Two of the Pac-12 North's leading contenders will square off Saturday, when Washington hosts Stanford.
Stanford opened the year with a crushing 45-0 victory over FCS UC Davis, but the Cardinal were quickly stunned by USC in their Pac-12 opener. They repeatedly failed in the red zone against the Trojans, coming up just short in the 13-10 defeat. Stanford rebounded swiftly in its next one, recording a 35-0 win over Army, but the team has plenty of work left to do to get back in the national conversation.
Former Boise State head coach Chris Petersen remains undefeated as Washington's head man, but that doesn't tell quite the whole story of the Huskies' season. Washington opened with a narrow 17-16 road victory against Hawaii, and followed that up with a 59-52 shootout win against FCS Eastern Washington. The past two weeks have been a bit smoother -- a 44-19 win over Illinois was followed by a 45-14 win against Georgia State -- and we'll have to see which Huskies team shows up Saturday.
How to watch, listen, and stream
Game time: 4:15 p.m. ET
Online streaming: FOXSportsGo
Rankings and records: Stanford is ranked No. 16 in the AP Poll and No. 14 in the Coaches Poll. Washington is not ranked in either poll. The Cardinal are 2-1, with an 0-1 record in Pac-12 play, placing them tied for last in the North Division. The Huskies are 4-0 this season, with this being their Pac-12 opener. The Huskies hold a 41-39-4 lead in the all-time series.
Vegas: Stanford opened as a 5.5-point favorite. The line has since moved to 7.5. The over/under is 47.5.
Weather forecast: 65 degrees and partly cloudy.
Two things at stake
The Pac-12 North looks like a two-team race again, but the loss to USC leaves the Cardinal a step behind Oregon.
Washington has started to find a groove in the last two weeks, and a win over Stanford would go a long way toward proving Petersen can build a program at the biggest stage as well.
One big matchup
Stanford passing offense vs. Washington secondary. Stanford is often known for its defense, but senior quarterback Kevin Hogan is putting together a very nice year so far. Through three games, he has thrown for 705 yards, completing 73 percent of his passes for 9.5 yards per attempt. He's thrown seven touchdowns against one interception, and five different receivers have caught touchdown tosses for the Cardinal this year.
The Huskies have struggled defending teams in the air this season, giving up 10.3 yards per attempt to Eastern Washington and 9.0 yards per attempt against Illinois. In particular, the Eagles' Vernon Adams burned the Huskies, throwing for 475 yards and seven touchdowns. If they want to keep this one close, they'll have to contain Hogan and Co. better than that.