Who to watch out for when Stanford travels to Pullman to play the WSU Cougars
Opponent Outlook: WSU vs. Stanford
Coach/record: David Shaw (48-13 at Stanford/career)
Early line: Stanford is a 12.5-point favorite
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Quarterback Kevin Hogan was overshadowed by Cal’s Jared Goff and USC’s Cody Kessler in the lead up to the season, but midway through the season, he leads the league with a 174.0 pass efficiency rating. Hogan has completed 66.7 percent of his passes, he knows the system, and has earned the trust of his coaches and teammates.
Running back Christian McCaffrey: Is there anything this kid can’t do? McCaffrey had one rushing and one receiving touchdown along with 109 rushing 112 receiving, and 79 kickoff return yards in the Cardinal’s win over the Huskies. He’s averaging 136.1 all-purpose yards a game.
Tight end Austin Hooper leads Stanford with four receiving touchdowns and was a preseason All-Pac-12 first team selection by ESPN. He’s a big, versatile target for Hogan who creates mismatches that leave defenses vulnerable.
Linebacker Blake Martinez’s team-high 80 tackles are more than double the next most productive defensive player on Stanford’s stat sheet. That’s how effective he is. Martinez also has nine tackles for loss, four pass breakups and an interception. He’s the leader of the defense.
Linebacker Peter Kalambayi is the Cardinal’s best pass rusher. Kalambayi, a junior, has a team-high 3.5 sacks and three quarterback hurries, and he’s the guy Stanford will task with disrupting red-hot WSU quarterback Luke Falk.
By the numbers:
84-31: The margin by which Stanford has outscored opponents in the third quarter – which, incidentally seems to be WSU’s Achilles heel this season. Cougars have only 28 third quarter points through seven games.
9 – The number of passing touchdowns Stanford has given up this season.