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Stanford Looking To Improve On Impressive Play

Maybe their last start wasn't as impressive as some others this season, but a win is a win is a win is a win, is it not? That holds true for any sport, and it's definitely apt for the Cardinal 38-28 victory over Washington State. They struggled, they made some mistakes and didn't look as good as they have in other victories this year, but they put thirty-eight points on the board, and have not dipped below thirty-one points all year. Like I said, a win is a win.

This weekend's Pac-10 action between the Huskies and Cardinal promises to be a good one, as is the usual case. Whereas the Cardinal are off to their best start since 1970, the Huskies are moving slowly after being handed a 44-14 defeat in Arizona, with a 3-4 record and two losses in their last three.

Andrew Luck is the guy to watch, as has been the case for .. oh, seven games thus far for Stanford. He's the spearhead for an offense that's putting up 42.6 points-per-game and 466.4 yards-per-game. Luck has completed 66.5 percent of his passes on his way to 1,728 yards with 19 touchdowns and five interceptions. He's used his feet to get him 253 yards and two scores.

The fact that he's only been brought down behind the line of scrimmage three times this season likely factors into those stats. Doug Baldwin and Stephan Taylor anchor a solid pair of weapons for Luck's disposal. Taylor has five touchdowns on the ground to go with 624 yards while Baldwin has six snagged scores through the air and 402 yards on 28 catches.

Right in line with that offensive average was last week's tilt against Washington State. Luck didn't put up monster numbers in yardage, but he slung for three scores while Taylor was a mad man, gashing the defense for 142 yards and two scores to bring the offensive total to five for the game.

The big showdown in this matchup, is of course, one of quaterback play. Taking snaps for the Huskies would be Jake Locker - former consensus first overall draft pick who may have lost his spot to one Luck, Andrew. However, the Huskies are not the high-powered offensive juggernaut that the Cardinal are, nor do they put on a performance a fraction of that which was expected to begin the year.

They're sitting right around 24.9 points-per-game with 394.6 total yards-per-game. Not numbers to sneeze at, but under-performing, one might be compelled to say. Locker has only completed 56.5 percent of his passes for 1,614 yards, but he's added 14 touchdowns onto that against only four interceptions. He's got Chris Polk and Jermaine Kearse at his disposal, Polk leading the ground attack with 636 yards and four scores and Kearse being the primary receiving target with ten grabs for scores with 670 yards on 41 receptions.

The storyline would have been much more appealing if Locker didn't slow down to what is essentially a crawl for someone of his caliber and expectation. Luck versus Locker should be the kind of dream prize-fighter gun-fight we all yearn for, but the signs point to it being the Cardinal putting on a clinic en route to another impressive victory. Looks like we'll see.