OK. Batting practice is now over. The Huskies have gone through the creampuff part of their schedule with an unblemished but much ballyhooed 4-0 record. Now comes the Stanford Cardinal, the first of the conference match ups for the Dawgs. Will they be ready? Here is what the staff thinks.

Pat Thrapp - Numbers Guru (4-0): OMG - I don't know what to think about this game. I’ve gone from “we will get blown out” to “We win a close one.” Stanford has the best scoring defense in the nation. THE best total defense in the nation. We rush better, and we defend the rush better. We are 4th in the nation in turnover margin. We also have a lot of sacks. Yet we saw Hawaii run on us consistently. Against Eastern we had 6 sacks. Yet we gave up 7 passing TDs. After gnawing on this for the last 3 or 4 days. I have come to the conclusion that we lose at home. I envision some short passes in the flats by Stanford. That will go for big yardage. I think those will be the deciding plays that tip the game in Stanford's favor. I hope I get to eat crow though!

Prediction: Stanford 31, Washington 23
Jay Torrell - Sports Washington Creative Director (4-0): Pick six, kickoff return, deep balls, double-reverse...big plays will rule the day. I don't think either team is going to be able to grind their way down the field so it will be up to the specialists (Ty Montgomery and Ross/Mickens) to win the game. Huskies come out truly focused on their opponent (not the new schemes) for the first time this year and it shows. Myles does enough. Lindquist plays a role. Ross/Mickens go off. Shaq scores another. Defense earns a nickname. Montlake rocks. Huskies burst back onto the national scene with a dramatic hold-on-to-your-butts victory.

Prediction: Washington 27, Google Interns 24
Marshall Cherrington - Intern Extraordinaire (4-0): What a showdown to start off Pac-12 play. A one loss Stanford team goes up against a highly doubted UW team. I think what this game comes down to is how well the Washington secondary plays. Yes, I know many think it will come down the battle in the trenches and although that battle will be a good one, Stanford uses the run to set up the pass. David Shaw even said this himself. Stanford returns just 26 career starts on the offensive line, even less now with Andrus Peat potentially out for the game, and I think the Huskies should be able to take advantage of that, no matter how many stars their offensive lineman were accredited with in high school. Kikaha, Shelton and the Hudson bros, you know the story. They’ll do their job and I really think they’ll have a nice day. I also think this will be the young secondary’s coming out party, as it will need to be. Sidney Jones knows he’ll get picked on. Budda Baker knows he’ll get picked on. And I think both have the mental toughness to step up to the plate in a big game and shut down their match ups. I’m guessing Kevin Hogan will be throwing away from Marcus Peters, who will most likely be on Montgomery for the majority of the game, so it’s almost like he’ll have the Richard Sherman effect. Shaq Thompson and John Timu will need to lock down tight end Austin Hooper as well. He was open way too many times against USC and was the reason they Cardinal should have won that game. I think the offense will come out hot in the first quarter, struggle in the second and third, and then find their groove again in the fourth. I think it comes down to a late game defensive stop, and I see this young Huskies defense responding to the challenge. The Huskies pull it out in front of a big crowd in Husky Stadium. John Timu comes up with a big stop on fourth down late in the game to preserve the Huskies’ victory, which moves them to 5-0 heading into a bye week before they face Cal.

Prediction: Washington 27, Stanford 23
Scott Eklund - Recruiting Editor (4-0): I just don't know which way to go on this one. Part of me thinks that Chris Petersen and the staff have been holding things back in anticipation of a tough league schedule and that they are ready to unleash their charges on the rest of the conference starting on Saturday. The more rational side of me says that there are still some serious growing pains to go through before the end of this season. Because of the way David Shaw calls a game and the fact that they aren't super-explosive outside of Michael Rector and Ty Montgomery, I don't see Stanford scoring very much on the Huskies. That being said, I just don't see UW scoring more than a couple of times on what is a good, not great, Cardinal defense. Washington's best hope is to force a couple of turnovers and for Shaw to be so married to his conservative play calling that he handcuffs his team, much like he did in 2012. I don't see a Husky win this weekend, but I think it comes down to the final possession of the game.

Prediction: Stanford 27 Washington 20
Chris Fetters - Editor In Chief (4-0) : Going into this week, there's no way I would have picked Washington to win this. The reason is simple; I don't know who Washington is yet. Ironically enough, I think that's now why they are going to pull the minor upset Saturday. It's not just because of the unknown; in fact I'm pretty sure they don't even know what they are fully capable of at this point. But they've seen glimpses. There's obviously a lot more unknowns than knowns as far as what Stanford is looking at when they scout Washington. How confident can they be looking at either half of Washington's win over Georgia State and game plan around that? Or the Hawaii game? Or Eastern Washington? And that uncertainty can't help when you're coming into a cauldron like Husky Stadium. No one has really seen what kind of noise it's capable of, but I think we're going to get a strong dose of it Saturday. But beyond all that, I have to admit the biggest thing that changed my mind about this game was history. Did anyone expect UW to beat USC in Sark's first year? They played LSU tough and handled Idaho, but nothing they had done those two games gave UW fans an idea of what would play out versus the Trojans. Or even 2012, for that matter. Did anyone think UW had what it took at that time to beat a top-10 team at home given their play up to that point? I think a perfect storm of a motivated UW team, Husky Stadium, a called BLACK OUT, the thought that the last two Stanford-UW games have gone right to the wire, and the fact that the Huskies have won these games before at home move me to think lightning strikes a second time for a first-year UW Head Coach..

Prediction: Washington 20, Stanford 17
Kim Grinolds – CEO (4-0) : As Rick Neuheisel says "funny things happen and Husky Stadium". Well there were some funny things that happened last year at the end of the game at Stanford. It wasn’t funny to Husky fans though. Saturday will be payback. Expect Husky Stadium to rock 'n roll and Cyler Miles to really get the passing game going. It's going to be a blast and Husky Stadium will be a jubilant place to be this weekend.

Prediction: Washington 38, Stanford 37
David Samek - The Dawgman (4-0): Time to put live bullets into the gun. Coach K needs to unleash the hound on Saturday to help his young secondary out. Those kids are talented but green beyond description. They haven’t seen a lot of football yet, and it shows. Marcus Peters is the leader but he cannot do it alone. The safeties need a big game, and the linebacker MUST be solid in front of them. I expect Stanford to load the box to shut down the UW rushing game. Clearly this team misses Bishop Sankey, who showed incredible vision and great patience. He made this offensive line look very good. Lavon Coleman doesn’t have that type of skill set yet, nor does Dwayne Washington. I expect both to get shut down on Saturday, which leaves Cyler Miles with the daunting task of carrying the load. He is going to need to be able to withstand pressure while hitting open receivers in rhythm. That hasn’t been his strongpoint to date, and I’m not sure he’ll get there by Saturday. I expect a close game and probably low scoring. In the end, that favors Stanford.

Prediction: Stanford 23, Washington 17.

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