Who to watch when the Cougars take on No. 15 Stanford in Palo Alto next Saturday.
Opponent Outlook: WSU vs. No. 15 Stanford
When/where: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Stanford Stadium (ESPN)
Coach/record: David Shaw (57-15 at Stanford – sixth season) Spent four seasons as Stanford’s offensive coordinator under Jim Harbaugh from 2007-10.
Early line: Stanford (3-1) is a 12.5-point favorite
Last Season: Cougars fans will forever rue the Stanford-WSU game from 2015 as one that kept them out of the Pac-12 championship game. The Cougars trailed No. 8 Stanford 30-28 late in the game, but Luke Falk managed to get the offense down to the Cardinal’s 29, only to have Erik Powell hook what would have been the game-winning field goal wide right.
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Last Week: No. 7 Stanford was embarrassed by UW, losing 44-6 in front of the largest crowd at Husky Stadium in six years.
RB Christian McCaffrey: Stanford’s Heisman Trophy finalist is averaging 121 rushing yards per game this season, but he couldn’t get anything going against the Huskies’ vicious defense, tallying a season-low 12 carries for 49 yards – the first time all year he’s been held under 100 yards in a game.
QB Ryan Burns: Burns, a senior, beat out Keller Chryst for the starting job in fall camp, and has started every game for Stanford this year. But he was ineffective for the Cardinal against UW, going 15 of 22 for 151 yards and a touchdown against the Huskies. But really that wasn’t entirely his fault. Stanford’s offensive line buckled under pressure from UW’s defense.
FS Zach Hoffpauir: A talented two-sport athlete, Hoffpauir took last season off from football after he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 22nd round in 2015. But he returned for his senior season hoping to rediscover the form that made him an All-Pac-12 honorable mention selection in 2014. So far, he’s right on track, leading Stanford with 21 total tackles.
CB Alijah Holder: Holder missed the UW game with an injury sustained the previous week against UCLA, and his status for this weekend’s WSU game is TBD. But the Cardinal will need him to help defend against the Air Raid. Holder had four pass breakups against K-State and a forced fumble in the Cardinal’s Pac-12 opener vs. USC.
By the numbers:
8 – number of sacks UW had against Stanford last week. … without blitzing.
114 – Stanford’s national ranking in scoring offense.
20.3 – Average number of points Stanford has scored per game this season.