey wildcat for three.
Fourth and a short three from the Husky 29 as we start the second, interesting decision for the staff.
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