Three quick impressions from Washington’s 20-13 loss to No. 16 Stanford at Husky Stadium on Saturday afternoon:
From reporter Adam Jude:
1. Stuffed: The biggest takeawayfor the Huskies: Cyler Miles and the UW offense is still a work in progress. Stanford came in with the No. 1 defense in the nation, and the Cardinal held UW to only one offensive touchdown. The Huskies (4-1, 0-1 Pac-12) managed just 179 yards of total offense, and Miles completed just 15 of 29 passes for 98 yards. The Cardinal lived up to its billing.
2. Where is this team without Shaq Thompson? Washington’s defense had perhaps its best game of the season, led by the standout junior linebacker. Thompson stripped Stanford running back Remound Wright late in the second quarter, scooped up the loose ball and ran 32 yards for a touchdown to tie the score at 13-13. In the third quarter, Thompson knocked the ball loose from Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan in the red zone. Senior nose tackle Danny Shelton, UW’s 339-pound star, leaped to recover the loose ball. Thompson even played a little strong safety early today, with regular starter Kevin King out for the game for an unknown reason.
3. John Ross III, you there? After missing last week’s game with an apparent knee injury, Ross returned for UW … and returned UW’s first kickoff for a touchdown. Except, no, sorry, it was called back for a block in the back. Ross didn’t get another touch in the first half, and finished with three catches for 16 yards.
From reporter Percy Allen:
1. Poor tackling: Former Washington coach Steve Sarkisian once said the difficulty with playing Stanford begins during the week because opposing coaches are unsure how much to practice in anticipation for a physical, hard-hitting game. Some coaches dial back on the practice reps, but in doing so teams aren’t as sharp with its tackling. Not sure if the Huskies scaled back on the practice, but they had tackling issues at times. Stanford receiver Ty Montgomery broke three tackles on his 17-yard touchdown reception. The Cardinal also benefitted from several missed tackles on a scoring drive late in the fourth quarter.
2. Too risky: Washington was 0 for 3 on fourth-down conversions and the second attempt was a head scratcher. Tied 13-13 in the fourth quarter, the Huskies faked a punt on fourth and 9. However, Shaq Thompson was stuffed at the line and Stanford regained the ball at the UW 47. The Cardinal scored on the drive.
3. Under pressure: Stanford looked as if it copied the defensive game plan from Georgia State and blitzed UW Cyler Miles early and often. He had difficulty handling the pressure and finished with just 98 yards on 15-of-29 passing. Miles was sacked four times and hurried throughout the afternoon.