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Stanford battles UW

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Sportsbook.ag College Football Thursday

STANFORD CARDINAL (3-0) at WASHINGTON HUSKIES (2-1)

Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Stanford -7 (-105) & 47.5
Opening Line & Total: Cardinal -7 & 49.5


Two well-rested Pac-12 teams coming off a bye week clash on Thursday night when No. 8 Stanford visits Washington.

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The Cardinal have dominated this series, winning six of the past seven meetings (5-1-1 ATS), including four straight by an average score of 44-16. Stanford beat the Huskies 65-21 last year behind a school-record 446 rushing yards. This is the road opener for the Cardinal, who are 7-0-1 ATS in their past eight non-home games. Washington is 7-1 SU (6-2 ATS) at home since losing 41-0 to Stanford in 2010. Washington's Keith Price threw 3 TD in his last game on Sept. 15, a 52-13 thumping of Portland State. Stanford has won the past four meetings by an average score of 44 to 16, including a 65-21 annihilation last year when the Cardinal rushed for a school-record 446 yards. With Stepfan Taylor well-rested after his herculean 213 total yards in upsetting USC, the Huskies run defense will not be able to stop him. Washington allows 221 rushing YPG versus FBS opponents this year. And since David Shaw took over, Stanford is 11-1 ATS following a straight-up win.

Josh Nunes has done an admirable job in the unenviable task of trying to replace Andrew Luck. Nunes has completed just 47-of-88 passes (53%), but has 615 passing yards, 6 TD and 3 INT. Those are pretty good numbers considering his team's proficiency in rushing the football with 150 rushing YPG. Senior RB Taylor has 113 of those rushing YPG, but he also added five catches as part of 213 total yards against USC in his last game. In three meetings with Washington, Taylor has rushed for 264 yards on 36 carries (7.3 YPC) with four touchdowns. The Cardinal defense is sometimes overlooked, but it's hard to get past the fact that they lead the nation in rushing defense (41 YPG) despite playing all FBS opponents so far, and not padding their stats with FCS opponents. They've held their past two opponents, Duke and USC, to 53 yards on 51 carries. Stanford has also done a great job in being opportunistic, forcing nine turnovers, and getting into the opponent's backfield with 9.7 Tackles For Loss per game (3rd in FBS). Special teams have also been strong, especially Drew Terrell whose 22.3 yards per punt return ranks fourth in the nation.

Price has had a down year so far, with just one touchdown over two games versus FBS opponents (San Diego State and LSU), and ranking 11th in the Pac-12 in passing efficiency (126.93). Price was decent in last year's blowout loss to Stanford though, completing 23-of-36 passes for 247 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. But even more disappointing than the 94th-ranked passing game (200 YPG), has been the Huskies rushing attack that has just 114 rushing YPG (104th in FBS). They don't figure to improve on that number against Stanford's top-ranked rushing defense. Defensively, Washington has been excellent in defending the pass (167 YPG, 14th in nation), but has given up 175 rushing YPG (11th in Pac-12).

  
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