Still holding out hope that a return to the college football playoffs is within range, No. 9 Washington gets what is probably its most difficult test so far this season: A trip to Palo Alto to take on Stanford on Friday night.
Kickoff for the crucial Pac-12 matchup is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch FS1 online, on your phone or on another streaming device by signing up for a free trial of one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
FuboTV: Fox Sports 1 is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package, which is $19.99 per month for the first two months and $39.99 per month after that. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
DirecTV Now: Fox Sports 1 is included in all four channel packages, ranging from $35 to $70 per month. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: Fox Sports 1 is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package for $25 per month. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
While Jake Browning and the Washington offense has sometimes struggled with inconsistency, the defense has consistently been up to the task. With Bednarik Award semifinalist Vita Vea wrecking havoc in the trenches, the Huskies rank third in the nation in points allowed per game (11.6), third in yards allowed per game (252.0) and No. 1 in yards allowed per play (3.7).
That defense gets a massive test on Friday night, as it will have to find a way to slow down Bryce Love. He has been slowed down the last couple of weeks by an ankle injury, but he’s a dynamic back who is still averaging an absurd 182.0 rushing yards per game on the year.
“He’s just one of those guys that’s really fast, strong, keeps his legs going at all times,” Washington head coach Chris Petersen said. “He’s hard to tackle. He bounces off, runs through hard tackles, really powerful. Obviously he’s got really good vision. The way they put all those big offensive linemen and you’re not sure where the crease is going to be and he always finds it.”
Limiting Love to just 69 yards on 16 carries was a major factor in Washington State’s 24-21 win over the Cardinal last weekend, and the Huskies will need to replicate that in order to come away with the victory on Friday night.
In terms of both Pac-12 and national stakes, this game has a lot of them. A win on the road against a good Stanford team would be a massive playoff statement for a Washington squad that has had its strength of schedule criticized, while a Cardinal victory would move them into a three-way tie atop the Pac-12 North with UW and WSU, who still have to play each other in a couple of weeks.
The Huskies–coming off a drubbing of Oregon last week–opened as eight-point favorites, but the line has since moved to minus-6.