November 6, 2007 in Sports

First look

The Spokesman-Review
 

Time: 3:30 p.m. Saturday. TV: FSN

The records: WSU, 3-6, 1-5 in Pac-10; Stanford, 3-6, 2-5.

Last week: WSU lost at California, 20-17; Stanford lost to Washington, 27-9.

Last time: WSU won 36-10 at Stanford last season.

The line: WSU by 10.5.

What it means for WSU: The Cougars have played well at Martin Stadium this year, winning twice and coming within a field goal of overtime with Arizona State. Keep winning in Washington and WSU still has a chance of going to a bowl, despite being in the Pac-10 cellar. But a loss to the Cardinal would mean the end of those hopes.

What it means for Stanford: The past two weeks haven’t been kind to the Cardinal. In a season that includes one of the great upsets of all time – their 24-23 win at USC – the Cardinal are going backward as illustrated by the 388 rushing yards they yielded to Washington last Saturday. A win in Pullman would not only improve Stanford’s road record to 3-1 it would allow the Cardinal to dream of a bowl.

Key matchup: WSU offensive line vs. Stanford’s front seven.

For the Cougars to win, they have to run the ball effectively (see: UCLA). The way to do that is to dominate the line of scrimmage. And the Cardinal showed last week they can be dominated. Washington’s Louis Rankin ran through Silicon Valley-wide holes en route to 255 yards in the Huskies’ win. If the WSU line can open lanes, Kevin McCall, Chris Ivory and whomever else carries the ball should take the pressure off Alex Brink and the passing game.

Vince Grippi


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