Stanford will beat WSU

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Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan gets ready to snap the ball against USC in Palo Alto, Calif.,  Sept. 6, 2014.

Michael Peterson | Stanford Daily columnist

Washington State and its fast-paced aerial attack roll into Stanford Stadium with the offense firing on all cylinders after playing Oregon and Cal down to the wire and beating Utah in Salt Lake. The win against Utah looks even more impressive considering the Utes recent upset of UCLA last weekend.

However, unfortunately for the Cougars, the Cardinal have the perfect antidote to the nation’s leading passing offense—the nation’s No. 2 passing defense, which allows only 107.4 yards per game, and the nation’s No. 1 overall scoring defense, which surrenders only 8.6 points per game.

 The Cardinal defense has been nothing short of utterly dominant, posting two shutouts against UC-Davis and Army, only allowing Washington to score six points on the offensive side of the ball and holding USC to a mere 13 points. The Cardinal held USC to 135 passing yards a week after the Trojans ran a Pac-12 record 102 plays in a 700-yard, 52-point performance. Stanford excels on defense, especially against the fast-paced attacks scattered throughout the Pac-12, and shouldn’t have too much trouble shutting down Washington State after doing the same to Washington and USC.

On offense, though the Card has admittedly struggled mightily in recent weeks, Stanford has too many weapons for Washington State to win via a shutdown defensive performance, one that’s also unlikely considering the Cougars’ defense is a known weakness. Senior receiver and returner Ty Montgomery will look to bounce back after an uncharacteristically poor performance against Notre Dame and is a touchdown-threat every single time he touches the ball. Senior receiver Devon Cajuste is a constant matchup nightmare at 6-foot-4, 229 pounds and sophomore tight end Austin Hooper looks to be made in the same mold as former Stanford greats Zach Ertz and Coby Fleener.

The numbers are stacked against the Cougars: Washington State hasn’t beaten Stanford since 2007 and Stanford is 8-0 following a loss under head coach David Shaw. A hungry Stanford team that’s ready to prove it’s still one of the top dogs in the Pac-12 will score enough points on offense while halting the Cougars passing game to seal a comfortable victory.