When the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal take on the Washington State Cougars at CenturyLink Field on Saturday, they’ll have to do so minus a couple key players on both sides of the ball. After his hit on Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly last week in the Cardinal’s 42-28 win, senior Ed Reynolds will be forced to sit out the first half of the Washington State game due to the NCAA’s new rules regarding targeting (you can see a GIF of the hit here). If that wasn’t enough of a loss, it was announced by the San Jose Mercury News yesterday that All-American left guard David Yankey, easily one of the best offensive lineman in the conference, will miss the game due to undisclosed family issues.
While Stanford is still rightfully favored in the game, don’t be surprised to see Mike Leach’s squad keep things interesting. The Cougars are much improved on defense this year — in large part due to the great play of seniors Damante Horton and Deone Bucannon — and quarterback Connor Halliday is completing 66.3% of his passes (whereas he completed a mere 52.2% of his passes in 2012).
The game will begin 7:00 p.m. PT and can be seen on ESPN. We wish Yankey the best of luck with whatever family issues he is dealing with.
[Source: San Jose Mercury News]