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Saturday, 11 October 2014

Washington State At Stanford: 5 Things To Know

Connor Halliday


The Stanford Cardinal welcome the high flying air raid attack of Washington State into Palo Alto on Friday night.  The Stanford and Washington State fans will be treated to a fire works display on the field and after the game.  Both teams are coming off of heart breaking last second losses last weekend and are looking to get onto the winning track.  Stanford Coach David Shaw boasts one of the best defenses in College Football, and Washington State Coach Mike Leach promotes one of the most explosive offensive attacks in the nation. 

Here are five things to watch for on Friday evening:

Connor Halliday and Kevin Hogan QB Battle:  The Quarterback battle between Washington State Quarterback Connor Halliday and Stanford Quarterback Kevin Hogan will be a battle of contrasting styles.  Halliday leads the Cougars “Air Raid” attack, and is constantly on the move trying to get the offense up the field.  Halliday threw for an NCAA record 734 yards by completing 49 out of 70 passes and 6 touchdowns in their 60-59 loss last weekend to California.  Hogan is the complete opposite to Halliday.  Hogan is a game manager that leads the Cardinal attack that is dedicated to the run first, and keeping ball control.  Hogan will only look to pass about 20 times a game, and will be more concerned about ball security.  Hogan and Halliday are both leaders and looked upon to lead their teams to victory. 

Stanford Playmaker Ty Montgomery:  Senior Wide Receiver Ty Montgomery is looking to bounce back after his subpar performance versus Notre Dame last weekend.  Montgomery had trouble in the rough South Bend weather, and never seemed to get on track in the game.  Montgomery dropped several passes, and just never was able to lead his team.  This weekend, Montgomery is looking to get back on the horse against a young and inexperienced Cougars defense.  The Cougars had severe trouble against a young California squad, and have not faced a talent like Montgomery yet this season.  Look for Montgomery to have a huge game.

Washington State’s High Powered Offense:  The Cougars record is not what they were expecting, but their offense is exactly what Head Coach Mike Leach is looking for from his team.  Washington State is averaging over 38 points a game to start off the season, and are getting more confident in their system by the week.  The Cougars will need to continue their offensive approach if they are to have any chance versus the Cardinal on Friday night. 

Stanford Defensive Front:  The Stanford Cardinal defense was absolutely dominant last weekend against Notre Dame until the final drive.  Stanford held the high-powered Fighting Irish offense to just 10 points for the first 57 minutes, and if not for a few bad judgments on the final dive, they may have escaped South Bend with a victory.  Stanford is looking to rebound from this last second defeat, and will have a huge test with the rapid-fire Cougars offense.  Stanford’s defensive secondary will be challenged the entire game, and will rely upon Junior Alex Carter and Senior Wayne Lyons to rebound and lead the Cardinal to victory. 

Special Teams Debacle:  Stanford and Washington State are both coming off several devastating debacles that hindered each team in their games last weekend.  Stanford just looked disheveled in the kicking game last weekend as Senior Jordan Williamson is struggling this season.  Stanford could not even get a kick attempted on one try, and then the final kick off by Williamson again sailed out of bounds that gave the Fighting Irish prime field position to begin their final drive.  Washington State kicker Quentin Breshears was not any better as he failed at a 19-yard attempt that would have given the Cougars a last second victory.  This game could boil down to a final kick, and both teams may be a little gun shy to take the attempt. 


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