Tag Archives: stanford football

Oregon State Has A Stanford Problem

Oregon State had a Stanford problem Saturday night. Again.

For the 10th time in 10 years, Stanford found a way to win a game against Oregon State, and Beaver fans came away from the contest frustrated.

In the decade, Oregon State has had some good teams, some that were at least capable of competing for a while, and some that were flat out uncompetitive. Especially against Stanford. During that time, the Cardinal have had a lot of good teams, and some that were not as good as their record. This year’s Stanford squad looks like it fits in the latter grouping.

But as usual, Stanford was better when it mattered, even if not overall, and got the 31-28 win.

The game was delayed 15 minutes by a thunderstorm, and then the first quarter was played in a deluge. For some reason, most of normal warmups after the local lightning strike were skipped, as was the National Anthem. Despite the disruption, Oregon State started the game with a lot of energy. Perhaps because of the disruption, the Beavers played the first half, without  the focus to match that energy.

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Stanford Destroys Defenseless Oregon State

Oregon State actually produced some offense, at least for the first half. Jake Luton threw for over 200 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Jemar Jefferson, above, had another game of over 100 rushing yards, leading the Beavers to more than 400 yards of offense.

And they still got steamrolled by 31 points by an injury riddled Stanford team that was coming off having lost 4 of their last 5 games. Also one that called off the dogs early and played nearly everyone in the stadium that had a red shirt. Players who didn’t see action against FCS Cal-Davis saw extended minutes. It was the only reason Oregon State held Stanford under 600 yards, and was only beaten 48-17.

The offensive barrage by the Cardinal was so large, 558 yards by the end of the third quarter, the numbers surpassed anything Stanford had done offensively against Oregon State since John Elway was their quarterback, 36 years ago. And that includes several times when Oregon State fielded a completely non-competitive team against them, when it wasn’t as statistically lopsided as this one was.

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Punchless Stanford Gut Punches Oregon State

Playing without former Heisman Trophy frontrunner Bryce Love, whom the Cardinal couldn’t get ready for a made for national television opportunity to showcase after he suffered a twisted ankle 12 days ago in their win over Oregon, 20th ranked Stanford was effectively ineffective until the end of the game Thursday night at Reser Stadium.

While that had a lot to do with Love’s absence, combined with Stanford’s offensive line’s inability to generate any push, Cardinal quarterback Keller Chryst mostly showcasing his limitations (Chryst completed only 16 of 33 passes, for only 141 yards), and questionable play calling, it also had a lot to do with an energetic effort by the Oregon State defense.

Stanford played their worst game in several years, and Oregon State played their best game of the season defensively. Bright Ugwoegbu had the best game of his career, and Jonathan Willis was all over the field, and even recorded a sack of Cryst, the only one the Cardinal has allowed in their last 5 games, among his co-game high 10 tackles.

Landry Payne had a game high 7 solo tackles on his way to matching Willis’ 10 total, and Omar Hicks-Onu snared an interception, just the 4th one the Cardinal have collectively chucked up this season.

Stanford was held to just 81 yards rushing, and no one could readily recall the last sub-100 yard ground game by the Cardinal, because it virtually never happens. Their 222 total yards was about half their season average.

And though they lacked any downfield ability to stretch the field, the Beaver offense mounted a ground game that produced 2 touchdowns, and a time of possession advantage of over 5 ½ minutes, another almost unheard of stat when dealing with Stanford.

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Stanford “Happens” To Oregon State Again

This Time Its 26-15 Cardinal

It was the typical and perfect autumn afternoon for football in Palo Alto today, complete with tail gaters, the battling bands, and 70 degree sunny weather. The atmosphere was one of cordial but edgy competitiveness that can be a precursor to one of those “instant classics”.

Band High 5

Then kickoff time came, and “Stanford football” broke out.

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Final Thoughts On Another Trip To The Farm

Trips to “The Farm”, which is what the Stanford campus is called, the University having been built on founder Leland Stanford’s farm, have been painful to the point of brutal for Beaver fans for nearly a decade, since the beginning of the Jim Harbaugh/David Shaw era.

It really shouldn’t be, as the rebuilt Stanford Stadium is one of the nicer stadiums in the conference (or would be if they would replace their bog of a field with a modern turf), on one of the most picturesque campuses in the country.

The weather today is going to be beautiful, in the 70’s and sunny, as is often the case. And it’s a day game, so the fact that they only put up about half the lights they should have during the rebuild is not an issue today.

Access and egress is a breeze, in total contrast to the berserk mess across the bay in Berkeley (which will probably discourage a fair number of OSU fans from doing the double, and catching the evening game between Washington and California.

But recent trips to Palo Alto have either been painful losses, including what turned out to be blowing a Rose Bowl trip in August, and giving away the game on an unforced fumble in 2012.

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The Official Candy Report: Stanford

Pac-12 play opened up for the Beavers on a beautiful Friday night in Corvallis.  The Stanford Cardinal were 14 point favorites, but there was a lot of hope in Beaver Nation for an upset.  The crazy thing was, you wouldn’t have known it in the stands. Either Beaver Nation is a much smaller sports nation than I had previously thought, or there is a severe lack of interest in going to Reser Stadium to watch the Beavers.  Now, once Coach Andersen gets the ship going in a championship direction, i think people will magically find their desire to see the games as well as find their missing wallets.

For me, it was disheartening.  I don’t expect everyone to be there all the time. Things come up and Friday games are a huge inconvenience for people coming from Portland. I just hoped there were enough non-season ticket holding Beaver fans that would want to pick up those unused tickets and check out their Beavers.

For those clamoring for a team that never quits and plays their guts out, they were rewarded with just such an effort, with the Beavers trying to score in the final seconds, even though they were mathematically unable to win. The Beavers were not quitters on Friday and you could see it in their faces and body language.  They were just not able to overcome Stanford’s athletes and discipline and their own mistakes.

I for one was very proud of how each and every player played.  The way they played that is. There were some mistakes, some bad blocks, bad cuts, bad throws, bad reads, bad tackles and just about every negative thing you could do.  That is how you lose by three scores.  But there was also a heck of a lot of heart, of drive and a physical presence that said “Oregon State is no longer the nail, we are the hammer”.  Like mythical John Henry, they were not able to beat the steam engine machine of the Stanford Cardinal, a good team on a hot streak, but they pounded away as long as they could, up until the last seconds.

That is all i can ask of them.  I can hope they learn from their mistakes, and that the coaches get players in the best positions to be successful, but maybe this year is just not a championship year.  Maybe it is part of putting in the work so we can be better in the long run.  With such a young team, a young team with a lot of players that six weeks ago had never taken a college snap or read the playbook they will be using this year before January, needs this year to grow.  They appear to have already learned how to fight, learned what precision and respecting the process means and realized that their time at OSU is a gift. Once that gets married with execution on the field and another year of sculpting their bodies with Coach Simon, we could be talking about OSU being the next hot team to be reckoned with.

Regardless, this staff ultimately got this team to believe something that they had forgotten or never knew to begin with.  They belong.  They are good enough to play with teams like Stanford, they need not freak out or be afraid of the giants because they are tough and play with purpose.  That is the hardest thing to translate to young players and these coaches are doing it.  So Go Beavers, beat Arizona in two weeks, but mostly, get some rest and watch some film because the game will get slower for you and the techniques will get easier.  Once that happens, the wins won’t e too far behind.

Go Beavs (PRO)

Makeup of the Pac-12 North: Stanford

Stanford is the latest team we’ll  break down in our “Makeup of the Pac-12 North” series. The Cardinal are always well coached and fundamentally sound — and don’t expect that to change. But a lot of its hopes this season will rest on senior quarterback Kevin Hogan. Can he elevate his game enough to help Stanford overcome a lot of its losses.

Who it lost:
Stanford tied USC for the most players drafted from the Pac-12 with 6: Jr. OL Andrus Peat, Sr. S Jordan Richards, Jr. CB Alex Carter, Sr. DE Henry Anderson, Sr. WR Ty Montgomery, and Sr. DT David Parry. It also lost staring LB A.J. Tarpley, CB Wayne Lyons, K Jordan Williamson, and P Ben Rhyne to graduation. That’s a lot of experience and talent that has to be replaced throughout the team, especially on defense.

Who it returns:
The Cardinal return 13 starters, including eight on offense. Leading the way is Hogan, who will have running backs Kelsey Young and Barry Sanders in the backfield with him. In front of that trio will be four of last year’s starting offensive linemen. On defense, five starters, including three linebackers, are back. So the offense, despite the loss of Montgomery, could be strong.

Potential strength:
Peat is a big loss, but other than him, Stanford returns its entire offensive line from last season. The experience and continuity upfront should enable the Cardinal running game to do well and keep pressure off Hogan who will be adjusting to life without Montgomery. Young and Sanders are both capable backs who should thrive behind this unit.

Potential weakness:
You don’t lose six starters on defense and not feel it. So could this finally be the year that the Cardinal struggle defensively? Losing Anderson and Parry in the middle is huge. They were responsible for creating the push up front that allowed Stanford to plug the gaps so well last season. Plus, it doesn’t help this unit also lost 3/4ths of its secondary.

Way Too Early Prognostication:
With all it lost from last season and some weaker recruiting classes in recent years, Stanford could be in for a slide this year. There could be some early struggles for sure. But again, after Oregon, it’s anyone’s guess in the Pac-12 North. And you can’t underestimate the importance of having a senior QB and and experienced line. I’ll go with a third-place finish behind Oregon and California.