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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

First Look: WSU at Stanford

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey is the heart and soul of the Cardinal. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Here is staff writer Jacob Thorpe’s first look at Saturday’s game between Stanford and Washington State.

What is it: Washington State (2-2, 1-0 Pac-12) tries to keep its good vibes rolling on the road against a stirred-up Stanford (3-1, 2-1).

When is it: The game will start at 7:30 p.m. Get used to the late starts, folks.

Where can I watch it: You can watch alongside a national audience on ESPN.

Who is favored: The Cardinal are favored by 7.5 points.

Why WSU will win: Stanford’s quarterback situation is dicey and the Cardinal showed a few other weaknesses in last week’s 44-6 blowout loss at Washington.

Why Stanford will win: Stanford is still a big, athletic, nasty and well-coached team, and now one that needs to put an embarrassing loss on national television behind it.

What happened last time: The Cougars nearly beat the No. 8 Cardinal in Pullman and largely held Heisman finalist Christian McCaffery in check. But a missed field goal cost the Cougars dearly in the 30-28 loss.

Three Things To Know:

1. The Cougars have a better winning percentage against Stanford on the road (42 percent) than at home (30 percent).

2. Stanford’s speediest receivers have some ties to Washington state. When Isaiah Brandt-Sims was at Wenatchee High, he became the first person in state history to win both the 4A 100-meter and 200-meter dash in all four years. Occasionally, racing next to him at the state championships was future Cardinal teammate Michael Rector of Tacoma’s Bellarmine Prep.

3. Stanford has lost consecutive games just once since 2009.