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What To Watch For: Stanford Edition

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After steady improvement over the last three weeks, Washington State travels to Palo Alto to take on a well rested, physical Stanford Cardinal team.

  • John Fullington and the offensive line vs. the Cardinal front seven. With David Gonzales out, the offense line went through some shuffling mid-game against Arizona. This week, Micah Hannam is back and Fullington slides over to the vital left tackle position, protecting Tuel's backside. The freshman has a high upside, but he hasn't yet realized his potential in his freshman year. How will they compensate? Jeff had a few ideas. I, on the other hand, would like to see Paul Wulff petition the Pac-10 to give the linemen tasers today.
  • Andrew Luck vs. the Cougar secondary. Luck is probably the most complete quarterback we'll see all year. If the Cougs don't get pressure, he'll pick the secondary apart. If they do, he's strong enough to break tackles and has shown a burst of speed this year. WSU has knocked out two starting quarterbacks -- for better or worse -- in the last two games, so there's that.
  • Owen Marecic. He's the perfect player.
  • The Cougar front seven. The defensive line showed up last week, pressuring backup quarterback Matt Scott and finally getting some sacks. With C.J. Mizell back and Sekope Kaufusi earning more playing time, I'm more confident in the linebackers and their ability to make plays. If the defensive line can keep the Stanford offensive line off the backers and make plays when they need to, it'll go a long way toward slowing down the Cardinal offense.
  • Jeff Tuel. Can he stay upright and continue to move around in the pocket to make throws? He's got the playmakers and has been progressing every week, but he faces a tough Stanford defense behind an offensive line that lost a mainstay last week. Stay healthy, Jeff.
Game starts at 2 p.m. on FSC. In the meantime, this can be your open thread. Iowa State is up 14-3 on Texas (whaaaa?) and Michigan State is losing to Northwestern. Notre Dame is, of course, getting worked over by Navy. Weird morning of games.

Edit: Live chat. 1 p.m. Be there.