Washington (3-4) at Stanford (3-4)

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Stanford, Calif.

TV: FS1. Radio: SportsRadio 950 KJR.

Latest line: Cardinal by 2.5.

UW key players

QB Dylan Morris: 60.2% completions, 1,663 passing yards, 10 pass TD, 8 INT, 2 rush TD

WR Terrell Bynum: 25 catches, 427 receiving yards, 17.1 yards per reception, 4 receiving TD

DB Brendan Radley-Hiles: 28 tackles, 4 pass breakups, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery

OLB Zion Tupuola-Fetui: 2 tackles, 1 sack (2 games)

Stanford key players

QB Tanner McKee: 64.7% completions, 1,722 passing yards, 14 pass TD, 3 INT, 3 rush TD

RB Nathaniel Peat: 333 rushing yards, 5.6 yards per carry, 2 rush TD, 54 receiving yards

CB Kyu Kelly: 37 tackles, 7 PBU, 2 INT

DL Thomas Booker: 36 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 4 QB hits, 1.5 sacks, 1 blocked kick

Stuffing the run

You’ve heard all of this before. UW has surrendered more than 200 rushing yards four times this season — against Arizona (218 yards, 5.5 yards per carry), UCLA (237, 5.9), Oregon State (242, 4.8) and Michigan (343, 6.1). Unsurprisingly, the Huskies are 1-3 when that happens. And in their last two games against Stanford — both losses — the Cardinal have racked up an average of 190 rushing yards with 4.6 yards per carry and four total rushing scores. Stanford has repeatedly lined up with heavy personnel and bullied the Huskies up front. (Essentially, it has done what Washington has wanted to do offensively, but couldn’t, this season.) The Cardinal will not try to surprise UW on Saturday night. David Shaw’s team will line up and attempt to run the ball right at an underperforming Husky front seven. Can UW’s defense stop the run for the first time in its last four games? Probably not, but games aren’t played on paper.

Getting the ground game going

Statistically, the only Pac-12 team worse at stopping the run than Washington … is Stanford. In their 3-4 start, the Cardinal are surrendering 202.7 rushing yards per game and 4.98 yards per carry. But on the other side, UW’s tepid rushing attack has managed just 107.7 rushing yards per game (11th) and 3.25 yards per carry (12th) in their first seven games. So, in a battle of bad against bad, who will be worse? It would help, of course, if UW is willing to run outside the tackles, something it has had a modicum of success with both against Arizona and UCLA. There should also be an emphasis on getting sixth-year senior Kamari Pleasant — who easily leads the team with 6.5 yards per carry, despite receiving 33 fewer carries than starter Sean McGrew — more involved in the offense. A competent running game would certainly take pressure off of inconsistent UW quarterback Dylan Morris. But against a vulnerable defense, can the Huskies get it done?

Managing McKee

The Cardinal may have stumbled onto the top quarterback on the west coast in sophomore Tanner McKee, who took over for Jack West after an ugly season-opening loss to Kansas State. In seven games and six starts, McKee has completed 64.7% of his passes and thrown for 1,722 yards with 17 total touchdowns and three interceptions — toppling two ranked teams in USC and Oregon along the way. UW, of course, has one of the premier pass defenses in the country — led by cornerbacks Trent McDuffie and Kyler Gordon and nickelback Brendan Radley-Hiles. But will Washington be able to rush the passer on Saturday? In his second game back from a torn Achilles tendon, standout outside linebacker Zion Tupuola-Fetui picked up his first sack of the season in the road win against Arizona, and he should play even more on Saturday night. But “ZTF” aside, UW’s defense ranks just 10th in the Pac-12 in both sacks (1.57 per game) and tackles for loss (4.86 per game). If the Huskies can’t make McKee uncomfortable, they could be in for a long night.

Vorel’s prediction

The Huskies have lost six consecutive games on “The Farm.” Their last win at Stanford was all the way back in 2007, when current Husky head coach Jimmy Lake was an assistant defensive backs coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s hard to imagine that streak being snapped on Saturday, considering UW’s shoddy run defense and its complete lack of an offensive identity. Stanford’s style of offense has given the Huskies fits in recent seasons — including 2020, when the Cardinal won on the road despite practicing all week at a nearby high school — and that shouldn’t change on Saturday night. McKee will make enough plays to get the job done, and a couple costly turnovers will hurt the Huskies as well. Coming out of a bye week, Stanford will be rested and ready to defeat UW at home for the seventh consecutive time.

Final score: Cardinal 27, Huskies 21