The Washington State Cougars seek to continue their resurgence as they travel to the Bay Area to take on the No. 15 Stanford Cardinal. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.
The Cougs are coming off their strongest performance of the year, a dominant 51-33 win over Oregon in which they rushed for an astounding 280 yards. The Cardinal, meanwhile, are reeling in the other direction, having been whipped by the ascendant Washington Huskies on Friday night, 44-6.
Stanford enters the game looking like something of a MASH unit, with injuries all over the field. Most notable to WSU fans is that both starting cornerbacks are out.
However, the more interesting piece is that the Cougs might be primed to finally be able to match the physicality of Stanford’s defense. The rushing attack last week wasn’t an anomaly of opportunity; there were plenty of times that WSU ran the ball against a defensive alignment that would have defaulted to a throw in past year. The Cougars were able to block six and sometimes seven defenders with just their five linemen. And after what Washington did to the Cardinal, it appears that front seven — which has more or less had its way with WSU for years — can get got.
Defensively, job No. 1 for the Cougars will be containing Christian McCaffrey. WSU did a respectable job of that last year, daring Kevin Hogan to beat them through the air. He did not, but he did do a good job of beating them with his legs. Ryan Burns is not Hogan’s peer in either of those categories, and it shows in McCaffrey’s suppressed numbers and the Cardinal’s 20.3 points per game — 115th nationally.
Game time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV channel: ESPN
Stream: WatchESPN (log-in required)
Radio: WSU IMG Radio