Stanford Football 2000 Season Wrap-Up
Dec. 5, 2000
THE CARDINAL: Stanford finished the 2000 season with a 5-6 overall record and 4-4 mark in the Pacific-10 Conference ... The Cardinal finished in fourth place in the conference, behind only co-champions Washington, Oregon State and Oregon, who all finished at 7-1 in league play ... Stanford won its final two games of the year and three of the last five ... Stanford lost two conference games by a total of five points - 31-28 to Washington and 37-35 to UCLA ... The Cardinal's fourth place conference finish marks the fourth time in Tyrone Willingham's six-year tenure as Stanford's head coach that the Cardinal has finished among the top four in the Pac-10.
ALL-PAC-10 TEAM: Stanford placed seven players on the All-Pac-10 team, including three first-team, two second-team and two honorable mention ... First-Team honors went to wide receiver DeRonnie Pitts, defensive tackle Willie Howard and outside linebacker Riall Johnson ... Earning Second-Team honors were offensive guard Eric Heitmann and free safety Tank Williams while honorable mention recognition went to special teams player Emory Brock and inside linebacker Coy Wire ... Fullback Casey Moore and offensive tackle Greg Schindler were named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team while tight end Russell Stewart, quarterback Randy Fasani, inside linebacker Matt Friedrichs and wide receiver Jamien McCullum received honorable mention All-Academic honors.
NATIONAL HONORS: Senior Riall Johnson, who led the Pac-10 in sacks for the second consecutive season, was named Second-Team All-America by Football News ... Johnson, who led the league in sacks with 15 and tackles for loss with 20, became the first player in conference history to lead the league in sacks in back-to-back years.
SCHEDULE MAKER: Stanford's 2000 schedule was ranked as the eighth toughest in NCAA Division 1-A football and the toughest in the Pacific-10 Conference ... During the regular season, Cardinal opponent's posted a record of 71-47 - a winning percentage of .602 ... Eight of the Cardinal's 11 opponents were ranked among the nation's top-25, including six that appeared in the top-10 (Texas, Washington, UCLA, USC, Oregon State and Notre Dame) ... Stanford also played six teams which qualified for post-season bowl games.
HEAD COACH TYRONE WILLINGHAM: Tyrone Willingham concluded his sixth season at the helm of the Cardinal football program ... He has the longest tenure on The Farm since John Ralston's nine-year run from 1963-71 ... Willingham has compiled an overall record of 35-33-1 ... His resume at Stanford includes three bowl games, two Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors (1995, `99), a Pac-10 championship and a Rose Bowl appearance ... Willingham previously held assistant coaching positions at Central Michigan (1978-79), Michigan State (1980-82), North Carolina State (1983-85), Rice (1986-88), Stanford (1989-91) and the Minnesota Vikings (1992-94) ... He first came to Stanford as the running backs coach under Dennis Green in 1989, then returned to the Farm as head coach to replace Bill Walsh on Nov. 28, 1994.
CARDIAC CARDS: Four of Stanford's 11 games in 2000 were decided in the final two minutes while another - Nov. 4 at UCLA - was a two-point game in which the Cardinal had possession in the final moments ... In the third game of the season, Stanford beat Texas on a TD pass with 1:12 to play ...Backup quarterback Chris Lewis hooked up with DeRonnie Pitts on a 15-yard scoring pass for the game-winning TD against the fifth-ranked Longhorns on Sept. 16 ... Against USC on Oct. 21, Stanford won on the game's final play ... This time, Lewis and Jamien McCullum connected on a 20-yard TD pass with no time left on the clock to give the Cardinal a 32-30 win ...The Cardinal scored the go-ahead touchdown with 53 seconds remaining against Washington (Oct. 28), only to see the Huskies score the game-winner with 17 seconds on the clock ... Stanford scored three touchdowns in less than five minutes after recovering two onsides kicks ... The final TD came on a two-yard run by Randy Fasani with 53 seconds left in the game ... Stanford and Cal went into overtime before the Cardinal beat the Bears on its first possession on a 25-yard TD pass from Fasani to fullback Casey Moore.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: In the eight games in which Randy Fasani started at quarterback in 2000, the Cardinal saw a significant improvement in its offensive production ... Consider the facts: In Fasani's eight starts, Stanford went 5-3 while averaging 29.75 points (238 total), 396.4 yards of total offense (3,171 total), 250.1 yards passing (2,001 total) and 146.25 yards rushing (1,170 total) ... In the three games in which Fasani did not play, Stanford went 0-3 and averaged 7.6 points, 320 yards of total offense, 201 passing yards and 119 yards rushing ... In addition to Fasani's play in his eight starts, Chris Lewis also contributed in a backup role ... Lewis threw a game-winning 20-yard TD pass against USC on the game's final play and came off the bench to throw for 418 yards and five touchdowns against Texas and UCLA.
NOTING LEWIS: In his first season after redshirting the 1999 campaign, Chris Lewis was, 1) the team's backup quarterback behind Randy Fasani for eight games, 2) the starter for three games against nationally-ranked teams and, 3) came off the bench to throw game-winning touchdown passes in the final moments against both Texas and USC ... Lewis repalced Fasani in the first quarter of the Texas game and threw for 214 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner with 1:12 to play ... He came off the bench in the final moments against USC and threw the game-winning TD pass on the game's final play ...Against UCLA, Lewis played the entire second half and almost led the Cardinal to another come-from-behind win, this time, however, coming up short in a 37-35 loss ... He threw for 204 yards and two TDs against the Bruins ... In his three starts vs. Arizona, Oregon State and Notre Dame, Lewis threw for 604 yards, two TDs and had five interceptions ... As a reserve, Lewis threw for 575 yards, six TDs and no incerceptions.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: Stanford fielded one of its youngest teams in recent years ... Only seven players, including six starters, from the regular two-deep chart were in their final season of eligibility ...Of the 44 players listed on the team's regular two-deep chart, 19 players will return in 2001 for their final season of eligibility, 12 players have two years remaining (2001, '02), six have three years remaining after the 2000 season (2001, '02, '03) and seven will not return in 2001 ... Offensively, starting WR DeRonnie Pitts and TE Russell Stewart along with backup FB Emory Brock are the only three players on the two-deep chart who will not return in 2001... On the defensive side of the ball, Stanford returns everyone with the exception of DT Willie Howard, DE Sam Benner, OLB Riall Johnson and SS Aaron Focht.
THEY'RE BACK IN 2001: Stanford will return nine of 11 starters on offense and seven of 11 on defense in 2001 ... Offensively, returning starters include QB Randy Fasani, RB Brian Allen (along with leading rusher Kerry Carter), FB Casey Moore, FLs Jamien McCullum and Ryan Wells (both alternated starts at one receiver slot in 2000), LT Kirk Chambers, LG Paul Weinacht, C Zack Quaccia, RG Eric Heitmann and RT Greg Schindler ... Returing on defense will be all three players who started at NT (Travis Pfeifer, Matt Leonard, Craig Albrecht), DE Marcus Hoover (and backup Austin Lee), ILBs Matt Friedrichs and Coy Wire (along with Anthony Gabriel), CBs Ruben Carter and Ryan Fernandez and FS Tank Williams.
PENALTY BOX: Stanford led the Pac-10 in fewest penalties and penalty yards per game for the fifth straight season ... The Cardinal topped the league in fewest penalties (64), penalty yards (471) and penalty yards per game (42.8) ... The Cardinal averaged 42.9 penalty yards per game (58 penalties, 472 penalty yards) to lead the league in 1999 ... Stanford, which was second in the league in 1995, also led the league in 1996 (59 penalties, 539 yards), `97 (66-596) and `98 (73-544).
DERONNIE PITTS FINISHES CAREER AMONG ALL-TIME GREATS: WR DeRonnie Pitts placed his name near the top of virtually every Stanford and Pac-10 receiving record ... After recording 77 receptions for 882 yards and eight touchdowns in 2000, Pitts finished his storied career second in the Cardinal record book in career receptions (222) and receiving yards (2,942), third in career receiving touchdowns (24) and eighth in career all-purpose yards with 3,463 ... He burst onto the scene in 1998 with one of the finest seasons in school history - 74 receptions (tied for fourth in Stanford history) for 1,012 yards (fifth in school history) and seven touchdowns ... In 2000, his 77 receptions placed him third on the school's single season chart, behind only Troy Walters' school record of 86 and Brad Muster's 1985 total of 78 ... Pitts finished the 2000 season sixth in all of Division I-A football and first in the Pac-10 with 7.0 receptions per game and is 29th in the nation and third in the conference with 82.60 receiving yards per game ... His 80.18 receiving yards per game ranked him third in the conference and 32nd nationally ... It marked the third straight season Pitts finished among the national leaders in receptions (1998, 13th, 6.73, 1999, 41st, 5.27) and receiving yards per game (1998, 23rd, 92.00, 1999, 39th, 77.55).
PITTS IN THE PAC-10 RECORD BOOK: DeRonnie Pitts concluded his career as one of the top receivers in Pacific-10 Conference history ... His 228 receptions (includes bowl games) ranks No. 2 all-time in conference history behind only former teammate and Biletnikoff Award winner Troy Walters ... Walters graduated from Stanford a year ago with a Pac-10 record 248 career receptions ... Pitts' 3,023 career receiving yards makes him only the fourth player in conference history to reach the 3,000-yard plateau ... He trails only Walters, Dennis Northcutt of Arizona and Johnnie Morton of USC ... His 77 receptions in 2000 places him eighth on the Pac-10's single season receiving chart ... He also ranks tied for 10th on the single season list with the 74 receptions he recorded in 1998
RIALL'S SACK ATTACK: Outside linebacker Riall Johnson became the first player in Pac-10 history to lead the league in sacks in back-to-back seasons (the Pac-10 began keeping the statistic in 1984) ... Johnson, who was named First-Team All-Pac-10 and Second-Team All-America this season, had 15 sacks in 2000 after leading the conference with 13 in 1999 ... Johnson also led the league with 20 tackles for loss this year to go along with 52 total tackles ... Johnson recorded at least one sack in nine of the Cardinal's 11 games this season, and made at least one tackle-for-loss in every game and 15 straight dating back to the 1999 season ... Johnson, who recorded three sacks vs. Texas and at UCLA, accounted for two or more sacks in a game four times during the season and nine times in his career ... For his career, Johnson finished with an impressive 52 tackles-for-loss (-320 yards) and 36 sacks (-271 yards) ... Last season, he recorded 13 sacks to tie for the Pac-10 lead with California's Mawu Tugenyoh ... The 15 and 13 sacks, respectively, recorded by Johnson in the last two seasons rank him second and fourth on the school single season sack list ... The Stanford record for sacks in a season is 17 by Duncan McColl in 1976 ... Johnson is also just the second player in school history to record 10 or more sacks in back-to-back seasons (Kailee Wong, 12 sacks in `96 & `97) ... Johnson, who was named USATODAY.com Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Week for his three sack performance vs. Texas, started 33 of Stanford's 34 games from 1998-2000.
HOWARD NAMED ALL-PAC-10 FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON: DT Willie Howard became only the fourth defensive lineman in Stanford history to earn First-Team All-Conference honors when he was again selected to the league's all-conference team ... Howard joins Cardinal greats Paul Wiggin (1955-56), Duncan McColl (1975-76) and Kailee Wong (1996-97) as the only two-time all-conference defensive linemen in school history ... Howard, who won the Morris Trophy in 1999 as the top defensive lineman in the Pac-10, was a semifinalist in 2000 for the Lombardi Award, which is presented to the nation's top lineman ... Howard was among the final 10 for the award ...He started every game during his four-year career, which includes all 45 Stanford games from 1997-2000 ... He had 52 totals tackles in 2000 to go along with five quarterback sacks, nine tackles for loss, one interception, one fumble recovery, two blocked PATs and three pass break-ups ... For his career, he finished with 22.5 sacks (-136 yards) and 40 tackles for loss (-172 yards).
WIRE GOES FROM TEAM LEADER IN RUSHING TO TACKLES: This could be a first in Stanford football history: senior Coy Wire led the team in rushing in 1998 and in tackles in 2000 ... Since school records for tackles have been kept since 1965, it is unknown if Wire is the first Stanford player to lead the team in both rushing and tackles ... It is, however, a feat matched by few, if any, in modern day college football ... Wire, who will return in 2001 for his final season, started 10 games in his first season at inside linebacker ... he wound up recording a team-leading 81 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and eight quarterback sacks - both second on the team to Riall Johnson ... Wire, who was named Honorable Mention All-Pac-10, finished among the top 10 in the league in tackles (10th), sacks (tied for sixth) and tackles for loss (tied for 10th) ... Wire came to Stanford as a Prep All-America running back out of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and promptly led the team in rushing as a redshirt freshman in 1998 with 85 carries for 298 yards and two touchdowns ... More impressively, Wire led the team despite missing the final five games of the season due to injury ... He was one of the Cardinal's top ground threats in 1999, gaining 317 yards on 88 carries with four touchdowns ... Wire, however, was moved to safety during spring practice and inside linebacker early in 2000 ... In the final four games of the year, Wire registered 38 total tackles (9.5 tackles per game), five tackles for loss, three quarterback sacks, one interception and five passes defensed ... He was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week after his performance against Arizona State on November 11 ... In that game, Wire had 10 tackles, four tackles for loss and three quarterback sacks - all season highs.
FASANI EARNS STARTING ROLE: Senior Randy Fasani, a backup for three years, finally earned his shot as Stanford's starting quarterback in 2000 ... Despite enduring an injury-riddled season which saw him miss three games and parts of two others, Fasani managed to post impressive numbers and give notice that he will be one of the best signal-callers in the conference in 2001 ... He led the Cardinal to five wins in eight starts while comleting 93-of-180 for 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns ... He also rushed for 156 net yards and two touchdowns ... Fasani turned in some outstanding performances during the 2000 season ... Against Pac-10 champion Washington (Oct. 28), he engineered drives of 64, 58 and 48 yards in the final six minutes to erase a 24-6 deficit ... Statistically, he enjoyed his best game in week two against San Jose State when he threw for 373 yards - the 20th highest single game total in school history - and four touchdowns ... In the Big Game vs. Cal, Fasani threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime ... Prior to earning the starting quarterback job before the start of the 2000 campaign, Fasani had proven himself to be one of the most versatile players in the Stanford football program ... Not only was Fasani a back-up quarterback, but he also saw action at wide receiver, tight end, linebacker and was a vital part of the Cardinal's special teams ... At QB, Fasani appeared in 13 games off the bench in `98 and `99, and went 9-of-22 for 94 yards.
WILLIAMS, HEITMANN EARN SECOND-TEAM ALL-PAC-10 HONORS: Free safety Tank Williams and offensive guard Eric Heitmann were named Second-Team All-Pac-10 in 2000 ... Williams, a junior from Bay St.Louis, Mississippi, started all 11 games for the Cardinal at free safety and finished third on the team with 66 total tackles ... He also had three tackles for losss, one quarterback sack, five pass break-ups and three interceptions, which tied for the team lead ... Heitmann concluded his second season in the starting lineup at right guard ... The junior from Katy, Texas has started the last 23 games for the Cardinal ... Both Williams and Heitmann are expected to be among the best in the Pac-10 in 2001.
KERRY CARTER EMERGES AS TEAM'S TOP RUSHER: Sophomore RB Kerry Carter finished his second season on The Farm as the team's top rusher with 729 yards and six touchdowns ... Carter, from Vaughn, Ontario, Canada, also had three receptions for 93 yards and one TD ... He finished seventh in the Pac-10 in rushing at 68.9 yards per game ... Carter has already placed his name in the Cardinal record book in three areas ... He tied the Stanford record for rushing touchdowns in a game with four against USC (Oct. 21) ... Carter's scoring runs of 2, 3, 4 and 20 yards helped him join Darrin Nelson (1981 vs. Oregon State) and Tommy Vardell (1990 vs. Notre Dame) as the only Stanford players to rush for four scores in a game ... Carter finished with 20 carries for a career-high 124 yards ... His 84-yard touchdown pass from Randy Fasani in the season opener against Washington State (Sept. 2) tied for fifth in the Cardinal record for longest touchdown pass play in school history ... After two seasons on The Farm, Carter has rushed for 12 touchdowns, which places him in a tie for eighth place on the Stanford career rushing touchdown chart.