A game that was considered a potential Pac-12 North decider has become a lot less meaningful as the season has played out. A pair of darkhorse candidates for the College Football Playoff in Stanford and Washington have struggled to maintain over the course of the season and now only one can even reach the Pac-12 title game.
The Cardinal are coming into this game after a close loss to first-place Washington State, while suffered a shocking loss at Cal. With a win on Saturday, Stanford still has an outside chance of winning the division, but it will need to see an improvement from star running back Bryce Love to help spark the rushing attack.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 3 | Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Huskie Stadium -- Seattle, Washington
TV: Pac-12 Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Stanford: An offense that relied heavily on the running back for several years has changed its identity over the course of 2018. Stanford threw the ball 43 times compared to 23 runs against Washington State, and while K.J. Costello is putting up some of the best numbers of his career (33-for-43, 323 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions against the Cougars), it's been a shock to the system to see the change. Some of the change has been by necessity because of Bryce Love's injuries and some of it has been to highlight some of the best wide receivers in the Pac-12, and at this point, it's just what Stanford is in 2018. Throwing it against Washington's secondary will be the make or break part of this game, because the Stanford rushing attack just ain't what it used to be.
Washington: Chris Petersen is sticking with Jake Browning as the starting quarterback after he was benched for two second-half drives in the Huskies' 12-10 loss at Cal. Browning's coaches and teammates voiced their support throughout the week, promising a strong response from the four-year starter. Washington's offense has struggled to find consistency throughout the season, and right now Browning is going to need to deliver some of his best football to guide this team to a Pac-12 title. If he regains the kind of form that had him named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2016, Washington can still accomplish all of its goals for the season.
Game prediction, picks
Normally when I see a small total and a double-digit spread I'm going to be all over the underdog, but Washington could be set to turn in one of its best performances of the season. Take the Huskies in a great bounce back spot. Pick: Washington -10.5
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