- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

Washington State (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12) at No. 25 Stanford (3-2, 1-1), 9 p.m. Friday (ESPN)

Line: Stanford by 17 1/2.

Series Record: Stanford leads 38-25-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Stanford is trying to regroup from a nonconference loss at Notre Dame and refocus its efforts on winning a third straight Pac-12 title, while Washington State is hoping to bounce back from a wild and heartbreaking loss to California and make some noise in the North Division beyond just piling up points.

KEY MATCHUP

Stanford’s secondary vs. Washington State QB Connor Halliday. Halliday threw for an NCAA-record 734 yards in the Cougars’ 60-59 loss to Cal last Saturday. He completed 49 of 70 passes with six TDs and was never intercepted or sacked. Cardinal cornerbacks Alex Carter, Wayne Lyons and Ronnie Harris will essentially be the first line of defense, tasked with playing tight coverage to give the pass rush time to get to Halliday.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Washington State: WR Vince Mayle. He has a team-leading 51 receptions for 703 yards and six TDs and is coming off a career performance against Cal, when he caught 11 passes for a school-record 263 yards and one touchdown.

Stanford: WR/KR/PR Ty Montgomery. The All-American kick returner, who is also returning punts this season, could get his best chance in weeks to make a splash on special teams. Washington State allowed two kickoff returns for touchdowns against Cal, and Cougars coach Mike Leach dismissed special teams coordinator and assistant head coach Eric Russell because of the unit’s poor play.

FACTS & FIGURES

Stanford is 8-0 after losses since David Shaw was promoted to head coach before the 2011 season. … Stanford hasn’t dropped consecutive games since October 2009. … The Cougars had three players total at least 100 yards receiving last week - Vince Mayle (263), River Cracraft (172) and Dominique Williams (107). … Stanford has the nation’s top-ranked scoring defense (8.6 points) and is ranked second in total defense (232 yards) and passing defense (107 yards) per game. … Washington State’s last two games have each been decided by one point.

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