Back in the rankings, No. 18 Washington hosts Stanford

The first three games of Kalen DeBoer’s tenure were all about proving to the Huskies that they had successfully overcome the struggles of previous seasons.

SEATTLE (AP) — The first three games of Kalen DeBoer’s tenure in Washington were all about proving to the Huskies that they had successfully overcome the troubles of recent seasons.

Now that the Huskies deserve some attention at No. 18, the next step is to prove it to the rest of the Pac-12 and beyond.

“Guys are excited. I don’t think they’re surprised, but I do know they’re really looking back on where they are and their confidence now compared to where they were the last few weeks, months, years,” DeBoer said. “So it’s pretty cool to see that. That’s why you’re doing what you’re doing as a football coach, not just building a great team, but helping the guys realize that you can be even more than you think. We.” are on this path.”

Washington’s next challenge comes Saturday night when the Huskies host Stanford. It’s the Pac-12 opener for Washington (3-0) in the week it returned to the AP Top 25 after a comfortable win over Michigan State.

Everything seems to be going great for DeBoer and his team, who never fell behind in the first three games. But tests are yet to come.

“Our boys just see it. You see what they are capable of. They see the potential that exists in this 2022 football team,” DeBoer said.

Stanford (1-1, 0-1 Pac-12) is coming off an open week preseason and is trying to end a losing streak.

Stanford has lost its last seven conference games, its longest Pac-12 losing streak during David Shaw’s tenure and longest for the Cardinal since losing the last game of the 2005 season and first six conference games in 2006. Stanford hasn’t had eight consecutive games lost in the Pac-12 game since losing nine straight games in the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

It has been nearly a calendar year since Stanford last won a conference game when the cardinal hit the then-no. 3 Oregon in overtime on October 3, 2021.

“There is a level of football that we can play at that is much higher than this year. That’s what we’re focusing on,” Shaw said.

If there was ever a week for possible excitement, the ingredients seem to be there. Washington spent the past week hearing how the Huskies are back after winning Michigan State. Washington has not been ranked this high in an entire season since the early days of the 2019 season.

And the one area Washington has shown vulnerability in so far – pass defense – seems to be helping Stanford’s offense led by quarterback Tanner McKee and the injury-related absence of leading rusher EJ Smith.


Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has rushed for 330 yards in each of his first three games after hitting that mark three times in his 20 career games in Indiana. Penix threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns against Michigan State.

Washington has gained at least 500 yards of offense in each of the first three games. It is the second time in school history that the Huskies have surpassed the 500-yard mark in three games, and they have never surpassed the 500-yard mark in four straight games.


With Smith out through an undisclosed injury, Casey Filkins will start the return for Stanford. Smith was the workhorse in the first two games with 30 carries for 206 yards and three TDs, but Filkins rushed 16 times for a career-high 77 yards and a touchdown in the loss to USC.

Washington’s run defense was great against Michigan State last week, holding his running back combo of Jalen Burger and Jerek Broussard for a combined 30 yards and 17 carries. The Huskies rank 20th in the country as they allow 2.73 yards per rush.

“We’ll be playing multiple backs like we’ve done in the past, but we’re excited to see what Casey filmed last week,” Shaw said.


Another worrying trend for the cardinal is his carelessness when it comes to football. Stanford have had multiple turnovers in nine straight games dating back to last season, their longest streak since the 2002-03 season. Stanford dates back to 1996 and has not had multiple turnovers in 10 straight games. Back in the rankings, No. 18 Washington hosts Stanford

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