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Washington RB Sankey Leads Nation, Stanford Takes On Arizona State

Sitting at 2-0, the #17 Washington Huskies have defeated Boise State (2-1) and Illinois (2-1). They have been assisted in their wins by junior running back Bishop Sankey, who currently sits as the nation’s top rusher his 184.5 yards per game. This comes 20.2 yards each game higher than the No. 2 runner, Rutgers Paul James at 164.3.

But his good play hasn’t just occurred this season: over his seven previous games, Sankey has run for 1,142 yards (a 163-yard average per game). He has also rushed for 100 yards or greater in six of his last seven games with 200 yards from his last three games.

Thanks to this good play, the Huskies sit at No. 4 nationally for total offense from 603.5 yards each game.

Bishop Sankey

Bishop Sankey

In his most recent game against Illinois, Sankey had a career-high day with his 35 carries for 208 yards. The lowkey player just shakes off the big numbers and said after his recent game via Seattle Times, “I’m just happy with what we’ve done and how we’re continuing with our success in the ground game. You can’t really worry about external stuff. Sometimes that’s more of a distraction than anything. I just try to stay focused and try to play within myself.”

Sankey is continuing to move up on the Huskie’s records list and he is bursting onto the national scene. Could the 5’10” player become a Heisman contender? For now, he’s not on the list but Louisville Teddy Bridgewater sits at the top (4/1) with Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota both at 13/2 nipping at his heels.

This week, Washington will look for a 3-0 start when it hosts Idaho State (2-0).

Looking ahead to other Pac-12 games, Arizona, California, Colorado and Oregon all have the week off but there’s still one notable game: No. 5 Stanford (2-0) will host No. 23 Arizona State (2-0).

Lucky for Stanford, the Sun Devils don’t play well in Palo Alto as they’ve gone 1-5 since 2000; however, they do have a 16-11 series lead. In their last meeting back in 2010, Stanford won 17-13.

The Sun Devils will enter Saturday’s match up with a Top 25 ranking (#23)–something they haven’t held since Oct. 30, 2011 when they were #20 in AP’s poll. They also have five straight wins including the controversial 32-30 victory over #24 Wisconsin.

Tyler Gaffney

Tyler Gaffney

#5 Stanford has its own win streak going at nine including last week’s 34-13 victory over San Jose State (1-1). In the game, the Cardinals defense held San Jose State to 35 rushing yards (23 attempts) while its own talented running back Tyler Gaffney ran for 104 yards and two touchdown. NFL-bound Fresno State quarterback David Fales got sacked four times.

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan had 207 passing yards with two touchdowns.

The Cardinals should face their first true test of the season against the Sun Devils. One thing this game won’t bring is a lot of penalties.

ASU sits No. 3 for penalties per game (2.0) and No. 1 nationally for penalty yards per game (10.0). Meanwhile Stanford sits at the top nationally with its 1.5 penalties per game and tied at No. 5 with its 20.0 yards per game.

For ASU, they’ll face a team very similar to Wisconsin with its philosophy and its big linemen on both sides of the ball. They’ll again look to quarterback Taylor Kelly to establish a passing game similar to Week 2. This came on his 352 yards and one touchdown.

The Sun Devils will go to Stanford with a lot of confidence and as the underdog. The pressure will be on Stanford with its eye on being a national contender. It will also want to keep its win streak alive as it anticipates the Nov. 7 game against North Division rival, #2 Oregon (3-0).

At least after this week, the Cardinals will remain undefeated with the win over Arizona State (-7.5, 49.5 o/u).


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