Stanford Looks for Third Straight Win Saturday at Notre Dame
Sept. 29, 2008
Stanford Cardinal at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
October 4, 2008 Notre Dame Stadium 11:30 a.m. PT
Stanford Looks for Third Straight Win Saturday at Notre Dame
Stanford (3-2, 2-1 Pac-10) will look to extend its winning streak to three games this Saturday, as the Cardinal travel to South Bend, Ind. to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-1) at Notre Dame Stadium (80,795). Stanford is coming off a 35-28 win at Washington on Saturday while Notre Dame posted a 38-21 home victory over Purdue. A win Saturday would give Stanford its best six-game start since the 2005 season when the Cardinal opened with a 4-2 record.
Saturday's Stanford-Notre Dame game will be carried live on KTRB AM 860 with Tim Roye (play-by-play) and former Stanford players Todd Husak (analysis) and Mike McLaughlin (sidelines) handling the broadcast duties. All broadcasts will begin one hour prior to kickoff with the Cardinal Tailgate Show. In addition, KTRB will air the Cardinal Locker Room Report immediately following the game, complete with a game recap, highlights and interviews. Stanford student station KZSU will also broadcast the game live with David Lombardi calling the action.The game will be televised nationally by NBC, with Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Pat Haden (analysis) and Alex Flanagan (sidelines) calling the action.
Stanford-Notre Dame Series
In a series that dates back to the 1925 Rose Bowl, Stanford trails the all-time series with Notre Dame, 6-16-0. Notre Dame has won the last six games in the series dating back to 2002, including last year, when the Irish defeated the Cardinal, 21-14 at Stanford Stadium. Stanford's last win in the series came in 2001, when the Cardinal posted a 17-13 victory at Stanford Stadium. Stanford has lost each of the last six games played at historic Notre Dame Stadium dating back to its last victory in 1992, when the Cardinal upset the sixth-ranked Irish, 33-16.
Stanford's Probable Starting Lineup
OffensePos. No. Player NotesWR 8 Ryan Whalen Seven receptions for 76 yards in first career start at UWLT 76 Ben Muth Fifth-year senior made 9 starts last seasonLG 72 Chase Beeler Oklahoma transfer has started each of the first five gamesC 60 Alex Fletcher Outland Trophy, Rimington and Lombardi Award candidateRG 71 Andrew Phillips Most-improved offensive lineman over last two seasonsRT 63 Chris Marinelli Has made 22 career starts, including 18 in a rowTE 84 Austin Gunder Has started 10 of 11 games dating back to last seasonQB 14 Tavita Pritchard Passed for a season high 222 yards and three TDs at UWRB 7 Toby Gerhart Suffered mild concussion at WashingtonFB 48 Owen Marecic Pac-10 honorable mention selection last seasonWR 89 Doug Baldwin Has four plays of more than 35 yards this season
DefensePos. No. Player NotesDE 91 Pannel Egboh Has 15 tackles and one sack at the five-game markDT 92 Sione Fua Has started the last three gamesNT 54 Ekom Udofia Has 11 tackles after four gamesDE 80 Erik Lorig Recovered two fumbles and had 0.5-sack against SJSUSLB 20 Clinton Snyder Bednarik, Nagurski, Butkus and Lombardi Award candidateMLB 50 Nick Macaluso Has started the last three gamesWLB 44 Pat Maynor Leads the team in tackles (42), sacks (4.0) and TFL (4.0)LC 6 Wopamo Osaisai Ranks fourth on the team in total tackles with 29FS 32 Sean Wiser Teammate of Jimmy Clausen at Oaks Christian AcademySS 22 Bo McNally Lott Trophy candidate had a team best eight tackles at UWRC 24 Kris Evans Has two interceptions on the year
SpecialistsPos. No. Player NotesPK 11 Aaron Zagory Is 6-for-7 on FGs, 15-for-15 on PATsK 32 Travis Golia Made the team as a walk-onP 38 David Green Sixth in the Pac-10 by averaging 40.2 yards a puntLS 56 Zach Nolan Takes over for four year starter Brent NewhouseHLD 22 Bo McNally Will be backed up by Daniel ZychlinskiKR 35 Jeremy Stewart Seventh in the Pac-10 by averaging 23.1 yards per KORPR 89 Doug Baldwin Averaging 7.2 yards per return
It Happened Against Notre Dame
Here's a look at some memorable performances by Stanford over the years against Notre Dame.1925 Ernie Nevers rushes for 114 yards, but Knute Rockne and the Four Horseman lead Notre Dame to a 27-10 victory over Stanford in the 1925 Rose Bowl as the Irish capture its first ever national championship.1989 Steve Smith sets a school-record with 68 pass attempts. however, Stanford's upset bid of the top-ranked Irish falls short, 27-17 at Stanford Stadium.1990 Stanford rallies from a 24-7 second quarter deficit to upset top-ranked Notre Dame, 36-31 at Notre Dame Stadium. 'Touchdown' Tommy Vardell scores the game-winning touchdown on a one yard TD run with 0:36 left. It was Vardell's fourth rushing TD of the afternoon. Jason Palumbis completes 26-of-34 passes for 256 yards.1991 Tommy Vardell rushes for 140 yards on 23 carries but eighth-ranked Notre Dame avenges its loss from the previous season to the Cardinal, 42-26 at Stanford Stadium. Stanford went onto win its last seven regular season games before falling to Georgia Tech, 18-17 in the Aloha Bowl.1992 Steve Stenstrom completes 21-of-32 passes for 215 yards and Glyn Milburn rushes for 119 yards on 20 carries as 18th-ranked Stanford upsets sixth-ranked Notre Dame, 33-16 in South Bend. Stanford scores 33 unanswered points after spotting Notre Dame a 16-0 lead in the second quarter to hand the Irish their only loss of the season.1994 Steve Stenstrom completes 37-of-59 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-15 loss in South Bend. The 59 pass attempts rank third on Stanford's all-time single-game list.1997 Anthony Bookman (142) and Mike Mitchell (135) each rush for more than 100 yards in Stanford's 33-15 win over Notre Dame at Stanford Stadium. The Cardinal defense sacks Irish quarterback Ron Powlus four times and holds Notre Dame to just 298 yards in total offense.1999 Mike Biselli's 22-yard field goal as time expires lifts Stanford to a 40-37 win over the Irish in a nationally-televised, post-Thanksgiving Day game at Stanford Stadium. It was one of four Biselli field goals on the afternoon. Todd Husak completes 24-of-34 passes for 334 yards and two touchdowns and Troy Walters catches eight passes for 183 yards, which ranks as the 11th-best receiving performance in school history.
Stanford Team Notes
Stanford Renews Non-Conference Rivalry With Notre Dame on Saturday
Stanford will look to snap a six-game losing streak to Notre Dame as the two schools meet for the 23rd time Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. Stanford has won two straight after defeating Washington, 35-28 Saturday in Seattle, while Notre Dame improved to 3-1 after its 38-21 home win over Purdue. A win would give Stanford its best six-game start since the 2005 season.
Notre Dame Marks Stanford's Second Longest Existing Non-Conference Rivalry
Stanford has played Notre Dame 22 times dating back to the 1925 Rose Bowl, making the Irish Stanford's second longest existing non-conference rivalry behind San Jose State (63 games). Stanford played Santa Clara 35 times from 1912-52, however, Santa Clara dropped its football program following the 1992 season.
Last Year Against the Irish
Robert Hughes ran for 136 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown with 6:06 remaining, as Notre Dame defeated Stanford, 21-14 at Stanford Stadium. After Hughes punched in the go-ahead score, Doug Baldwin returned the ensuing kickoff 42 yards to Stanford's 48 yard line. Quarterback T.C. Ostrander, who replaced an injured Tavita Pritchard earlier in the half, drove the Cardinal down to the seven yard line but failed to connect with Evan Moore and Richard Sherman on two potential game-tying touchdowns in the final minute. Stanford running back Anthony Kimble finished with 80 yards on 20 carries.
The Big Wins at Notre Dame Stadium
Stanford has dropped its last six games at Notre Dame Stadium since posting back-to-back upset wins over the Irish in South Bend in 1990 and `92. In 1990, a 1-3 Stanford team rallied from a 24-7 second quarter deficit to upset top-ranked Notre Dame, 36-31 behind four touchdown runs by Tommy Vardell and a strong passing performance by quarterback by Jason Palumbis (26-for-34, 256 yards). Two years later in a meeting of ranked teams that featured a pair of legendary coaches, Bill Walsh's 18th-ranked Stanford team spotted seventh-ranked Notre Dame, coached by Lou Holtz, a 16-0 lead before scoring 33 unanswered points to upset the Irish, 33-16. Quarterback Steve Stenstrom completed 21-of-35 passes for 215 yards and running back Glyn Milburn rushed for 119 yards on 20 carries.
Stanford redshirt freshman safety Sean Wiser and freshman wide receiver Chris Owusu are very familiar with Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, as both players were favorite targets of Clausen's at Oaks Christian Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Wiser caught 60 passes for 904 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior in 2006 while Owuso finished with 33 catches for 747 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior. After being recruited to Stanford as a receiver, Wiser has since been converted to a safety and has started each of the last two games.
Special Teams Notes
A Look Back at the Washington Game
Stanford turned in its best offensive performance of the season en route to a 35-28 victory over Washington at Husky Stadium. The Cardinal finished with season highs in total offense (466), rushing yards (244) and passing yards (222) to post their second straight victory to improve to 3-2 on the season (2-1 Pac-10). Senior running back Anthony Kimble came off the bench to rush for a career high 157 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns while quarterback Tavita Pritchard completed 16-of-24 passes for a season high 222 yards and a career best three touchdowns. Stanford played most of the game without the services of leading rusher Toby Gerhart, who suffered a mild concussion at the 6:18 mark of the first quarter.With the game tied at 14-14, Pritchard connected with wide receiver Doug Baldwin on a 61-yard touchdown pass to give Stanford a 21-14 lead at halftime. On its second possession of the second half, Stanford used an 83-yard run by Kimble to extend its lead to 28-14. The touchdown run tied for the fifth-longest in school history. After Washington cut the lead to 28-21, Pritchard connected with sophomore Ryan Whalen on a 18-yard touchdown pass at the 10:22 mark of the fourth quarter to give Stanford a 35-21 lead. Stanford survived a late Husky touchdown with 1:25 left to post its second straight victory.Stanford's 35 points were the most in a road game since it posted a 41-38 victory at Navy in 2005. The Cardinal posted its second straight win at Husky Stadium, following a 20-3 victory in 2006. The last time Stanford posted back-to-back wins at Husky Stadium was in 193 and `75.
Junior running back Toby Gerhart rushed for 14 yards on two carries against Washington before suffering a mild concussion at the 6:18 mark of the first quarter. Gerhart was coming off a career-high 148 yard rushing performance against San Jose State, marking his second 100-yard game of the season and third of his career. The rushing yardage was the was the 27th-highest single-game total in school history. Dating back to last year's San Jose State game, Gerhart has combined to rush for 551 yards over his last six games (91.8) on 86 carries (6.4 per carry) with six touchdowns. Gerhart is attempting to become Stanford's first 1,000-yard rusher since Tommy Vardell finished with a single-season record 1,084 rushing yards in 1991. Including Vardell, Stanford has had six 1,000-yard rushers in its history, including Jon Volpe (1,027 in 1991), Brad Muster (1,053 in 1986) and Darrin Nelson (1,014 in 1981; 1,061 in 1978; 1,069 in `77).
Kimble Turns in Career Performance Against Washington
With Toby Gerhart lost for the game after suffering a mild concussion in the first quarter, senior running back Anthony Kimble came off the bench to rush for a career high 157 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns Saturday against Washington. It marked the 21st best rushing performance in school history and the best single-game mark since J.R. Lemon finished with 162 yards against Washington in 2004. Kimble's 83-yard touchdown run in the third quarter tied for the fifth longest touchdown run in school history, matching Buck Fawcett's 1941 jaunt against Santa Clara. Entering the game, Kimble had rushed for 91 yards on 32 carries (2.8 average).
Kimble Climbing Career Rushing Touchdown Chart
Anthony Kimble's two ruhsing touchdowns Saturday night at Washington increased his career total to 14, moving him past J.R. Lemon, Brian Allen and Glyn Milburn into sole possession of ninth place on Stanford's all-time career list for rushing touchdowns. Bill Tarr (1953-55) ranks eighth on the list with 16 rushing touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Tavita Pritchard completed 16-of-24 passes for 222 yards and a career-best three touchdowns Saturday at Washington. The completions and yardage total were season highs. Pritchard connected with sophomore wide receiver Doug Baldwin for a 61-yard touchdown pass in the second quarteer, which was his longest completion of his career and the longest pass play in the Pac-10 this season. For the season, the Tacoma, Wash.-native has completed 61-of-108 passes (56.5) passes for 691 yards and four touchdowns, along with four interceptions. Pritchard has completed 27-of-44 (61.4%) of his passes since throwing a second quarter interception against San Jose State. He secured his spot in Stanford football lore when he engineered an epic, 24-23 upset victory over top-ranked (USA Today) USC in his first career start, connecting with Mark Bradford for the game-winning touchdown on a fourth-and-goal play from the USC 10-yard line with 0:49 left in the game.
Big Play Baldwin
After his 61-yard touchdown reception Saturday at Washington, sophomore wide receiver Doug Baldwin has been involved in four plays over the last three games that have totaled 35-yards or more. Against TCU, Baldwin scored his first career touchdown on a 35-yard reverse in the second quarter. Later in the game, he returned a punt 35 yards for an apparent touchdown, but was ruled to have stepped out of bounds on the 13-yard line. Against San Jose State, Baldwin was on the receiving end of a 38-yard pass from Tavita Pritchard, only to have the ball knocked out of his hands and through the endzone for a touchback. Including last year's 42-yard kickoff return against Notre Dame, Baldwin has been involved in five plays of 35-yards or more in his career.
What a Difference a Year Makes
Five games into the 2008 season, Stanford has rushed for 842 yards and is averaging 168.4 yards per game, which is the third best mark in the Pac-10. After five games last season, the Cardinal had rushed for 552 yards and were averaging 110.4 yards a game on the ground. The Cardinal ranked ninth in the conference last season in rushing offense with a 111.2 per game average.
Spreading the Wealth
A total of 12 Stanford receivers have caught passes this season, including quarterbacks Tavita Pritchard and Alex Loukas. Pritchard completed a 25-yard pass to himself in the second quarter of the San Jose State game, when his pass attempt was deflected back into his hands at the line of scrimmage. Loukas, a backup quarterback, was on the receiving end of Stanford's first pass completion of the season against Oregon State. Stanford has utlized as many as eight different receivers three times this season (Arizona State, San Jose State, Washington) and has used seven receivers in two other games (Oregon State and TCU).
Zags on the Mark
After serving in a back-up role last season to placekicker Derek Belch, Aaron Zagory is 6-for-7 in field goal tries this season. He has made his last six in a row from distances of 41, 42, 28, 37, 52 and 24 yards after missing his first try of the year from 49 yards against Oregon State. Against San Jose State, the native of Yellow Springs, Ohio nailed a career-long 52 yarder that gave Stanford a 13-10 lead with 1:49 left in the third quarter. It tied for the ninth-longest field goal in Stanford history, and was the longest in the Pac-10 thus far in 2008. Zagory is now 14-for-20 in field goal tries in his Stanford career (8-for-13 in 2006).
Welcome Back Jim Dray
Junior tight end Jim Dray, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last year against TCU on a punt play, saw his first action of the season against San Jose State, but did not catch a pass. Last Saturday against Washington, Dray's only reception came on an an 11-yard TD pass from Tavita Pritchard in the second quarter that gave Stanford a 14-7 lead. Dray's injured left knee required two offseason surgeries (Oct. 18 and Dec. 6) to repair his ACL, PCL, LCL, hamstring, lateral band and posterior capsule. Dray resumed full football drills last Tuesday. The Paramus, N.J.-native started the first six games of last season and finished the year with nine catches for 116 yards and one touchdown.
Notre Dame Transfer Konrad Reuland Now Eligible
Konrad Reuland, who transferred to Stanford this fall after spending the first two years of his collegiate career at Notre Dame, was eligible for Saturday's game against Washington, but did not revel to Seattle. The junior tight end played seven games as a freshman and three games last season for the Irish, but did not catch a pass. He spent part of the 2007-08 academic year at Saddleback Junior College, but did not play football. A blue-chip recruit out of Mission Viejo (Calif.) High School, Reuland was a first team tight end on the USA Today's prep All-America team as a senior.
Stanford in the Red Zone
Stanford is 12-for-13 (92%) in the red zone this season, which is the second best mark in the Pac-10. In 13 trips to the red zone, Stanford has come away with nine touchdowns and three field goals. Stanford's only empty trip to the red zone this season came against TCU, when the Cardinal failed to score after returning a punt to the TCU 13 yard line. Since then, the Cardinal has converted on its last eight trips to the red zone.
Stanford is -4 in turnover margin the last three games against Arizona State (-1), TCU (-3), San Jose State (E) and Washington (E) after holding a 3-0 advantage in turnover margin against Oregon State. Stanford is -1 in turnover margin for the season, which is the fifth best mark in the Pac-10 behind USC (+4), California (+3) and Arizona (0). Last season, the Cardinal finished +3 in turnover margin in the Pac-10, which was the second best mark in the conference behind Oregon (+9).
Sacks and Tackles-for-Loss
Stanford ranks second in the Pac-10 and 13th nationally with 15 sacks among its 26 tackles-for-loss this season. Stanford totaled 9.0 sacks among its 11.0 tackles-for-loss against San Jose State. The nine sacks were the most recorded by Stanford since it also totaled nine against California in the 1998 Big Game. Last year, the Cardinal ranked second in the Pac-10 and 11th nationally with 37 sacks and a per game average of 3.17, which was the highest per game average since the 1999 Rose Bowl team finished with a 4.2 per game mark. The Cardinal also averaged 8.33 tackles for loss per game last year, a figure that ranked third in the Pac-10 and fifth nationally. The figure was also the best per game average since 1999.
Four of Stanford's first six games of the year will be on the road. All told, Stanford will play seven road games this season, marking the second time in three seasons and the third time in school history Stanford has played as many as seven road games. In 2006, the Cardinal's lone win during a 1-11 campaign was a 20-3 victory at Washington. In 1976, Stanford posted a 3-4 road record on its way to a 6-5 finish in Jack Christiansen's final season as head coach. Stanford dropped its first four road games to Penn State, Michigan, Army and UCLA before rebounding to defeat Washington State, Oregon and Cal in its final three road tests.
More on the Schedule
Seven of the 12 opponents on Stanford's 2008 schedule participated in bowl games last season, including Oregon State (Emerald), TCU (Texas), Arizona State (Holiday), USC (Rose), UCLA (Las Vegas), Oregon (Sun) and California (Armed Forces). For just the second time in school history, Stanford will not play back-to-back home games this season. In 1985, Stanford alternated between home and road games throughout its 11-game schedule and finished 4-7 under head coach Jack Elway.
Home and Road
The Cardinal is 13-25 at Stanford Stadium dating back to the 2002 season, including a 5-16 mark over the last three seasons. Stanford posted a 1-5 home record in 2005 (win over Arizona State, 45-35), went winless in five home games in 2006 and posted a 2-6 home record last season (wins over San Jose State, 37-0; California, 20-13).Stanford is 16-30 on the road over the last nine seasons, but went 2-2 last year away from home, with a pair of one-point victories at USC (24-23) and Arizona (21-20).
Two notable changes to Stanford's coaching ranks come on the defensive side, where Ron Lynn takes over as assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator while linebackers coach Andy Buh takes on additional duties as co-defensive coordinator. Lynn, a 38-year coaching veteran, previously held defensive coordinator positions in the NFL with San Diego (1986-91), Cincinnati (1992-93) and Washington (1994-96). He also served as secondary coach with New England (1997-99), Oakland (2000-03) and San Francisco (2004). His collegiate experience includes stops at Toledo (1966), Mount Union College (1967-73), Kent State (1974-76), San Jose State (1977-78), Pacific (1979) and California (1980-82).
Preseason Watch Lists
Four Stanford players are included on various preseason watch lists heading into the 2008 season. Outside linebacker Clinton Snyder is on the watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Chuck Bednarik and Butkus Award, along with the Lombardi Award, recognizing the top lineman in college football (offense or defense). Senior center Alex Fletcher is inccluded on watch lists for the Outland Trophy (top interior lineman), the Rimington Trophy (top center) and Lobardi Trophy (top linemen). Junior safety Bo McNally is included on the watch list for the Lott Trophy, awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. It is the first college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. Junior linebacker Pat Maynor appears on the watch list for the Butkus Award.
Chase, Wilcox-Fogel and Zagory Elevated to Scholarship Status
Senior linebacker Thaddeus Chase, senior wide receiver Nate Wilcox-Fogel and senior placekicker Aaron Zagory have been awarded scholarships for the 2008-09 academic year.Chase enters the 2008 season battling for playing time at outside linebacker. He will also he a steady contributor on special teams. Chase appeared in 12 games last season and finished with four tackles, including two solo efforts. He was credited with one blocked kick and played on all four special teams units.Wilcox-Fogel, a fifth-year senior from nearby Los Altos, has lettered each of the last two seasons after sitting out the 2004 and `05 campaigns.After serving as a back-up kicker last season, Zagory regained the starting role in fall camp.
Stanford finished the 2007 season with a 4-8 overall record and a 3-6 mark in the Pac-10 Conference. Included in the win total were victories over top-ranked (USA Today) USC and defending Pac-10 Conference co-champion California in the Big Game. Other victories came over San Jose State (37-0) and at Arizona (21-20). Of the eight losses, two came by a touchdown or less (TCU and Notre Dame). The four wins were a three-game improvement from the previous season when Stanford struggled to a 1-11 overall mark.