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UW needs more than luck to beat Stanford in 'game of the decade'

Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck passes under pressure in last year's 41-0 rout of UW. The Huskies are hoping for a very different outcome on Saturday, but Luck still stands in their way.

The Washington Huskies play one of the best teams in the country on Saturday – the Stanford Cardinal and their star quarterback Andrew Luck. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says this is one of the most significant games UW has played in a decade.

More even matchup

Stanford is 6-0 under Andrew Luck's leadership. But the Huskies are 5-1, led by impressive quarterback Keith Price. Both teams are nationally ranked.

Kickoff is 5 p.m. Saturday at Stanford. The Huskies are 20-point underdogs in the game. One of the reasons is that last year Stanford routed UW 41-0 at Husky Stadium. But Art expects this game to be much closer.

"I think Washington is exceeding expectations and they're capable of giving Stanford a game, particularly with their offense."

Luck still dominant

But Art says they'll still have to stop Luck – who has been unstoppable so far this season. He's expected to be the top pick in next year's NFL draft.

"Most people think he's the best quarterback since Peyton Manning – and maybe John Elway. He understands the game, the huddle and all the strategies . They just basically let him call the plays, which is very unusual for a college quarterback. But that's how mature, sophisticated and able Andrew Luck is."

Art says Luck also has the physical tools – at 6'4'' and 245 lbs. And he's the son of former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck.

'Suck for Luck'

A lot of fans of losing NFL teams have started social media campaigns called "Suck for Luck." Meaning, if their team ends the season with the worst record, they would get the first pick in next year's NFL draft. And Andrew Luck is expected to be at the top of the heap.

The Seahawks did have a strong "Suck for Luck" campaign going. But Art says that was before they beat the Giants for their second win this season. One of the teams with a winless record so far this season is the Indianapolis Colts (0-6). That's because star quarterback Peyton Manning is injured.

Bigger fish to fry

Art says it would be ironic if the Colts ended up with the worst record this season and drafted Luck next year, a quarterback who's said to be the NEXT Peyton Manning. But he says there are far more pressing concerns for local fans.

"All we know is that Andrew Luck is going to be on the field Saturday and is going to make Washington's life miserable."

You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest.

In a weekly Q&A, Seattle sports expert and longtime columnist Art Thiel gives his take on the latest regional and national sports news. “Sports with Art Thiel is published here and airs on KPLU 88.5 every Friday during Morning Edition and on Weekend Saturday Edition.

Kirsten Kendrick has been hosting Morning Edition on KNKX/KPLU since 2006. She has worked in news radio for more than 30 years. Kirsten is also a sports lover. She handles most sports coverage at the station, including helping produce a two-part series on the 50th anniversary of Title IX and the ongoing series "Going Deep."
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.
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