Cardinal Hosts UC Davis in Home Opener September 17
Sept. 11, 2005
Date: September 17, 2005
Kickoff: 7:00 pm
Site: Stanford, CA
Radio: KNEW, 910 am (Ted Robinson, Bob Murphy)
Campus Radio: KZSU, 90.1 fm
Internet: www.gostanford.com (live audio, live stats)
The Series: Stanford leads series 1-0
Last Meeting: Stanford 59, UC Davis 0, 1932 at Stanford
Cardinal Opens Walt Harris Era With Non-Conference Game at Navy; Next Up UC Davis in Home Opener
The Walt Harris Era began last Saturday for the Cardinal in impressive fashion as Stanford travelled to Annapolis, Md., and beat the host Midshipmen 41-38 ... Harris, who coached the last eight seasons at the University of Pittsburgh, will make his head coaching debut at Stanford Stadium on Saturday as he leads his team (1-0) against UC Davis (0-2) ... Stanford's win last Saturday in Annapolis was the school's first win East of South Bend, Ind., since a 1972 win at Duke ... Following Saturday's game against the Aggies, Stanford will have a bye on September 24 before finishing the season with eight consecutive Pac-10 games and the season finale against Notre Dame on Thanksgiving weekend ... Stanford has won its last for home openers and six of their last eight.
Cardinal-Aggies Meet For Second Time in Series History
The last time - and only time - Stanford met UC Davis was in 1932 when the 'Indians' beat the California Aggies 59-0 at Stanford Stadium ... UC Davis visited Stanford Stadium prior to the 2003 campaign for a 'scrimmage' in which both teams competed against one another in a game-like setting ... The Aggies, who are in the third year of their four-year transition from NCAA Division II to Division I, have not played a Division I team since it lost a 1997 game to Idaho, 44-14 ... The Cardinal last played a non-Division I team in 1991 when it beat Cornell 56-6 ... A Stanford win against UC Davis on Saturday would count towards the NCAA minimum six wins needed to qualify for post-season bowl games
Stanford-UC Davis Connections
Stanford has three members of its football team, including one coach and two staff members, who are graduates of UC Davis ... Assistant coach Nathaniel Hackett is a 2003 UC Davis graduate who played on the Aggie football team and was a four-year letter-winner from 1999-2002 ... Hackett played linebacker and was a long and short snapper and helped the Aggies advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs each season ... Hackett's first foray into coaching came during the spring of 2003 when he was an assistant linebackers coach for the Aggies ... Robyn Kamisher, Assistant Director of Football Operations and Administrative Associate to Head Coach Walt Harris, graduated from UC Davis in 1998, was an All-American softball player and was recently inducted in the Aggie Hall of Fame ... Matt Doyle, Associate Director of Football Operations, is a 1998 UC Davis graduate ... Aggie assistant coach Keith Buckley was a member of the Cardinal football program for the past three seasons (2002-04), the first as Defensive Intern and the last two as the Associate Director of Football Operations ... Stanford has three players from the Sacramento area ... They include DE Matt Kopa from Elk Grove and FB Emeka Nnoli and TE Matt Traverso, both from Sacramento.
Head Coach Walt Harris
In eight seasons at Pitt, Walt Harris turned the Panthers into a perennial bowl contender and among the top programs in the country ... He led Pitt to six bowl games in eight seasons, including the last five, and a first-ever BCS bowl (Fiesta) following the 2004 campaign ... He was named Stanford's head coach on December 13, 2004 ... Harris, a Bay Area native, has coached for over 30 years, including 11 as a head coach ... He was 52-44 at Pitt and is 64-68 in his career as a head coach, which includes three years at UOP (1989-91), where the Tigers improved each season under Harris, and 1-0 at Stanford ... Harris has coached at Ohio State, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan State and Cal along with a three-year stint with the New York Jets ... In the last five seasons at Pitt, Harris' teams went 39-23, won at least seven games each year and advanced to a bowl game each season.
Stanford-Navy Game Notes
Cardinal won season opener on the road for first time since 2000 (at Washington State). Also, it was Stanford's first road win East of South Bend, Ind., since winning at Duke in 1972.
Stanford's 41 points scored were the most (except two games vs. San Jose State) since 2001 campaign.
Walt Harris won in his debut as Cardinal head coach
Stanford ran for 181 yards and threw for 235
PK Michael Sgroi hit two fourth quarter field goals from 40 and 47 yards out
T.J. Rushing returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown, the second KOR for a touchdown of his career
Final Season in Original Stadium Begins Saturday
Stanford Stadium, built in 1921, has served as home of Cardinal football for the past 83 years and on Saturday, it will mark the beginning of the 84th and final season before a major renovation begins on November 26, 2005 ... The Cardinal will play six home games in Stanford Stadium this season and moments after the season finale against Notre Dame on November 26, the process will begin on an $85-90 million renovation project ... Stanford has won its last four home openers and six of the last eight ... See page 6 of this press release for more details on the Stadium renovation project.
Alston Et Al.... Earn Pre-Season Honors
Fifth-year senior OLB Jon Alston was tabbed a consensus First-Team All-Pac-10 selection while several other Cardinal player earned pre-season honors recognition ... Alston, who was named Second-Team All-Pac-10 a year ago, was also named to a few pre-season All-America teams while being ranked among the top outside linebackers in the country ... Other Cardinal players receiving First-Team All-Pac-10 recognition include DT Julian Jenkins, NT Babatunde Oshinowo and KOR T.J. Rushing ... Also earning pre-season honors were ILB Kevin Schimmelmann, WR Evan Moore, PK Michael Sgroi, OT Jeff Edwards and SS Brandon Harrison.
Alston Tabbed As One of Nation's Top OLBs
Senior outside linebacker Jon Alston enters his fifth season on The Farm as one of the top defensive players in the Pac-10 and in the nation ... At 6-2, 220, Alston is Stanford's best outside rushing threat in the Cardinal's 3-4 defense ... He was the only player in the Pac-10 to be among the top six in the conference in sacks (fourth with 9.5), forced fumbles (tied for fifth with three) and tackles for loss (sixth with 14.0) ... A three-year letter-winner, Alston has recorded 120 total tackles, 14.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss in his career and has received pre-season All-America recognition in 2005 ... He began the season by recording eight tackles and a tackle for loss in Stanford's win at Navy.
Edwards Leads Cardinal Offense in Win at Navy
Senior Trent Edwards, who started nine games last year, was named the team's starting quarterback on August 28 after an intense competition with junior T.C. Ostrander ... Edwards, who has one more year of eligibility remaining after the 2005 season, completed 21-of-33 against Navy in the season opener for 235 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions ... He has started 14 games in his career and thrown for 2,703 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing 246-of-474 ... Trent came to Stanford as one of the nation's most highly sought-after prep quarterbacks from nearby Los Gatos High School in 2002 and, after sitting out his true freshman season, he earned a starting role during the 2003 and '04 campaigns ... He was the team's starter a year ago over the first nine games before an injury forced him to miss the final two ... He threw for 1,732 yards and nine touchdowns in 2004 while completing 149-of-274 (.544) ... Missed the final two games of the year vs. Oregon State and California ... He began the year by completing 14-of-22 for 187 yards and two touchdowns in Stanford's 43-3 win over San Jose State ... He came back the next week to throw for a career-high 297 yards and three touchdowns in the Cardinal's win over BYU ... Edwards was impressive in game three vs. top-ranked USC as he engineered two long drives in the first half and finished the game completing 23-of-35 for 183 yards and two TDs ... He had seven touchdown passes and just one interception through the first three games of the year ... In game four, he was equally effective in Stanford's 27-13 win over Washington as he completed 23-of-33 for 254 yards ... He set career high marks by completing 24 passes and attempting 46 at the Rose Bowl vs. UCLA ... Injuries forced him from game seven against Oregon and game nine against Arizona State.
9 Returning Letterman Lead Experienced Offensive Line
Nine returning lettermen, all five starters from 2004 and a group of four prep All-Americas who redshirted last season help give the Cardinal one of its most experienced and talented groups of offensive linemen in recent memory ... Stanford's roster includes six players who started a total of 83 games for the Cardinal and earned 15 letters prior to the 2005 season ...Two of the Cardinal's returning starters are in their third season in the starting lineup, including OT Jeff Edwards (20 career starts) and C Brian Head (14) ... Both OT Jon Cochran (14) and OG Josiah Vinson (14) were starters in 2004 and part-time starters in '03 while sophomore Alex Fletcher made his debut in the starting lineup last Saturday at Navy ...OG Ismail Simpson started 22 games in 2003 and '04 while Mikal Brewer started three games last season ... Reserves Preston Clover, David Long and Tim Mattran are also returning letter-winners ... In addition, the Cardinal has four sophomores who were prep All-Americas in 2003, redshirted their freshman season on The Farm a year ago and are now in position to play a significant role in 2005 ... The foursome includes Bobby Dockter, Ben Muth and Allen Smith and Fletcher, who has already earned a spot in the starting lineup.
Converted WR Kimble Impressive in Debut at RB
A year ago at this time, Anthony Kimble was a true freshman wide receiver who had just come on the Stanford campus from Baton Rouge, LA. ... Now, Kimble is the team's number one running back and after an impressive debut last Saturday at Navy, he has given notice that he has found a home at running back ... In his first collegiate game, Kimble carried the ball 11 times, gained 59 yards and scored his first touchdown on a three-yard run ... He also had three receptions for 28 yards ... After redshirting the 2004 season, Kimble was moved to running back last spring under new head coach Walt Harris ... Kimble was impressive during spring drills and his continued improvement vaulted him into the No. 1 role ... He played some running back in high school, but came to Stanford as a highly-touted wide receiver ... Kimble, 6-1, 195, only played two years of football in high school and redshirted last season on The Farm ... While other running backs were limited due to injury during fall camp, Kimble continued to impress ...
Evans, Kimble Combine for Over 100 Yards vs. Navy
Stanford's new running back duo of Anthony Kimble and Jason Evans combined for 122 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries in last Saturday's game at Navy ... Evans led the team with 63 yards on 10 carries, including a long run of 28 yards, while also accounting for two receptions for 18 yards ... Kimble added 59 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries ... Evans, who redshirted in 2003, received one carry in 2004 ... A 6-1, 190-pounder from Acworth, GA., Evans was a prep All-America who accounted for 3,850 yards and 32 touchdowns rushing and receiving during his junior and senior seasons in high school.
Jenkins Among Top Defensive Lineman in Pac-10
Senior defensive end Julian Jenkins, recognized as one of the best in the Pacific-10 Conference, began his final season on The Farm by recording eight tackles in last Saturday's win at Navy ... Jenkins, who has record 88 career tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, has appeared in 32 games and started 13 since playing as a true freshman in 2002 ... A 6-4, 275-pounder from Atlanta, Ga., Jenkins continues to be one of the team leaders both on and off the field ... He was named First-Team preseason All-Pac-10 and rated among the top defensive lineman in the country heading into the 2005 campaign.
Stanford's Man in the Middle: Babatunde Oshinowo
NT Babatunde Oshinowo, a two-time Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 selection, entered the 2005 season as a First-Team preseason all-conference pick and ranked among the top defensive lineman in the nation ... And he certainly did not disappoint after his performance in the season opener at Navy ... Playing against the Midshipman's option attack, Oshinowo responded by chalking up eight tackles and one tackle for loss ... A 6-2, 320-pounder from Naperville, lllinois, Oshinowo has started 23 straight games for the Cardinal (2003-05) and played in all 34 in his Stanford career (2002-05) ... He is tops among Cardinal defensive lineman with 97 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks ... Oshinowo, a two-time First-Team Academic All-Pac-10 selection the last two years, is a co-term student working on his Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Electrical Engineering.
Rydstedt Makes Collegiate Debut vs. Navy
When fifth-year senior Casey Carroll suffered a season-ending knee injury during fall camp, it vaulted second-year sophomore Gustav Rydstedt into the No. 1 spot opposite Julian Jenkins at defensive end ... Rydstedt, who redshirted last season as a true freshman, is a 6-3, 290-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden who is still learning the game of football ... He was one of the top junior players in Europe and was named the No. 1 player in his age group in Sweden in 2003 ... He played for the Swedish National Team and was a starter for Team Europe, which played in the 2003 NFL Global Junior Championships in San Diego ... He played one year of high school football in the United States as a foreign exchange student at Southhaven High School in Mississippi ... Rydstedt, who is 21 years old, was invited to play in the NFL Europe Youth Elite Camp ... And now, in his second year at Stanford, Rydstedt will be asked to play a key role on the Cardinal defense in 2005.
Schimmelmann Takes Over Right Where He Left Off
Three-year letter-winner and two-year starter Kevin Schimmelmann was leading the Cardinal in tackles last season when an injury forced him to miss the final two games of the year ... But, the fifth-year senior ILB seems to have picked up right where he left off as he again led the Cardinal in tackles with 12 in the season opener at Navy ... He also added a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss against the Midshipmen ... Schimmelmann, a three-time First-Team Academic All-Pac-10 selection, has played in 31 games and started 16 for Stanford since 2002 ... Throughout his career on The Farm, Schimmelmann has played four positions, including inside and outside linebacker and free and strong safety
Okwo Moves From Special Teams to Starter at ILB
A First-Team All-Pac-10 selection last year as a special teams player, junior Michael Okwo is now one of Stanford's key players in the middle of its defense and one of the top young players in the conference ... Okwo earned his reputation as a special teams player last year, but after starter Kevin Schimmelmann went out with an injury the final two games of the 2004 season, Okwo moved in to the starting lineup and made an immediate impact (22 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, fumble recovery over last three games) ... In his first game as a full-time starter, Okwo continued to impress as he accounted for six tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Cardinal Finds New Fullback in Former Defensive Tackle
Now in his third season on The Farm, Nick Frank, has transformed himself from backup defensive tackle to first team fullback ... He made his debut at fullback in last Saturday's game at Navy and was an integral part of the Cardinal offense as he played virtually every snap ... He wound up scoring his first collegiate touchdown on a two-yard run and was the team's leading receiver with six catches for 45 yards ... In 2003 and '04, Frank played in 21 of Stanford's 22 games at both nose and defensive tackle and tallied 17 total tackles, three tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks ... He was moved to fullback last spring and continued to climb up the depth chart until eventually landing at the No. 1 spot ... Frank, who plans to pursue a career in medicine, is Stanford's only player from New Orleans.
Rushing Among All-Time Best Kickoff Return Specialists
Senior T.J. Rushing, a First-Team All-Pac-10 selection as a kickoff return specialist last season, took his first kickoff return of the season and raced 93 yards for a touchdown in last Saturday's game at Navy, the second touchdown return of his career (99-yard return last year vs. BYU) ... He had two returns against the Mids for 127 yards and his 63.5 yards per return average ranks him No. 1 in the NCAA and the Pacific-10 Conference this week ... In his career, Rushing has 33 kickoff returns for 961 yards and two touchdowns ... His 29.0 career kickoff return average currently places him No. 1 in the Cardinal record book ahead of Ron Inge (27.8, 1973-76) ... Rushing needs 39 more kickoff return yards to become the seventh player in school history to amass 1,000 yards in kickoff return yards ... Last year, he led the conference and was sixth in the nation with a 28.4 yard average.
Sgroi 'Difference Maker' With Two Field Goals at Navy
Coach Walt Harris called fifth-year senior place-kicker Michael Sgroi the 'difference maker' in Stanford's 41-38 win at Navy last Saturday ... That's because Sgroi hit two, fourth quarter field goals, from 40 and 47 yards out, to help the Cardinal hold off Navy ... Sgroi, who made 16-of-24 field goals in 2004, has now made 34-of-54 in his career, including seven-of-10 from 40-49 yards out ... He is currently No. 6 on Stanford's all-time list in field goals and his 71 PATs (74 attempts) places him tied for eighth all-time ... Last season, Sgroi made 10 consecutive field goals, which tied for the third longest in school history.
Receiving Corps Must Regroup With Loss of Moore
Entering the season, Stanford had its top three receivers from a year ago and all but one back from its 2004 group ... The list included Evan Moore (39 receptions, 616 yards, six TDs), Mark Bradford (34-482-1) and Justin McCullum (26-376-1) ... Moore, who had three catches for 66 yards and one touchdown against Navy, left the game with a hip injury and will be unable to play in Saturday's game with UC Davis ... His status beyond that is uncertain.
Cardinal Will Return 16 Starters in 2006
The Cardinal's starting offensive unit includes just one player who is playing in his final season of eligibility and will not be back in 2006 ... The other 10 starters will return ... Only fifth-year senior C Brian Head is playing in his final season at Stanford in 2005 ... Defensively, there are five players in their final year on the Farm ... The list includes DE Julian Jenkins, NT Babatunde Oshinowo, ILB Kevin Schimmelmann, CB T.J. Rushing and OLB Jon Alston ... Also in his final year at Stanford is PK Michael Sgroi.
Six Players Make Starting Debut at Navy
Three players on offense and three on defense made their starting debuts Saturday at Navy, including the Cardinal's starters at running back and fullback ... New starters on offense included sophomore Anthony Kimble at running back, junior Nick Frank at fullback and sophomore Alex Fletcher at right guard ... Both Kimble and Fletcher redshirted last year as true freshman while Frank was converted to fullback last spring ... On defense, junior Nick Sanchez started at cornerback, junior Udeme Udofia started at outside linebacker and sophomore Gustav Rydstedt was in the starting lineup at defensive end ... Udofia and Sanchez earned letters last year as reserves while Rydstedt redshirted his true freshman season.
Defensive line coach Dave Tipton is the dean of Pac-10 assistant coaches as he begins his 17th season on The Farm ... Tipton, a 1971 Stanford graduate and member of the Stanford's 1970 Rose Bowl team, has worked for five head coaches at Stanford: Dennis Green (1989-91), Bill Walsh (1992-94), Tyrone Willingham (1992-01), Buddy Teevens (2002-04) and now Walt Harris ... Only one other coach in Stanford history has coached football on The Farm as long as Tipton: Dutch Fehring, an assistant coach from 1949-66.
DE Pannel Egboh, who redshirted last season as a true freshman, was impressive in his first collegiate game as he accounted for six tackles, one tackle for loss and one quarterback sack ... Egboh is 6-6, 260 from Mesquite, Texas.
Stanford had 25 players earn Academic All-Pac-10 recognition last year, tops in the conference.
One of the school's all-time greats, quarterback Todd Husak, is back on The Farm as a graduate assistant coach ... Husak was Stanford's starting QB in the 2000 Rose Bowl and is currently the No. 5 all-time leading passer in school history.