Slightly-abbreviated post because the Cardinal had a semi-bye in advance of the trip to Seattle this week.
I say semi-bye because with a Thursday kickoff, everything moved up 48 hours.
Instead of being a chance to kick back and watch games, Saturday became the first day of game preparation -- what Stanford would typically do on a Monday.
Comment: Coach David Shaw said second- and third-string players would be placed in scrimmage situations during the bye week in order to get them game-ready.
But there was a lengthy to-do list involving the starters, and it included:
Stanford's offense is based on ball control, and high-percentage passing is a must -- especially when so many attempts are in the direction of tight ends and running backs.
It's a difficult throw that took Andrew Luck weeks to perfect last season, and Stanford wants to make use of it again. At the very least, Toilolo can be used as a decoy when lined up wide, but Nunes has to show he can complete the pass.
While the snaps haven't been perfect, the holds have been pretty
But Williamson, who has a strong leg, must get more accurate — and do it in a hurry.
Its third-down conversion rate is 30.8 percent (106th in the nation), and it has scored touchdowns on just 45 percent of its red zone opportunities.
Like the field goals and Nunes' subpar completion percentage, the deficiencies in the red zone and on third down have not cost it a victory ... yet.
Next up: at Washington (Thursday)
The matchup: A favorable one for Stanford, if the result of the past three years are an accurate indication.
(Note: Stanford has beaten the Huskies four years in a row, but the '08 game was close.)
How will Nunes, who has attempted one pass on the road in his career (Husky Stadium, two years ago, incomplete) respond to the noise and frenzy in CenturyLink Field?
Will he be a calming presence in the huddle and on the sideline, especially if it's tight in the fourth quarter?
And how will he react to the blitzes and stunts that UW defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox is almost assuredly drawing up to offset matchup problems with Stanford's offensive line?
They were so-so in a season-opening win over so-so San Diego State, overwhelmed at LSU (as most teams would be) and dominant against Portland State (as most teams would be).
But to beat Stanford, UW will have to hold its own on the line of scrimmage.
After the last three years, I'll believe it when I see it.