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4-0 Huskies Prepare For Pac-12 Challenge Against Stanford

Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
Washington Huskies run onto the field before a game against Eastern Washington Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, in Seattle.

After four wins in non-conference games, the Pac-12 season begins Saturday for the University of Washington football team. The unranked Huskies take on No. 16 Stanford at home. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it should be a lively matchup.Drastically Different Styles

Art says it couldn't be a better opener for Washington in the Pac-12 season.

"Stanford plays old-school football: Power I (formation), run the ball, bloody the opponent's nose and dare them to punch back. Washington is a much more contemporary offense: spread the players out, throw the ball deep. That contrast adds even more drama to the game," Art said.

Budding Rivalry

According to Art, the last two times these teams have met produced some "delightful" games.

"Washington won at home (in 2012) 17-13 beating a Stanford team that was nationally-ranked. Last year they had a great game in Palo Alto losing 31-28, a very dramatic outcome. [Former UW coach] Steve Sarkisian accused the Stanford players of laying down, faking injuries in order to delay the Huskies' up-tempo offense. Stanford coach David Shaw got all upset about that," Art said.

Expect Some Surprises

With the Huskies six-point underdogs in Saturday's matchup, Art expects new UW coach Chris Petersen to deliver some surprises. He's known as a master tactician from his successful tenure as head coach at Boise State.

"I think Petersen has deliberately withheld unveiling some of his trick plays and some of the fun stuff — formations as well as personnel groupings that are at his disposal," Art said. "This is going to be a fun game to watch."

You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwestand

Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
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.