Look, I understand this is a blog that covers local sports (that I find interesting), and it’s primarily read by others who enjoy the same teams. As such, you don’t want to come here and read about how your team is going to get its shit kicked in – you can read that literally EVERYWHERE ELSE. Every single other website on the Internet. Will have an article about how the Huskies are going to get stomped by Stanford tonight. Take a minute and see for yourself, I’ll wait.
See, the thing is, if I had even the slimmest angle to go on, I’d jump on it. The Huskies are categorically worse in every possible way. Stanford averages 7 more passing yards per game and 36 more rushing yards. They average 5 more points per game on offense and give up 7 fewer points per game on defense. THEY beat the #2 team in the nation; WE were fucking obliterated by the #3 team in the nation.
Digging a little deeper, their quarterback is less experienced than our quarterback, and his completion percentage is worse, but he’s thrown for more yards, more touchdowns, and has a higher rating than Keith Price. Their top running back (Stepfan Taylor, look out for this guy) already has 338 yards on 67 carries for a 5.0 average. Our top running back (Bishop Sankey) has an okay 4.2 average per carry, but only 185 total yards (or 61 2/3 yards per game).
I would venture to say we have a slim advantage in receiving as our top 2 guys (ASJ and Kasen Williams) are better than any of their guys, but they’re better at spreading the ball around. They have five guys with 7 or more catches (but no one with more than 10); we have just the two guys with more than 6 receptions (ASJ with 20, Williams with 15). Our top two guys account for a little over 62% of all receiving yards. If Stanford can figure out a way to lock two receivers down, do we have a third or fourth guy who is going to step up and carry the load?
I mean, MAYBE the one advantage you could say is an advantage is that we’re at home. But, really, we’re not at home, we’re at CenturyLink Field. AND, let’s face it, how good has that home field advantage been for the Huskies lately? In the Sark era, the Huskies have a 16-6 record at home. Not bad, not bad. But, against ranked opponents in the Sark era, we’re 3-5 at home. That USC game in 2009; a game against Cal, also in 2009; and the 35-34 2OT win against Oregon State in 2010 when they were ranked #24 in the nation. Nothing since. Of course, that’s no indicator of things to come, but it’s a nasty trend, and do you really see that changing against a Stanford team ranked in the Top 10?
While we’re making strides and we’re recruiting much better than with past regimes, Stanford is absolutely KILLING us in recruiting. Especially where it counts: the offensive & defensive lines. They are going to have the best linemen all the time because they’re Stanford. There’s prestige with that school. They may not get the skill position players all the time, but they’ll attract the intelligent players. And, look at the studies, offensive linemen and quarterbacks are the smartest players on the field.
I hate to be a huge Negative Nancy about my alma mater, but let’s just say it’s not killing me that I’m missing this game tomorrow. I’ll be getting drunk at the Orbital show. I hope to come out of that show and be pleasantly surprised.