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Stanford vs. Washington preview: Can the Huskies take the North away from the Cardinal?

What are the key matchups you see in Stanford-Washington? Do you think the winner of this game is winning the Pac-12 North?

Washington v Stanford Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Andy Burnett: Stanford 3rd QB < UW, but I still think Stanford wins the league if their injured QBs get healthy.

Nico Gervasoni: I'll be curious to see if Jake Browning can take advantage of a banged up Stanford secondary. If he can hit a deep ball to John Ross or just give the backup corners issues, it'll go a long way towards a UW win. Conversely, UW got gashed last week by Arizona's run game, so if they struggle against Christian McCaffrey, it may not matter what Browning can do if they can't slow down McCaffrey in any way.

As for this game's winner winning the North, I definitely think so. I see both of these teams beating Oregon, who would be the only other credible threat.

Travis King: I agree with Nico. Brownings play against Stanford’s defense is going to have a large influence on the game. We know Stanford is going to score points, no matter which QB Stanford throws out there simply because of McCaffrey. The question becomes - can UW keep up? Its hard to see how the winner of this game doesn’t win the Pac-12 North, but I wouldn’t call it a lock.

Ryan Larson I don't agree with Travis, whoever wins this game is a guaranteed lock to play in the Pac-12 Championship. Neither of these teams have a very difficult road going forward in conference play, especially with Oregon having a down year. The winner of this game essential has a two game lead in the division standings because they will own the tiebreaker as well.

Owning the tiebreaker is huge, we saw that come into effect last year with Utah and USC in the South Division. The loser will have to be perfect in conference play while the winner will have to lose two conference games. I can't see either of these two teams losing an extra couple of conference games going forward, they're both too talented. So pencil the winner of this game into your Pac-12 Championship and turn your focus to the South, which figures to be a blood bath the entire season.

Jack Follman: Late to the game on this one...again, but I think the Stanford game is on the Washington offense. I think the Husky defense is good enough, especially at home to keep Stanford's offense to a reasonable amount of points, but their offense can't fail to execute the way they did against Arizona (28 points in regulation). I think this will be the story with Washington in every game the rest of the way.