Two weeks ago against previously-ranked No. 2 USC, Stanford didn’t need no stinkin’ Luck. On Thursday night, however, the No. 8 Cardinal could have used a little — or, a lot — of Andrew Luck as it found itself on the other end of an upsetto Washington, 17-13.
Stanford, which had racked up over 400 yards on the ground against the Huskies last season and rushed for 200 against the Trojans two weeks ago, couldn’t even get 100 yards from the running game this time around. Quarterback Josh Nunes was straight awful at times, often throwing passes low and out of reach of his receivers. But, in fairness to Nunes, he received little help when he was accurate. Receiver Ty Montgomery dropped at least two or three passes he should have had for big gains.
Nothing about what Stanford did offensively against Washington was in sync or effective — which also means Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox deserves all the kudos and accolades that will undoubtedly be thrown his way following Washington’s first win against a top-1o team since 2009 (a 16-13 win over No. 3 USC).
Unfortunately for Wilcox and Co., things don’t get any easier. A trip to No. 2 Oregon awaits the Huskies on Oct. 6, and the Ducks, while still technically unproven, are playing at the high level they always do under Chip Kelly. If there’s one thing tonight’s game proved, it’s that the gap between Oregon and the rest of the Pac-12 North looks to be much more significant than it was last year.
Washington will have a chance to prove otherwise next weekend, but there are still serious concerns about UW’s offensive line. Keith Price is one of the Pac-12’s best quarterbacks, but he’s only as good as what his protection allows (hint: it’s not much).
Likewise, time will allow everyone to see just how the Pac-12 North race plays out. But if we’re looking into our crystal ball today, tonight’s upset gave us more confidence in the Ducks than it did anything else.