At the beginning of the season, one date was circled on Pac-12 Sports fans’ calendars. November 2nd. The day that Oregon meets Stanford for what would likely be the Pac-12 Conference’s Biggest game and the winner would have the bragging rights of voters throughout the land.
Fast forward four weeks and the matchup on Saturday night on ESPN – albeit late for folks on the East Coast looks to have some solid enough story lines and an equal amount of drama as the game in November. Washington vs Stanford could end up being the biggest game of the year in the Pac-12. I’m not saying that it is, but it could be. Here are my thoughts:
Run Bishop Run
Washington Junior Running Back Bishop Sankey currently leads the nation with an average 151+ yards per game and has 5 touchdowns on the ground and one through the air. Some of those ground yards were reeled off in big chunks, including a 36 yard run against Idaho. Sankey also carried the ball fourty times – you read that correctly against Arizona last week and bested Arizona Running Back Ka’Deem Carey. He ran for 161 yards vs the Wildcats and a touchdown.
The Price is Right
Washington Senior Quarterback Keith Price is on fire. He is one yard away from passing 7000 yards in his career. This season he has completed 81 of 112 passes for over 1000 yards and 9 touchdowns. That’s a 72 percent completion percentage. On the other side of the ball Junior QB Kevin Hogan isn’t quite as pass happy completing 55 of 87 passes for 10 touchdowns and four picks. That’s for 63 percent on his efficiency. Not too shabby. For comparison Marcus Mariota from Oregon is hitting 60 percent of his passes. When it comes to the passing game Washington reigns supreme in the Pac 12 with Price at the helm. He currently ranks 7th in the Nation in completion percentage. Hogan is just outside the Top 50 at #52. Again an Oregon comparision. Mariota ranks 91st as of this week. It certainly puts things into perspective.
Game of the Year Could Become Games of the Year
Of course this game will also have implications in the Standings depending on who wins. If Stanford pulls it out they will maintain their position in the Top 5 but if Washington pulls it out all hell will break loose. The Cardinal will likely fall out of the Top 10 and the Huskies will find themselves either on the cusp or in the Top 10 meaning next week’s game against Oregon becomes an even bigger game. (I think you see where this is going from here.)
The short of it – if Stanford can hold off Washington and get to November 2nd that indeed will be the Conference Game of the Year. However, lose this weekend to Washington and the fun begins with potentially multiple ‘games of the year’ leading up to bowl season in the Pac-12.
The fun begins on Saturday night on ESPN at 7:30 when Washington meets Stanford on the farm.
Oregon Ducks This Week:Pac-12 Football Preview: Week 6 Statistically Speaking: Oregon Ducks And Colorado Are A Major Mismatch