Stanford, Washington pre-game

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- We're about an hour from kickoff and it's unseasonably toasty at Stanford Stadium.

Here's a few things to keep an eye as the No. 8 Cardinal host No. 25 Washington.

  1. What will the absence of safety Delano Howell mean to the Cardinal? Devon Carrington has played plenty this year, but has also drawn the criticism of head coach David Shaw for not being as sound in his tackling. Howell was an intimidator and the hardest hitter on the team — who was also a fantastic, pure tackler.

  2. Despite having Andrew Luck, Stanford is a run-first offense. Washington enters the game with the No. 17 rushing defense in the country, holding opponents to 97 yards per game. Stanford averages almost double that at 181.7 yards per game. Which one will give?

  3. Shaw was very complimentary this week of Washington quarterback Keith Price and his ability to navigate through the pocket. Stanford's pass rush is one of the best in the country, so look to see if the Cardinal can disrupt his timing, or whether Price can beat the rush.