No.9 Washington Huskies (8-1 SU, 6-3 ATS) vs. Stanford Cardinal (6-3 SU, 3-5-1 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Friday November 10th, 2017. 10:30PM (EST)
Where: Stanford Stadium Stanford, C.A.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: WASH -6/STAN +6
Over/Under Total: 50
The battle for supremacy in the Pac-12 North Division takes center stage this Friday when the no. 12 Washington Huskies visit the no. 21 Stanford Cardinal. The Huskies have rattled off back to back wins since their upset loss to Arizona State to find their selves atop the North division 8-1 SU and 5-1 in conference play. However, both Washington State and Stanford are still in the hunt for the division crown at 5-2 in conference play. For the Cardinal, they are on the heels of a loss at Washington State last week 24-21 meaning there is no longer any room for error to stay alive in the Pac-12 title race.
Before last weeks loss to the Cougars, Stanford had put together 5 straight victories. Despite the loss, this Cardinal team is still playing well and they will make it tough on the Huskies this Friday. The defense has been playing well limiting opponents to just 17.8 points per game over their last 5 contests which included all Pac-12 opponents. Offensively, Stanford houses one of the best talents in all of college football in junior running back Bryce Love. In many ways, Love has carried the entire offense this season.
Senior quarterback Keller Chryst did not deliver on expectations after completing just 54% passing with 8 scores and 4 picks through his first 7 games. As a result, the offense turned the starting job over to redshirt freshman K.J Costello last week but the youngster could not do much better hitting just 9 of 20 passing for 105 yards and 1 interception. As the quarterback saga continues in Stanford without much hope, the Cardinal offense will continue to lean heavily on running back Bryce Love. Love missed some time a few weeks ago with an ankle injury but returned for last weeks loss to Washington State where he was held in check to just 69 yards rushing and 1 touchdown.
The performance was the 1st time this year that Love was held under the 100 yard mark and his previous minimum was 147 yards. Obviously Love did not appear to be 100% and there is hope that he will be better this week. His numbers for the year have been nothing short of incredible with 1,456 yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging nearly 10 yards per carry. The challenges this week is making sure Love is back at 100% and then figuring out a way to keep him going against a very tough Washington defense.
Statistically, the Huskies own the best defense in college football yielding just 240 total yards per game and they own the 6th best unit against the run giving up just 91 yards per game. Therefore, this Washington defense matched up against this relentless Stanford running attack spearheaded by Bryce Love will be quite the battle. My biggest question is what happens to Stanford if they are unable to run the football? We have seen their consistent struggles throwing the football and that does not leave much hope if Love is held in check for the 2nd week in a row.
For the Huskies, their offense is effective yet balanced. Running back Myles Gaskin has been very good with 918 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year. Meanwhile, quarterback Jake Browning tied the school record for career touchdown passes last week in the 38-3 blowout win over Oregon. Browning owns a very respectable 67.8% completion percentage and has thrown 16 scores with just 5 picks on the year. With star WR Dante Pettis on the outside, the Huskies have plenty of weapons to move the football despite the fact they will be challenged against a solid Stanford defense.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think Bryce Love is incredible but he is going to need help this week. The Huskies are designed to stop the run and I just do not believe Stanford can produce enough offensive consistency to stay in this game. From a matchup standpoint, all signs point to the Huskies. Take Washington -6.
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