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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 30, 2013 at 4:23 PM

First look: No. 5 Stanford

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan takes off against Washington State during the Cardinal's 55-17 victory Saturday at CenturyLink Field. (Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times)

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan takes off against Washington State during the Cardinal’s 55-17 victory Saturday at CenturyLink Field. (Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times)

First glance: No. 5 Stanford Cardinal (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12)

Coach: David Shaw

Record: 27-4 in third season

Last game: Beat Washington State 55-17 Saturday at CenturyLink Field.

Series: Washington leads 41-38-4.

The latest line: Stanford is favored by 7 points.

Star players:

Kevin Hogan: 6-foot-4, 228-pound sophomore quarterback leads the Pac-12 with a passer rating of 174.6. He has 10 touchdowns against three interceptions, and he’s also averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

Tyler Gaffney: 226-pound senior running back averaging 94.2 yards per game after missing all of 2012 while playing Class A minor league baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

Shayne Skov: Fifth-year senior linebacker, a preseason All-American, has a team-high 28 tackles.

Trent Murphy: The top-rated defensive end in the country according to one scouting service; returned an interception for a touchdown against UW last year at CenturyLink Field, and did it against Washington State on Saturday.

Stanford’s key to success: About a half-dozen NFL teams sent representatives to Stanford in the offseason to pick the brain of Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason. Last season, Stanford became the first Pac-12 defense in four seasons to hold Chip Kelly’s Oregon offense to 14 points or less (with Stanford pulling off the 17-14 upset in overtime in Eugene). The secret, Mason has said, is to be a “physical, nasty come-at-you” defense that doesn’t sit in “soft” coverage. The Huskies now run a similar tempo to Oregon’s, and controlling that pace could dictate who wins Saturday night at Stanford Stadium.

By the numbers:

12: Consecutive victories by Stanford, the Pac-12’s longest winning streak and the second-longest in the nation (behind Ohio State’s 17 in a row). Stanford’s last loss was at Notre Dame on Oct. 13, 2012; its last conference loss was to UW, 17-13, on Sept. 27, 2012.

3: Touchdown passes of 33 yards or more for Stanford in its blowout victory over WSU, adding a new dimension to what has been viewed as a traditional slow-it-down, run-first offense.

.914: Stanford’s winning percentage, with a 32-3 record, in home games since the end of the 2007 season.

Schedule/results:

Stanford 34, San Jose State 13

Stanford 34, at Army 20

Stanford 42, Arizona State 28

Stanford 55, Washington State 17 (at Seattle)

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