Tailgate Talk

Preview: Washington State at Stanford

 

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Pass defense? Ughhh…..

The offensive line? We’ll see ….

The kicking game? Don’t go there. It’s still too soon.

For all the uncertain aspects of Washington State, you can be sure of one thing — Connor Halliday is flinging the football at a historic rate.

One week after setting an NCAA single-game record with 734 passing yards against Cal, the Cougar quarterback faces the toughest defense he’ll see all season Friday.

Halliday is averaging 508.7 passing yards per game. That’s on pace to demolish the NCAA single-single record for passing yards. That mark of 5,833 was set by B.J. Symons of Texas Tech in 2003. Any guess as to who his coach was?

Stanford’s defense is at a whole different level from anything Halliday has faced this year. The Cardinal lead the nation in points allowed at 8.6 per game and are third in the nation in passing yards allowed at 107.4 per game.

Stanford also has one of the nation’s best kick returners in Ty Montgomery. WSU has allowed three special teams touchdowns the past two weeks.

Stanford, however, has some serious issues on offense. The Cardinal rank 96th in the nation at 372 yards per game. If Halliday can uncork some big passes early and get Stanford on it’s heels, the Cardinal might not be able to catch up.

 

Washington State at Stanford

When: 6 p.m. Friday at Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto

TV, radio: ESPN, AM-1330

Records: Washington State (2-4, 1-2), Stanford (3-2, 1-1)

Key to game: Stanford’s pass rush caused UW quarterback Cyler Miles to melt down completely two weeks ago in Seattle. Will Halliday retain his poise under pressure?

Quotable: “Everybody jumped off the bandwagon last year, everybody jumped off the bandwagon two years ago, everybody jumped off the bandwagon three years ago when we lost to Oregon at home. Players don’t jump off the bandwagon. Players don’t live and die every week like other people do. Players play football.” Stanford coach David Shaw on how his team will rebound after losing to Notre Dame.

Prediction: Stanford 31-21

Micah Rice

Micah Rice

Columbian Sports Editor Micah Rice is the author of Tailgate Talk: College football from a Clark County perspective.