Stanford Looks To Obtain Bowl Eligibility This Saturday at Oregon
Nov. 3, 2008
Stanford Cardinal at Oregon Ducks
November 18, 2008 Autzen Stadium 12:30 p.m. PT
Stanford Travels to Eugene on Saturday for Date With Ducks
Stanford (5-4, 4-2 Pac-10) will look to secure its first bowl berth since the 2001 season this Saturday as the Cardinal travel to Eugene to face the Oregon Ducks (6-3, 4-2 Pac-10) at Autzen Stadium (54,000). Stanford is coming off a 58-0 win over Washington State while Oregon dropped a 26-16 decision to California in Berkeley. The Cardinal has dropped six straight to the Ducks, including the last three games played in Eugene.
Saturday's Stanford-Oregon game will be carried live on KTRB AM 860 with Dave Flemming (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 also be televised live on Comcast Sports Net Bay Area as FSN's Pac-10 Game of the Week, with Barry Tompkins (play-by-play), Petros Papadakis (analyst) and Jim Watson (sidelines) handling the broadcast duties.
In a series that dates back to 1900, Stanford leads the all-time series with Oregon, 43-27-1. However, the Ducks have won six straight and seven out of the last eight games in the series dating back to 1998, including last year's game in the Bay Area, 55-31. The Ducks current six-game winning streak is the second longest by either team in the series since Stanford won 11 games from 1900-29. Oregon's margin of victory in the last six contests against Stanford has been by an average of 25.2 points a game. Stanford has dropped its last three games to Oregon at Autzen Stadium dating back to its last win in 2001, 49-42. The Cardinal had the upper hand in the series from 1964-97, posting a 23-8 record, which included a pair of five game winning streaks (1967-71; 1973-77).
Stanford's Probable Starting Lineup
OffensePos. No. Player NotesWR 8 Ryan Whalen Team's leading receiver with 31 receptions for 349 yardsLT 76 Ben Muth Fifth-year senior has started every game this seasonLG 72 Chase Beeler Returned to starting lineup vs. Washington StateC 60 Alex Fletcher Outland Trophy, Rimington and Lombardi Award candidateRG 71 Andrew Phillips Most-improved offensive lineman over last two seasonsRT 61 Matt Kopa Has started the last three gamesTE 84 Austin Gunder Has 13 receptions for 101 yardsQB 14 Tavita Pritchard Has completed 58.4 percent of his passes this yearRB 7 Toby Gerhart Needs 89 more yards to reach the 1,000-yard markFB 48 Owen Marecic Pac-10 honorable mention selection last seasonWR 89 Doug Baldwin Has six plays of more than 35 yards this season
DefensePos. No. Player NotesDE 91 Pannel Egboh Has 23 tackles and 1.5 sacksDT 98 Matt Masifilo Has 15 total tackles on the yearNT 54 Ekom Udofia Has 20 tackles and 1.0 tackle-for-lossDE 80 Erik Lorig Has 30 total tackles, including 6.0-for-lossSLB 20 Clinton Snyder Fifth leading tackler with 45 stopsMLB 50 Nick Macaluso Has 20 total tackles on the year, including 4.0-for-lossWLB 44 Pat Maynor Leads the team in tackles (60), sacks (4.0) and TFL (8.5)LC 6 Wopamo Osaisai Had a team-high 10 total tackles at UCLAFS 32 Sean Wiser Has started the last five games; 44 total tackles on seasonSS 22 Bo McNally Recorded his third interpcetion of the season vs. WSURC 24 Kris Evans Ranks second on the team in total tackles with 58
SpecialistsPos. No. Player NotesPK 11 Aaron Zagory Is 10-for-12 on FGs, 30-for-31 on PATsK 11 Aaron Zagory Assumed kicking duties at Notre DameP 38 David Green Boomed 70-yard punt vs. ArizonaLS 56 Zach Nolan Takes over for four year starter Brent NewhouseHLD 22 Bo McNally Will be backed up by Daniel ZychlinskiKR 35 Jeremy Stewart Averaging 23.4 yards per KORPR 89 Doug Baldwin Averaging 9.5 yards per return
It Happened Against Oregon
Here's a look at some memorable performances by Stanford over the years against Oregon.
1969 Stanford defeats Oregon, 28-0, marking Stanford's first shutout victory over the Ducks since 1953.1980 After missing the entire 1979 seson with a hamstring tendon injury, Darrin Nelson returns for action for the first time in 21 months and rushes for 122 yards in Stanford's 35-25 victory over the Ducks. The game also marked the head coaching debut of Paul Wiggin.1981 Darrin Nelson breaks Tony Dorsett's NCAA career record for all-purpose yardage in a 42-3 victory over the Ducks at Stanford Stadium. Nelson would finish his brilliant career with 6,885 all-purpose yards, a mark that still ranks first on the school's all-time career charts.1985 John Paye completes 31-of-47 passes for 408 yards, including three TDs but Stanford drops a 45-28 decision in Eugene. The passing yardage still ranks tied for the the fifth highest single-game total in Stanford history and is the highest single-game mark by a Stanford quarterback against Oregon. Brad Muster hauls down 14 of Paye's passes to tie the school's single-gme record for receptions.1986 Brad Muster runs for 151 yards on 25 carries in helping Stanford to a 41-7 victory in Eugene. The rushing yards are a Stanford single-game high against Oregon. Thomas Henley returns an Oregon punt 92-yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, marking the longest punt return for a TD in school history.1987 Trailing 10-5 with 3:36 left in the game, Stanford marches 68 yards on 12 plays, capped off by Brad Muster's three-yard TD run as the Cardinal rally for a 13-10 victory at Stanford Stadium.1989 Stanford scores 18 points in the final period, capped off by a game-winning, 37-yard field goal by John Hopkins as time expires to give the Cardinal a 18-17 victory.1992 Head coach Bill Walsh makes his Stanford Stadium debut in his second stint as Stanford's head coach, as the Cardinal post a 21-7 victory over the Ducks.1993 Steve Stenstrom throws for 407 yards and three touchdowns in Stanford's 38-34 victory over the Ducks at Autzen Stadium. The numbers bring Stenstrom's single-season passing yardage to 3,281, breaking the Pac-10 and school record of 3,242 set by John Elway in 1982.1995 Marlon Evans returns an Oregon kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to give Stanford a 21-14 lead as the Cardinal hang on to defeat the 12th-ranked Ducks, 28-21 at Autzen Stadium.1996 In the first overtime game in Stanford history, the Cardinal pull out a 27-24 victory as Kevin Miller kicks a 27-yard field goal to give Stanford its first conference win of the season.
Stanford Team Notes
Stanford Needs One More Win in Final Three Games to Become Bowl Eligible
With a 5-4 overall record, Stanford needs one more win in its final three games to become bowl eligible for the first time since the 2001 season, when the Cardinal earned a bid to the Seattle Bowl. Stanford's bowl drive begins this Saturday in Eugene, Ore., where the Cardinal will try to snap a six-game losing streak against the Oregon Ducks (6-3, 4-2 Pac-10) in one of the Pac-10's toughest venues in Autzen Stadium. Following the Oregon game, Stanford will close out the season with a home game against USC (Nov. 15) before traveling to Berkeley for the annual Big Game against Cal. All told, Stanford's last three opponents have combined to post a 19-6 overall record, including a 13-4 mark in the Pac-10.
Stanford Looks to Reverse Fortunes Against Ducks
Stanford has lost the last six games to Oregon by an average of 25.2 points a game, dropping lopsided decisions in 2002 (41-14), `03 (35-0), `05 (44-20), `06 (48-10), `07 (55-31) and narrowly losing in `04 (16-13). The Cardinal has also come out on the short end in its last three trips to Autzen Stadium dating back to its last win in 2001, 49-42.
Pac-10's Top Two Rushing Teams Square Off on Saturday
The top two rushing teams in the Pac-10 Conference will meet Saturday at Autzen Stadium. Oregon leads the conference in rushing, averaging 270.7 yards per game while Stanford ranks second with a 209.2 per game average. Stanford's Toby Gerhart enters the game ranked third among the conference rushing leaders with a 101.2-yard per game average, while Oregon's Jeremiah Johnson ranks fifth with a 76.7 per game mark. Both teams have also been effective in stopping the run. Oregon ranks second in the conference in rushing defense, limiting opponents to 106.4 yards per game on the ground, while Stanford ranks third (106.6).
Last Year Against Oregon
Dennis Dixon threw for a career-high four touchdowns and rushed for another score to lead 13th-ranked Oregon to a 55-31 victory over Stanford before 35,019 at Stanford Stadium.A wild first half saw Oregon jump out to a 21-3 after the first quarter, but Stanford exploded for 28 points in the second quarter and took a 31-24 lead into the locker room at intermission. However, the Ducks shutout the Cardinal in the second half while scoring 31 points in the final two quarters for the eventual, 55-31 victory.Stanford's Anthony Kimble had two rushing touchdowns, including a 60-yarder in the second quarter. Kimble finsihed the game with 119 yards on 16 carries. Quarterback T.C. Ostrander completed 25-of-44 passes for 262 yards.Oregon finished with 589 yards in total offense while Stanford compiled 402.
Stanford in November
Stanford has posted a 6-19 record in the month of November over the last six-plus seasons and last posted a winning record in the month back in 2001 (3-1). The Cardinal was winless in four November games in 2002, went 2-3 in 2003 (wins over UCLA and Arizona State), 0-3 in 2004, 1-3 in `05 (win at Oregon State), 1-3 in `06 (win at Washington) and 1-3 last season (win over Cal).
Home Field Advantage
Stanford is undefeated at home this season, posting wins over Oregon State (36-28), San Jose State (23-10), Arizona (24-23) and Washington State (58-0). It marks the first time Stanford has opened 4-0 at home since 1977, when first-year head coach Bill Walsh's squad posted a perfect 6-0 home mark on its way to the Sun Bowl. Stanford has won five straight games at Stanford Stadium dating back to last year's victory over Cal in the Big Game. The five-game home winning streak is the team's longest since 1996-97, when the Cardinal defeated USC (24-20) and Washington State (33-17) to close out the `96 home schedule before posting wins over San Jose State (28-12), Oregon (58-49) and Notre Dame (33-15) in its first three home games of the `97 campaign. Heading into this season, Stanford was just 11-25 on its home turf dating back to the 2002 season, including a 3-16 mark from 2005-07.
Margins of Victory
Stanford's 58-0 win over Washington State on Saturday marked the team's second-largest margin of victory in the post-World War II-era, behind a 63-0 blanking of Idaho in 1949. The 58-point margin of victory was the fifth-largest in school history, behind pastings of Mare Island (82-0 in 1923), UCLA (82-0 in 1925), Idaho and the Cal Aggies (59-0 in 1932).
Last Saturday's 58-0 win over Washington State marked Stanford's first shutout victory over a Pac-10 opponent since the Cardinal blanked Oregon, 17-0 in 1974. It also marked Stanford's sixth shutout since 1971 and just its third since the 1975 season.
Special Teams Notes
The Running Game
Stanford rushed for 344 yards against Washington State, marking the third-highest single-game rushing output in school history behind a 439 yard effort against Oregon in 1981 and a 395 yard game against Washington State in 1975. After nine games this season, Stanford has rushed for 1,883 yards, which is the sixth-best single-season total in school history. The Cardinal is averaging 209.2 yards per game on the ground this season, which is the second best mark in the Pac-10 and a figure that ranks 16th nationally and is on pace to break the single-season team rushing record of 2,259 yards, set in 1957. Stanford has not finished higher than ninth in conference rushing in the last five seasons and has averaged more than 100 yards per game on the ground just twice in the last six campaigns. The last time Stanford led the Pac-10 in rushing was 2001 when the Cardinal averaged 201.0 yards per game on the ground.
Stanford in the Red Zone
Stanford converted on all seven trips to the red zone against Washington State and is 29-for-31 (94%) in the red zone this season, which is the best mark in the Pac-10 and ranks tied for third nationally. In 31 trips to the red zone, Stanford has come away with 24 touchdowns and five field goals.
Time of Possession
Stanford has won the time of possession just three times this season. The Cardinal controlled the clock in the season opener against Oregon State (31:14-28:46), against Arizona (34:35 to 25:25) in game seven and last Saturday against Washington State (32:21 to 27:39). Stanford's offense has the ball on average for 28:16 a game, which is the second lowest average in the Pac-10.
Stanford did not commit a turnover on Saturday against Washington State while forcing five. Stanford is -7 in turnover margin the last eight games against and is -4 in turnover margin for the season, which ranks ninth in the Pac-10. 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 first in the Pac-10 and is tied for eighth nationally in sacks per game at 3.33 (30 total). Against UCLA, Stanford finished with 7.0 sacks against UCLA, its second-highest total of the season behind the 9.0 the Cardinal registered against San Jose State. 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.
A Look Back at the Washington State Game
Running back Toby Gerhart rushed for four touchdowns to tie a single-game school record as Stanford posted a 58-0 victory over Washington State in a steady rain at Stanford Stadium.The shutout was Stanford's first over a Pac-10 opponent since the Cardinal blanked Oregon, 17-0 in 1974. The 58-point margin of victory was the Cardinal's second largest in the post-World War II era, behind a 63-0 blanking of Idaho in 1949.All four of Gerhart's touchdowns came in the first half, as Stanford took a 31-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Cardinal added three more touchdowns in the third quarter, including a 62-yard TD run by Anthony Kimble. Kimble finished the game with 92 yards to move into the school's all-time career top-10 list for rushing yards with 1,767. Gerhart finished with 132 yards on 22 carries to become the first Stanford back to rush for over 100-yards in four straight games since Tommy Vardell accomplished the feat over the final four games of the 1991 season.Stanford finished the game with 344 yards on the ground, which marked the third-best single-game rushing performance in school history.
Gerhart Nearing Single-Season Rushing Mark
With 911 net yards to his credit after nine games, junior running back Toby Gerhart needs just 89 more yards to become the first Stanford back to record 1,000 rushing yards in a single-season since Tommy Vardell rushed for a school-record 1,084 yards in 1991. Against Washington State, Gerhart finished with 132 yards on the ground, marking his fourth consecutive 100-yard game and the sixth time he has reached the 100-yard plateau this season. The last Stanford back to record six or more 100-yard games in a single-season was Vardell, who hit the century mark a school-record seven times during the 1991 regular season and for an eighth time in the Aloha Bowl. Dating back to 1968, there have been only two backs in Stanford history to have rushed for 100-yards or more in four straight games--Darrin Nelson in 1980 vs. UCLA (102), Washington (109), Washington State (202) and Oregon State (136); and Tommy Vardell in 1991, who did it twice: vs. Arizona (130), Colorado (114), Notre Dame (140) and Cornell (108), then vs. UCLA (109), Washington State (140), California (182) and Georgia Tech in the Aloha Bowl (104).Gerhart now ranks third among Pac-10 rushing leaders and 27th nationally, averaging 101.2 yards per game. Stanford has had just four backs reach the 1,000-yard plateau in a single-season. In addition to Vardell, Nelson hit the 1,000-yard mark three times in his illustrious career (1,069 in 1977; 1,061 in `78; 1,014 in `81). Brad Muster finished the 1986 season with 1,053 yards on the ground and Jon Volpe rushed for 1,027 in 1989.
Toby Gerhart rushed for four touchdowns in the first half against Washington State to tie a single-game record for rushing touchdowns. It marked the sixth, four-TD effort by a Stanford back, following Darrin Nelson (1981 at Washington), Tommy Vardell (1990 at Notre Dame), Glyn Milburn (1991 vs. Oregon State) and Kerry Carter (2000 at USC; 2001 at Oregon). Gerhart has rushed for a Pac-10-best 13 touchdowns this season, which ranks as the third-highest single-season total in school history behind Vardell, who rushed for 20 in 1991 and 14 in 1990.
Kimble Breaks Into Stanford's Career Rushing Chart
With 92 rushing yards against Washington State, Anthony Kimble ran his career rushing total to 1,767 yards, which ranks 10th on Stanford's among Stanford's all-time career rushing leaders. Kimble needs just one more yard to tie Ray Handley (1963-65) for ninth-place and 22 yards to tie Tommy Vardell (1988-91) for the eighth spot. The fifth-year senior scored his 16th career rushing touchdown on a 62-yard run in the third quarter to match Bil Tarr (1953-55) for eighth all-time on Stanford's career list. He needs one more rushing TD to tie Anthony Bookman (1994-97) for seventh place and two more to tie Bobby Grayson (1933-35) for the sixth spot. Kimble's 157-yard rushing performance earlier this season at Washington marked the 21st best rushing performance in school history and was the best single-game mark since J.R. Lemon finished with 162 yards against Washington in 2004. His 83-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Huskies tied for the fifth longest touchdown run in school history, matching Buck Fawcett's 1941 jaunt against Santa Clara.
Big Play Baldwin
Sophomore wide receiver Doug Baldwin has been involved in six plays over the last six games that have totaled 35-yards or more. In the first quarter against UCLA, he rushed for 36-yards on a reverse down to the Bruin three-yard line, setting up Stanford's first touchdown one play later. Against Notre Dame, Baldwin returned a punt 38 yards in the fourth quarter that set up a five-play 36-yard scoring drive that cut the Irish lead to 28-21. At Washington, he was on the receiving end of a 61-yard touchdown pass from Tavita Pritchard in the second quarter that gave Stanford a 21-14 lead at halftime. 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 Pritchard, only to have the ball knocked out of his hands and through the end zone for a touchback. Including last year's 42-yard kickoff return against Notre Dame, Baldwin has been involved in seven plays of 35 yards or more in his career.
Spreading the Wealth
With Josh Catron and Chris Owusu catching passes against Arizona, a total of 14 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 utilized 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). Last season, Stanford utilized 15 receivers.
Keiser and Maynor Among Pac-10 Defensive Leaders
Senior linebacker Pat Maynor ranks in the top 15 among Pac-10 defensive leaders for tackles per game (6.9-9th), tackles-for-loss (0.94 - 11th) and sacks (0.44-13th). His 60 tackles overall are fourth in the conference.Redshirt freshman Tom Keiser, who has posted consecutive 2.0-sack games, is now tied for fourth in the Pac-10 with 0.67 sacks per game (6.0 total). He also ranks tied for 17th with 0.78 tackles-for-loss per contest (7.0 total).
With the collegiate debut of Griff Whalen against Washington State, Stanford has utilized eight natural freshmen in game action this season, including CB Johnson Bademosi, LB Alex Debniak, K Travis Golia, RB Delano Howell, WR Chris Owusu, CB Michael Thomas and WR Warren Reuland.
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.
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 included on watch lists for the Outland Trophy (top interior lineman), the Rimington Trophy (top center) and Lombardi 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 be 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.