Dawgman Predictions

Washington is 5-1 and coming off of a blowout win over Colorado at home. Tomorrow is a much different beast: The Stanford Cardinal in Palo Alto. Stanford features the best offensive line in the conference and arguably the best quarterback in the nation. Can the Huskies pull off a huge upset as a three-touchdown underdog? Here is what the staff feels will happen on Saturday evening.

Patrick Thrapp – numbers guru (6-0):

This Stanford game has me worried with their big TE. I bet they have studied the Eastern game films. Hoping to use their TEs the way Eastern used that big WR. As Elise said this week on KJR. We have to limit Stanford's offensive plays. Basically try to keep Luck off the field. It will be a tall task for both sides of the ball. Their defense looks to be pretty good compared to us. I hope we can force some turnovers and capitalize on them. Maybe then we have a chance of beating them.

Prediction: Stanford 38, Washington 27
Shane Pahukoa – Former UW safety Extraordinaire (5-1):

Stanford is 15-1 at home with Andrew Luck at QB. They've won their last 10 games at home and they're 6-0 this season. But... this will be the first legitimate test for the Cardinal this year. There's no doubt Stanford is a good team and Luck is a NFL first rounder but they'll have their hands full this Saturday in Palo Alto. I have faith that our offense can score points and move the ball against Stanford. Chris Polk and Keith Price will be too much to cope with for the Cardinal. A well-balanced offense will be the key to a Husky victory. The Cardinal defense is only allowing 60 yards on the ground per game. It's important for the Huskies to establish the run early in the game with Polk. The UW defense will have to play a perfect game. Error free. Stanford's offensive line has not allowed a sack in 4 straight games. I say it's time to end that streak. I think if we can get after Luck and create some disruptions in the backfield we have a chance. It's really the only way I believe we can win. If you give Luck too much time he'll just pick apart the Husky defense. Stanford's offense averages 480 yards a game, so it's going be a big test for this Husky defense. As always…I'm picking the Dawgs to win. I'll never pick them to lose..period. I can't. You can understand, right?

Prediction: Washington 27, Stanford 24
Scott Panitz – Dawgman.com intern (5-1):

It's a broken record, but this game is a huge litmus test for Washington. Stanford, though they haven't played anyone, are a legitimite top 10 team in the country and a win down on the farm would catapult UW onto the national scene for the first time in a long time. I believe this is a matchup of the top two quarterbacks in the Pac 12 - Andrew Luck and Keith Price. And the game is going to come down to which signal caller performs better. Both teams are going to score points by the boatload. I've said all week that there's a 95% chance of this game being close and a 15% chance of Washington pulling off the upset. Those odds aren't good enough for me.

Prediction: Stanford 42, Washington 35
Eric Dore – Dawgman.com Intern (5-1):

The Dawgs are not quite ready to be relevant again amongst the top of the Pac-12 and national landscape… yet. The signs are encouraging of course and the offense is good enough to compete with any team, but the obvious problem remains on the defensive side of the ball. Unfortunately like last year I don't see the Huskies having an answer for the countless lead, power, naked boots, and play action plays that the Cardinal will run. The key matchup will be how the young defensive ends and linebackers hold up against Stanford's tackles and tight ends. If this wasn't too much too worry about, the pass defense is at the mercy of what some college coaches are calling the best college quarterback they've ever seen. One thing in Washington's favor is that a good defensive performance can be helped out immensely by a good offense. If the offense can move the ball, pounding Chris Polk, it will help win the field position battle as well as keep the potent Stanford offense off the field. In the end however, I think this game will show the Huskies still have a ways to go on their climb up their proverbial mountain.

Prediction: Stanford 47, Washington 34
Jay Torrell – Scout.com Creative Print Director (5-0):

So you're saying there's a chance?????...To have any shot at winning the Huskies have to win the turnover/special teams battle. Both offenses will score so it's going to boil down to who gets the best/most opportunities to pull ahead....Luck & Company are going to maddeningly control the ball and get into the red zone where they're highly efficient (unlike any of the other Husky opponents) so the Dawgs have to force the Cardinal into field goals instead of touchdowns to keep the game within reach....The crowd won't be a factor (nothing like Nebraska or Utah) so it'll all be about execution and making plays...Other than a Husky shut out there isn't a single outcome to this game that would truly shock me... Huskies put up a quality fight, the nation comes away impressed, but Luck keeps the ball out of the hands of the Dawgs offense and converts when it counts down the stretch.

Prediction: Stanford 42, Washington 35
Joe Kaiser – Dawgman.com stud (5-1):

Stanford is good, but here's one little factor nobody is talking about... the Cardinal haven't played anyone with a winning record. Enter the Huskies, who are riding high after a 5-1 start, with one of the hottest offenses in the country. The Dawgs know the task won't be easy -- Stanford spanked them each of the last two years -- but they have to feel like they are being overlooked, coming in as 20 point underdogs. Look for this to boil down to whether Stanford's defense can slow down the Washington attack. If it can't, as I suspect, the Huskies will find a way to shock the world and win this in a high scoring affair, despite a big day by Andrew Luck.

Prediction: Washington 42, Stanford 37
Scott Eklund – Dawgman.com Recruiting guru (5-1):

Could this be a battle of the top two quarterbacks in the conference? A lot of people think so and there is no doubting that Stanford's Andrew Luck and Washington's Keith Price will have a big say in who ends up winning this game. However, more importantly, if the Huskies are to have a chance at winning this game, they cannot let a very good Stanford offensive line have their way with them. Washington must shut down the Cardinal running game so they can start to take their shots at getting to Luck and on offense, they have to play error-free ball. Ultimately, this game will come down to the how the defense plays and if the offense can move the ball and keep it away from Luck and the rest of their offensive threats. Washington keeps it close, but they won't be able to get out of Palo Alto win the win.

Prediction: Stanford 42, Washington 32
Dick Baird – former recruiting coordinator and LB coach (5-1):

This game will be a war, and that means you need to win each battle. There will be roughly 60-70 snaps on both sides of the ball and about 30-plus kicking game snaps but only about five of those plays will dictate the outcome of this game. Expect the unexpected on defense and use the unexpected on offense. Stanford has only given up two sacks all season, so getting two sacks on Luck sounds about right. He has only thrown three picks all season, but has thrown one in each of his last two games. Intercepting him twice would be another goal to put Stanford out of their comfort zone. So this is how you do it: Protect the football, stop the run, create some turnovers, and hang around until the end and win it with a field goal by Erik Folk. Sounds great to me!

Prediction: Washington 31, Stanford 28
Chris Fetters: Dawgman.com Editor-In-Chief (5-1):

Since when has a top-25 BCS team been a three-touchdown underdog? Well, that would be Washington, who is getting swept up in the Vegas bloodbath - but don't believe the line. The odds of the Huskies going in and beating a Stanford team with an FBS-best 14-game winning streak are really slim. But there is a chance. Using Steve Sarkisian's mountain analogy, this is like jumping from Mount Si to Mount Rainier...but if you want to get to Everest (Pac-12 Championship and beyond), this is the step you have to take. With Shayne Skov and Delano Howell out for the Cardinal defense, that really helps the Huskies' from an offensive standpoint - but if they had the ability to choose injuries I think they would have swapped those two for Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro, because it's going to be Stanford's offense that spells the difference here. The Cardinal have defeated its last nine opponents by 25 or more points a game, compiling an average margin of victory of 34.2 points (308 total) during that stretch. Washington will cover the 21-point spread, but all it's going to take for the home team is a couple forced punts against a potent UW offense in what looks to be a real shootout on paper.

Prediction: Stanford 45, Washington 34
Kim Grinolds: Dawgman.com Business Operations (6-0):

The worst thing that could happen to UW is for Andrew Luck to go " Elway " on them. Luck could very possibly be the best QB UW has faced since then. UW's pass defense hasn't exactly been stellar this year. The biggest concern is Luck just picking them apart, especially with the play actions over the top. If UW is to win this game, they'll have to get Stanford's offense out of rhythm. 3 and outs will be the key. They'll need to win special teams and force turnovers. UW will score points, but it just won't be enough.

Prediction: Stanford 45, Washington 31
David R. Samek – Dawgman (5-1):

Washington made a statement on Saturday against Colorado. They are ready to make the next step in their rebuild. Unfortunately they aren't quite ready defensively to compete with Stanford for a full four quarters. Washington will score, but Stanford will shut down Chris Polk and limit him to less than 100 yards. In contrast, Stanford's physical offensive line will beat up the Husky defensive front and abuse the young linebackers late in the game. The Huskies will remain close until the Cardinal make their statement, flip the switch, and suddenly surge and score quickly. That is when the worn down Husky defense will finally buckle. Look for the Huskies to come home with a tough defeat. But the game will be competitive for at least 2 quarters.

Prediction: Stanford 38, Washington 27

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