Football Takes 2-0 Record On The Road Versus USC
Sept. 23, 2001
Date: September 29, 2001
Kickoff: 3:30 pm
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (92,000)
Television: Live, KRON (Channel 4). Ted Robinson, Toi Cook.
Radio: KTCT (1050 am). Tim Roye, Bob Murphy. Pregame show begins at 3:00 pm.
Internet: Live game audio and live game stats on www.gostanford.com
The Cardinal: Stanford University is off its first 2-0 start since 1995 after a convincing 51-28 Pac-10 victory over Arizona State on Saturday at Stanford Stadium ... The Cardinal has won three consecutive conference openers by a combined scored of 125-60 ... Stanford, which has won four straight games dating back to last season, now takes to the road for the first time this season when it visits Southern California rival USC at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum ... The Cardinal will be aiming for its first 3-0 start since it opened the 1986 campaign with a 4-0 record under Jack Elway and first 2-0 Pac-10 start since the 1999 Rose Bowl campaign ... The contest against the Trojans also marks the latest start to the Cardinal's road schedule since the 1969 season when it opened the campaign with two home games before visiting Purdue on October 4 ... Saturday's game will also mark the start of a stretch where Stanford plays four of its next six games away from The Farm, including road contests at #6 Oregon (Oct. 20) and #12 Washington (Nov. 3).
Stanford vs. USC: Stanford has won two straight over USC in a series that has been recently dominated by down-to-the-wire contests ... Five of the last seven games between the schools have been decided by seven points or less, including each of the last two years ... Last season, Stanford pulled off a miraculous 32-30 home win over the Trojans when QB Chris Lewis threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jamien McCullum with no time left on the clock ... In its last trip to the L.A. Coliseum, the 1999 Cardinal squad took a huge step toward its first Rose Bowl appearance since the 1970 campaign when it overcame a 21-0 first quarter deficit to win 35-31 ... USC leads the all-time series 52-26-3 in a series that dates back to 1905 (the teams have met annually since 1946), and is 23-15-1 against the Cardinal in L.A.
Schedule Notes: With the San Jose State game now scheduled for December 1, Stanford will have two regular season games after The Big Game with California ... Stanford plays Cal on November 17, then hosts Notre Dame on November 24 followed by the San Jose State contest ... The last time a Stanford football team played two regular season games after The Big Game was in 1899 when Stanford played Multnomah (Portland) and a team called 'All-Seattle' ... With the postponement of the San Jose State game and the open date on October 6, Stanford will have played just three games as of October 12 ... The last time a Stanford team played as few as three games by October 12 was in 1962 ... During that season, Stanford played Tulane on September 21 (W, 6-3), Michigan State on September 29 (W, 16-13) and Oregon State on October 6 (L, 27-0) ... Stanford's fourth game that season was vs. Washington State in Pullman on October 13.
Experience Across The Board: Stanford returns 16 starters and 39 letter-winners from last year's team that finished 5-6 overall and 4-4 in the Pacific-10 Conference (fourth place) ... The Cardinal returns nine starters on offense, seven on defense and both kickers from a year ago ... The experience that the Cardinal lacked in 2000 has given way to a veteran club in 2001 ... The Cardinal finds itself with a defense made up of 10 players in their final season of eligibility, including its entire starting secondary and linebacking corps.
Tyrone Willingham: Head coach Tyrone Willingham is in his seventh season at the helm of the Stanford University football program ... Only two other coaches in school history have enjoyed a longer tenure on The Farm than Willingham - Glenn 'Pop' Warner and John Ralston, who both coached at Stanford for nine seasons ... Willingham's tenure also ranks tied for second among current Pacific-10 Conference head coaches behind only Washington State's Mike Price and tied with Oregon's Mike Belotti ... Willingham, who has twice been named Pac-10 Coach of the Year (1995 & 1999), owns a career record of 37-33-1 (.528) and Pac-10 record of 27-22 (.551) ... He has led the Cardinal to three bowl games, including a 1999 Pac-10 Championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2000 ... The Rose Bowl appearance was Stanford's first in 28 seasons ... Willingham has the Cardinal off to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 1995 campaign - his first season on The Farm ... In that season, the Cardinal opened with wins at San Jose State (47-33) and Utah (27-20) en route to a 7-4-1 season and an appearance in the Liberty Bowl.
Fasani's Fast Start: Fifth-year senior quarterback Randy Fasani is putting up early season numbers that rival any quarterback in the nation ... The fifth-year senior has already thrown for eight touchdowns, while going 32-of-55 (58.2 percent) for 527 yards with no interceptions ... The Granite Bay, Calif. native, who is one of 20 candidates for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award presented to the nation's top senior quarterback, is first in the nation in points responsible for (24.00 per game) and fourth in passing efficiency (186.7), and also leads the Pac-10 in both of those categories ... Against Arizona State, Fasani was 17-of-26 for 295 with four touchdowns and no interceptions despite leaving the game after the third quarter with the Cardinal holding a commanding 23-point lead ... He was 6-of-9 for 105 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter and 6-of-8 for 129 yards and another score in the second period ... Fasani has thrown four touchdown passes in each of the Cardinal's first two games, making him the first Stanford QB to throw four touchdown passes or more in back-to-back games since the great John Elway accomplished the feat in 1980 (5 at Washington State and 6 vs. Oregon State) ... In addition, Stanford quarterbacks have thrown for four touchdowns or more in a game on 19 occasions in program history and Fasani, who also threw for four TDs against San Jose State last year, joins Elway (four) and 1970 Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett (three) as the only QBs to accomplish that feat three or more times ... In the season opener against Boston College, Fasani was 15-of-29 for 232 yards with a career-high tying four touchdowns and no interceptions ... In the second half alone, Fasani was 10-of-15 for 156 yards and two scores ... The Cardinal has thrived under Fasani since he won the starting QB job prior to the 2000 season ... In the 10 games Fasani has started since winning the job, Stanford is 7-3 and averaging 32.7 points per contest ... in those 10 contests, Stanford has scored no fewer than 24 points and has put up 30 or more five different times ... In the three games he missed because of injury last season, Stanford was 0-3 with 7.7 points per game ... Fasani, who married longtime girlfriend Monica Stahr this summer, threw for 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2000, and also proved to be a great play-maker, tremendous runner and an athlete capable of making plays down the stretch ... His best single game numbers in 2000 came against San Jose State, when he was 18-of-42 for 373 yards with a career-high four touchdowns and one interception ... Also last season, Fasani threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns in the Big Game at California, including the game-winner to FB Casey Moore in overtime ... He also engineered drives of 64-, 58- and 48- yards in the final six minutes against Pac-10 champ Washington to erase a 24-6 deficit ... Prior to becoming the Cardinal's starting QB in 2000, Fasani had also received playing time at tight end, linebacker and special teams.
Awards 'Watch' List: QB Randy Fasani, FS Tank Williams, OG Eric Heitmann and ILB Coy Wire are all listed on various 'Watch' Lists for national awards ... Fasani is one of 20 candidates for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award presented to the nation's top senior quarterback ... Williams is on the Jim Thorpe Watch List for the nation's top defensive back ... Both Heitmann and Wire are included on the Lombardi Award Watch List for the best lineman in college football.
The Top 10 List: Both Kerry Carter and Brian Allen could crack the Cardinal's all-time top-10 rushing list in 2001 ... Allen, in his final season of eligibility, has gained 1,411 rushing yards in his career and needs just 182 to move into the top-10 list ... The Southern California native took a big step in that direction vs. ASU with a career-high 134 yards and one touchdown on just 13 carries (10.3 yard average) ... Carter, who still has two years of eligibility remaining, has gained 1,177 yards and is 416 yards shy of the top 10:
Heitmann Hits: Senior Eric Heitmann, now in his third season in the Cardinal's starting lineup, has earned the reputation as one of the top offensive linemen in the nation and is a member of the 'Watch List' for the 2001 Lombardi Award given to the top lineman in college football ... Named Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 in 1999 and Second-Team All-Conference last season, Heitmann is a consensus preseason First-Team All-Pac-10 selection and a First-Team All-America choice by Athlon's and Preview Sports ... Street & Smith's named Heitmann as the No. 6 offensive guard in the country ...A native of Katy, Texas, Heitmann has played in all 36 games of his Stanford career and started the last 25.
Powell Takes Off: Junior FL Luke Powell is vastly becomming one of the big play threats in Stanford's offensive attack and one of the top young players in the Pacific-10 Conference ... Powell has shown the ability to make big plays as both a receive and punt returner ... He is currently second in the NCAA and first in the Pac-10 in punt returns, averaging 33.3 yards per return (3 returns, 100 yards) ... He had a 49-yard return vs. Boston College in the season opener and a 51-yard return last Saturday vs. Arizona State ... As a receiver, he has eight receptions for 151 yards (18.9 ypc) ... In his last six games (final four in '00, first two in '01), Powell has 18 receptions for 473 yards (26.3 ypc) and two TDs along with four punt returns for 151 yards (37.8 avg.) and one touchdown ... In his career, Powell has 26 receptions for 653 yards - an average of 25.1 yards per catch.
Teyo's Time: Stanford two-sport standout Teyo Johnson is making a good first impression at wide receiver ... The sophomore, who redshirted the 2000 season as a quarterback and was moved to wide receiver this spring, has caught seven passes for 93 yards (13.3 ypc) and two scores in the Cardinal's two victories ... In his collegiate debut against Boston College, he caught four passes for 51 yards and one touchdown while showing the kind of athleticism that makes him one of the nation's top two-sport athletes ... Against Arizona State, he grabbed three passes for 42 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter ... Johnson, who is also a member of Stanford's nationally-ranked basketball team, presents a major problem for opposing defenses with his 6-foot-7, 245-pound stature ... As a true freshman in 2000-01, Johnson was used as a reserve forward on the basketball team ... He was named to the Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 Freshman team after averaging 4.1 ppg and 2.2 rpg ... He will contend for a starting assignment next season ... Johnson is the younger brother of Riall, who recently graduated from Stanford after a stellar four-year career on The Farm in which he was twice led the Pac-10 in sacks and was named First-Team All-Conference in 2000 ... Riall is currently playing with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The O-Line: Stanford returns its top six offensive linemen from last year's team and is receiving recognition as one of the top groups in the nation entering the 2001 campaign ... Athlon's Preseason Magazine ranked the Cardinal's O-Line No. 5 in the nation while Lindy's had Stanford at No. 10 ...Stanford's opening day starting five of tackles Kirk Chambers and Kwame Harris, guards Eric Heitmann and Greg Schindler and center Zack Quaccia represent four players who starters a year ago and a sophomore (Harris) who played as a true freshman and was one of the nation's top recruits two years ago ... In Heitmann, Schindler and Quaccia, the Cardinal has three players who are in the starting lineup for the third consecutive season ... The trio has combined to start 73 games the past two-plus years ... Schindler was the team's starter at right tackle the past two years, but has been moved to guard this season to make room for Harris, one of the most talented young lineman in the nation ... Stanford has the talent and experience to be one of the best offensive lines on The Farms in recent years.
Tank's Tale: Clevan 'Tank' Williams has earned the reputation as one of the best safeties in all of college football and a candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award ... Williams, a 6-3, 225 pound free safety from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, was named preseason First-Team All-Pac-10 and Honorable Mention All-America by several publications ... Lindy's rated him as the No. 15 safety in the country ... ESPN's Mel Kuiper listed Williams as the fifth best senior safety prospect in the nation (tied with teammate Coy Wire) ... 'Physically, he's everyting you look for in a football player,' says Cardinal secondary coach Denny Schuler. 'He's got cornerback speed, but linebacker size. Clearly, a big-time NFL player.' ... Through the first two games of the season, Williams has recorded 14 tackles, four pass deflections and one interception.
High Wire: Senior ILB Coy Wire is expected to be one of the top linebackers in college football in 2001 ... He is listed on the Lombardi Awards Watch List as one of the top lineman in the nation ... ESPN's Mel Kuiper ranked Wire as the fifth best senior safety prospect in the country (along with teammate Tank Williams) and the 30th best player in college football ... And after the first two games of the year, Wire has indeed established himself as the leader of the Cardinal defense (19 tackles, one blocked punt) ... A running back his first two seasons at Stanford, Wire has the distinction of being the only Cardinal player in modern times to lead the team in rushing and tackles ...He was a running back in 1998 and '99 and, after redshirting the '97 season, he led the team in rushing in '98 ... He was then was moved to linebacker for the 2000 campaign, where he promptly earned the starting role and led the team in total tackles ... 'A lot of what we're doing defensively is based on what Coy can do,' said defensive coordinator Kent Baer. ' No question, he's an honors candidate this season. He's one of the best defensive players in our conference.'
Wells Watch: Senior wide receiver Ryan Wells has caught nine balls and three touchdowns in the first two games of the year ... He followed an impress ive season opener vs. Boston College (6 rec., 138 yds, 2 TD) by catching another TD pass last week vs. Arizona State ... He is among the national leaders in receiving yards per game (82.0, 36th NCAA) and scoring (9.0, 35th NCAA, 5th Pac-10) as well as all-purpose running (139.0, 31st NCAA, 3rd Pac-10) ... The Middletown, Ohio native, who started seven games a year ago, caught TD passes of 46 and 69 yards from QB Randy Fasani against BC ... Wells set single game highs for receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns and long reception ... A year ago, he had 19 catches for 201 yards and two touchdowns ... Wells is currently sixth all-time at Stanford with 1,020 career kickoff returns yards and fourth all-time in career kickoff return average.
Rushing Attack: Stanford leads the Pac-10 and is 24th in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 191.50 yards per game ...The Cardinal gained 223 yards rushing vs. ASU last week after netting 160 in the opener vs. Boston College ... Brian Allen (27-186) and Kerry Carter (27-118) are the main ball carriers behind Stanford's experienced offensive line ... Stanford is on pace to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season for only the second time in school history (2,259 yards in 1957).
Rushing Tandem: Stanford's running back tandem of Kerry Carter and Brian Allen have combined to give the Cardinal outstanding production from the running back position ... Together, Allen and Carter have carried the ball 54 times for 304 yards (5.6 ypc) and three touchdowns ... The duo have carried the ball 54 of Stanford's 87 carries (62%) and gained 304 of the team's 383 rushing yards (79%) ... They have also scored three of the team's four rushing touchdowns this season.
Offensive Numbers: The Cardinal offense is among the nation's best in all four statistical categories, including 6th in scoring offense (44.5 ppg), 6th in passing efficiency (174.87 rating), 11th in total offense (470 ypg), 21st in passing offense (278.5 ypg) and 24th in rushing offense (191.5 ypg) ... In the Pac-10, Stanford ranks first in scoring and rushing offense, second in total offense and passing efficiency and third in passing offense ... Adding to the offensive production are the Cardinal return teams, which are currently first in the nation in punt returns (28.5 ypr) and 23rd in kickoff returns (26.0 ypr).
* Stanford leads the Pac-10 and is tied for fifth in the nation in turnover margin with a +2.0 mark after the first two games of the year ... Stanford has committed just one turnover in two games (fumble vs. BC) while recording five takeaways (four INTs, one fumble).
* Stanford has been very efficient inside the 20,scoring eight times in nine possessions ... The Cardinal,which went five-for-five vs. Arizona State, has scored seven TDs and one field goal in nine trips inside the 20 ... Opponents, meanwhile, have scored three times (2 TD, FG) in five trips inside the Cardinal 20.
* Stanford has had 10 receptions over 20 yards, including five over 30 yards in its first two games ... Touchdown passes have come from 25, 32, 46 and 69 yards out.
* The Cardinal's 89 points in back-to-back games is the most since the Rose Bowl bound 1999 team scored 104 in back-to-back wins over WSU (54-17) and Arizona (50-22).
* Ten different players have caught at least one pass for the Cardinal and four have caught at least one touchdown pass through the first two games.
* RB Kerry Carter scored his 14th career rushing touchdown last Saturday vs. Arizona State, moving him to number seven on Stanford's all-time list ... Ahead of Carter are Bill Tarr (1953-55) with 16, Anthony Bookman (1994-97) with 17 and Mike Mitchell (1993-97) with 21.
* Sophomore WR Nick Sebes has made the most of his opportunities ...The first two receptions of his career both went for touchdowns ... His first catch was a 19-yard scoring pass from Randy Fasani in the season opener vs. Boston College ... Against Arizona State in game two, his second catch was a 32-yard TD pass from Fasani ... Sebes has five receptions for 74 yards and two TDs in his first two games.
* RB Brian Allen set career bests in last week's game with Arizona State as he rushed for 134 yards ... His previous high was 121 yards vs. USC in 1999.
* PK Mike Biselli, a 1999 First-Team All-Pac-10 selection, moved into a tie for fourth place on Stanford's career PAT list with 86 ... He also moved into a tie for eighth all-time with 23 career field goals.
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