National-best streak snapped in Stanford's loss to Northwestern
With fifth-year senior quarterback Kevin Hogan at the helm and armed with promising skill position players like running back Christian McCaffrey and tight end Austin Hooper, the Stanford offense is expected by many to be a major force in the Pac-12 in 2015.
While that may still be the case, Stanford surprisingly saw its national-best streak of 95 consecutive games of scoring 10-plus points snapped in a 16-6 upset loss to Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., Saturday. It was the first time Stanford was held to single digits since a 27-9 loss to Washington on Nov. 3, 2007.
Perhaps it was the early start (9 a.m. for Nerd Nation’s body clock), but the Cardinal was held to just 240 yards by a Northwestern defense that more than stepped up to the challenge of facing the No. 21 team in the country. After a 12-play, 64-yard opening drive that resulted in a field goal to take a 3-0 lead, Stanford averaged just 3.5 yards per play the rest of the game.
An early-season loss doesn’t knock Stanford out of Pac-12 contention (it's a non-conference game, after all), nor does it mean that the Cardinal is completely out of the College Football Playoff race if it rights the ship (a loss on the road to a Big Ten team isn't the end-all, be-all), but a disappointing start has led to an uphill climb back into the national picture for the Farm Boys.