Everything you need to know ahead of the Cougars' tough road matchup Saturday at Stanford, including Scott Hanson's prediction.
Washington State (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) at Stanford (5-2, 3-1)
When: Saturday, Oct. 27, 4 p.m.
Where: Stanford Stadium
TV/Radio: Pac-12 Networks/710 AM
Line: Stanford by 3
WSU players to watch
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QB Gardner Minshew — 254 of 364, 2,745 yds., 23 TDs, 6 INTs
WR Tay Martin — 46 rec., 465 yds., 6 TDs
RB James Williams — 313 yds. rush, 325 yds. rec., 9 TDs
LB Peyton Pelluer — 54 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss
Stanford players to watch
QB K.J. Costello — 136 of 211, 1,842 yds., 13 TD, 6 INT
RB Bryce Love — 87 carries, 348 yds., 3 TDs
WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside — 37 rec., 632 yds., 9 TDs
Keys to the game
That was a huge game last week for Washington State, and the Cougars responded with a great 34-20 home win over then-No. 12 Oregon. The Cougars cannot afford any letdown against a very good Stanford team, which not only got an extra couple of days rest having played Thursday the week before, but will also have the crowd on its side. Last week, all the intangibles favored WSU over Oregon (the Ducks were coming off a huge game, the Cougars had extra rest and a frenzied home crowd). This week, the intangibles are on No. 24 Stanford’s side and anything less than WSU’s best effort won’t be enough.
Washington State defeated Oregon despite losing the turnover battle, 2-0. It will be very difficult for 14th-ranked WSU to win Saturday if it loses that battle again. Cougar quarterback Gardner Minshew threw two interceptions last week after throwing one total in the previous four games. He will need to be productive, and avoid mistakes.
Force Stanford to throw
The Cardinal have long been a great running team, but it has passed much more this year, in part because the running game has been ineffective. Stanford running back Bryce Love, last year’s Heisman Trophy runner-up, has battled injuries all season, but returned to play in the team’s win over Arizona State on Oct. 18. The Cougars need to stop him and the other Stanford runners, and make quarterback K.J. Costello beat them.
Think the Cougars might be the better team, but this game sets up very well for Stanford, as stated before. Huge props to Washington State if it can pull it off, but …
Stanford 28, Washington State 27