Cardinal Opens 2003 Season Against South Bay Rival San Jose State on September 6
Aug. 28, 2003
A New Season: Stanford opens its 109th season of intercollegiate football on Saturday, September 6 when it hosts San Jose State at Stanford Stadium ... Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm ... The game will mark the 59th meeting between the Cardinal and Spartans with Stanford holding a 44-13-1 advantage ... A year ago, the Cardinal beat SJS 63-26 on September 14 for its first win of the season ... The game will mark Stanford's only home game until it plays Washington State on October 18 ... In between, Stanford will play at BYU (Sept. 20), at Washington (Oct. 4) and at USC (Oct. 11).
Media Coverage: There will be no live television coverage of the game ... Stanford's flagship radio station, Talk 910 KNEW, will carry the game live with Ted Robinson and Bob Murphy ... The pre-game show begins at 5:30 pm ... Live game audio and live in-game stats are available at www.gostanford.com.
Game Promotions: It's Kids Day and Stanford Alumni Day at Stanford Stadium ... All kids 14 and under are admitted free to the game ... The Stanford Fan Fest, which is free to everyone, begins at 4:00 pm at Pac-10 Plaza with interactive games, food and entertainment ... In addtion, fans with tickets to the football game will be admitted free to the nationally-ranked Stanford women's volleyball match vs. Florida ... The match, which begins at 5:00 pm in Maples Pavilion, features No. 4 Stanford and No. 3 Florida.
Stanford- San Jose State Series: The Cardinal and Spartans will meet for the 59th time on September 6 with Stanford holding a 44-13-1 advantage in the series ... The two teams have met every year since 1948 with the exception of 1991 ... Stanford has won the last two games and eight of the last 11 ... San Jose State had won three straight from 1998-2000 ... Stanford scored a season high 63 points in last year's victory over SJSU, the fifth highest scoring game in school history ... Next year's game will be played on September 11 at Spartan Stadium, the fourth time in series history that the game will be played away from Stanford Stadium.
Quick Notes: Stanford will be playing its first game of the year while the Spartans will be playing their third ...Stanford has won the past two meetings with SJS by a combined score of 104-40 ... The Cardinal has not opened the season with San Jose State since 1998 ... Stanford will play three of its first four games on the road, but four of its last five at home ... A year ago, the Cardinal opened the season with a 34-27 loss at Boston College.
Stanford-SJSU Connections: Stanford and San Jose State have a long history of coaches who have been on both sidelines ... The tradition began with Dudley DeGroot, who was a three-year letterwinner at Stanford from 1920-22 and went on to serve as head coach at San Jose State from 1932-39 ... Gridiron legend Glenn 'Pop' Warner was head coach at Stanford from 1924-32 and went on to serve as an assistant at SJSU from 1939-40 ... John Ralston, of course, led he Cardinal to back-to-back Rose Bowls during his nine year stint on The Farm (1963-71) before taking over at SJSU over two decades later (1993-96) ... Jack Elway was San Jose State's head coach from 1979-83, and held the same position on The Farm from 1984-88 ... Dave Baldwin was a Stanford assistant from 1984-88 and the San Jose State head coach from 1997-2000 ... Two other Spartan head coaches were also Stanford assistants: Terry Shea (SJSU 1990-91, Stanford 1992-94) and Ron Turner (Stanford 1989-91, SJSU 1992) ... Bill Walsh, Stanford's head coach in 1977-78 and 1992-94, is a San Jose State graduate ...The latest addition to this list is current Cardinal assistant coach Tom Quinn, who coached linebackers, tight ends and special teams for the Spartans from 1999-2001.
The Schedule: Stanford will play 11 games in 2003 and will once again face one of the toughest schedules in college football ... The Cardinal, which had the sixth toughest schedule in the nation in 2002, will play eight bowl teams in 2003, including home games with Washington State, UCLA, Arizona State and Notre Dame and road games at Washington, USC, Oregon and Oregon State ... The only three opponents on this year's schedule that did not play in a bowl game in 2002 are San Jose State, BYU and Cal ... Stanford will also have two bye weeks this season (September 13, October 4), play three of its first four games on the road and four of its last five at home.
The Head Coach: Forty-six year old Buddy Teevens begins his second season at Stanford after being named the Cardinal's head coach on January 9, 2002 ... Teevens' 23-year career prior to coming to Stanford included 12 as a head coach ... A 1979 graduate of Dartmouth College, he had previously held the head coaching position at the University of Maine, Dartmouth and Tulane ... Teevens spent three seasons at Florida (1999-2001) working under Steve Spurrier ... Teevens was the head coach at Maine for two years (1985-86), Dartmouth for five years (1987-91) and at Tulane for five seasons (1992-96).
Young Guns: Stanford may be the youngest team in the nation ... Consider that of the Cardinal's 94 players, 47 are either true or redshirt freshman ... Stanford has just 14 seniors and 14 juniors on its 2003 roster ... The Cardinal has a true freshman class of 30 and a redshirt freshman class of 17.
The Quarterback: A year ago, Chris Lewis entered the 2002 campaign as the team's bonafide starter ... But, injuries and an early season NCAA violation limited Lewis' playing time to just five games, allowing redshirt freshman Kyle Matter to start six games and gain valuable experience ... Lewis, who had off-season shoulder surgery, once again finds himself atop the Cardinal depth chart ... Now in his fifth season at Stanford, Lewis has thrown for 3,168 yards and 25 touchdowns while playing in 21 games and starting 12 during his career ... Last season, Lewis, who led the Cardinal to both its victories, completed 68-of-139 for 712 yards and five touchdowns ... He enters the season tied for ninth all-time on The Farm with 25 career touchdowns and his 3,168 career passing yards leaves him 569 from entering the school's top-10 list.
Behind Lewis: The Cardinal has two other talented quarterbacks behind Lewis who stand ready to play if called upon ... No. 2 on the depth chart is redshirt freshman Trent Edwards, who came to Stanford in 2002 as one of the most highly sought-after preps in the nation ... A consensus All-America from nearby Los Gatos High School, Edwards redshirted the 2002 season ... He has been impressive in fall camp and should see action early in the '02 campaign ... No. 3 on the depth chart is Kyle Matter, a sophomore from Newhall, Calif., who played in 10 games and started six in 2002 ... He completed 116-of-214 for 1,219 yards and eight TDs last season.
Defensive Experience: One of the strengths of the 2003 Cardinal is its overall experience on defense ... While three starters off last year's team have departed, eight starters and 21 letterwinners are back, including nine of the team's top 10 tacklers ... Stanford returns its top six linebackers from a year ago, four of its top five in the secondary, two starters on the line and five others who received significant playing time at tackle and end ... The Cardinal started 19 different players on defense in 2002 -and 15 of them are back in '03 ...Listed below are players who started at least one game a year ago: DE Louis Hobson (8 starts), DE Amon Gordon (7), DE Will Svitek (3), DE Julian Jenkins (1), NT Babatunde Oshinowo (1), OLB David Bergeron (10), OLB Jon Alston (5), OLB Michael Craven (4), OLB Jared Newberry (3), MLB Jake Covault (9), MLB Brian Gaffney (2), CB Leigh Torrence (11), CB Stanley Wilson (11) and SS Oshiomogho Atogwe (11).
Powell's Play: A healthy Luke Powell is good news for the Cardinal offense ... Last season, one of the most dangerous players in college football was slowed much of the year with an ankle injury ... Powell is now healthy and ready to assume his place as one of the top play-makers in the country ... A former First-Team All-American (as a KOR in 2001), Powell enters his final season at Stanford sporting an impressive 18.8 yards per reception average, which is third all-time at Stanford ... He has caught 83 passes for 1,560 yards and 11 touchdowns and is the only player in school history to have three touchdown receptions of 75 yards or more ...He also has 16 catches over 30 yards in his career, which include two from 50-59 yards and two others from 60-69 yards ... As a kick returner, he is among the school's all-time best in punt returns (47), punt return yards (553) and punt return average (11.8).
Captain Kirk: The leader of the Cardinal's offensive line is also the only player with starting experience - senior Kirk Chambers ... With a young and inexperienced offensive line in 2003, Chambers is the unquestioned leader of a group that will need his maturity and knowledge to help it develop into a quality unit ... Chambers, who is the oldest player on the team at 24, has started all 34 games in his Cardinal career and is attempting to do what few players in school history have accomplished - and that's to start every game ... He has been the team's No. 1 left tackle the past three seasons (2000-02) ... After an All-American prep career at Provo High School, Chambers signed with Stanford then spent the 1998 and '99 seasons on a Mormon Mission in Berlin, Germany ... He married Marilyn Ord on June 23, 2001 and the couple gave birth to their first child, Marianne Deniece, on July 7, 2003.
O-Line Story: The story of the Cardinal's offensive line can be summed up in one word: young ...Senior Kirk Chambers will be back at left tackle for his fourth season in the starting lineup, but the remaining candidates to earn starting spots are young and inexperienced ... Here are the hard facts: of the 16 offensive lineman on the Stanford's roster, 12 (five true freshman, seven redshirt freshman) have never played for the Cardinal, two have seen limited playing time (senior Mike Sullivan and sophomore Brian Head) and one (senior Drew Caylor) has received some playing time as an offensive lineman, but has been a defensive lineman the past two years ... Stanford's current two-deep with game experience listed below:
Pos - Starter, backup (game experience)LT - Kirk Chambers (34 starts), Matt McClernan (redshirt freshman, no experience)LG - David Beall or Ismail Simpson (both redshirt freshman, no experience)C - Brian Head (limited, no starts), Drew Caylor (played DE last 2 years)RG - Jeff Edwards or Josiah Vinson (both redshirt freshman, no experience)RT - Mike Sullivan (limited, no starts), Jon Cochran (redshirt freshman, no experience)
Tight End Trio: While Brett Pierce and Matt Traverso suffered through injury-riddled seasons a year ago, junior Alex Smith came to the forefront and put together an outstanding season (30 receptions, 380 yards, two TDs) as the team's only true tight end in 2002 ...Now, both Pierce (ACL) and Traverso (ankle) are healthy and, combined with Smith, gives the Cardinal a quality trio of tight ends ... Pierce caught 19 balls for 258 yards and three touchdowns in 2001, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter of the season opener last year at Boston College ... Both Pierce and Smith have received pre-season recognition this year as being among the top tight ends in the conference ... Pierce, who has caught 27 passes in his career for 307 yards and three TDs, was a pre-season First-Team All-Pac-10 selection while Smith garnered Second-Team pre-season All-America honors ... In addtion to the three veterans, true freshman Patrick Danahy (Sarasota, Fla.) will also see playing time in a reserve role in 2003.
Newcomers: Several true freshman have been impressive in fall camp and have earned themselves playing time in 2003 ... FL Mark Bradford (Los Angeles, Calif.) and SS Brandon Harrison (Baton Rouge, Louis.) are battling for starting berths in 2003 while three others have earned a spot in the rotation and will play this year ... Bradford, a 6-2, 190 receiver out of Fremont HS, was a consensus prep All-America last year who was considered one of the nation's premier recruits ... Harrison, 6-2, 200 from Catholic HS in Baton Rouge, is battling Trevor Hooper and Timi Wusu for the starting spot at strong safety ... Other true freshman who figure to make an impact in 2003 include Michael Okwo, a 6-0, 215 outside linebacker from Redondo Beach, Calif., David Marrero, 5-10, 190-pound running back from Parkland, Fla., and Patrick Danahy, a 6-5, 230 pound tight end from Sarasota, Fla.
Depth at Linebacker: The Cardinal returns its top six linebackers from a year ago and will begin the 2003 campaign with an experienced, season corps from which to choose ... . For the record, Stanford returns all three starters in OLBs Jon Alston and David Bergeron (moved to MLB for 2003) and MLB Jake Covault ... However, all six returnees, which include soph. Michael Craven, junior Jared Newberry and senior Brian Gaffney, spent time in the starting lineup last year ... Add to that list converted safety Kevin Schimmelmann and true freshman Michael Okwo, both playing OLB, and the Cardinal has an outstanding group of eight talented linebackers.
On the Run: Junior Kenneth Tolon and sophomore J.R. Lemon head into the season as the Cardinal's two main rushing threats ... Tolon is the team's top returning rusher (692 yards, 7 TDs, 5.8 ypc) and has the most game experience, although he has never started ... He rushed for 346 yards in each of the last two seasons and his 5.2 yards per carry average is impressive ... Lemon came to Stanford in 2001 as one of the nation's premier recruits ... He had limited playing time a year ago (30 carries, 85 yards, 3 TDs), but at 6-1, 225 he presents a tremendous combination of size and speed ... Redshirt freshman Gerald Commisiong and true freshman David Marrero should also see some playing time at the running back position.
Local Boys Make Good: The 2003 Stanford roster features three Bay Area products who came into the program as walk-ons, but have quickly moved their way up the depth chart ... Redshirt junior wide receiver Greg Camarillo (Menlo Park, CA/Menlo-Atherton HS) is No. 1 on the depth chart at flanker this fall after catching eight passes for 92 yards last season ... Fifth-year senior Eric Johnson (Antioch, CA/Antioch HS), who is also a member of the Stanford golf team, is entering his third year as the team's starting punter ... Redshirt sophomore Timi Wusu (Palo Alto, CA/Palo Alto HS), who went to high school across the street from Stanford Stadium, made an impact on special teams last year and is currently battling for the starting spot at strong safety.
Walking Into The Starting Lineup: The 2003 Stanford Cardinal could have as many as four former walk-ons in the starting lineup this fall ... The group includes outside linebacker Jared Newberry (redshirt junior), punter Eric Johnson (fifth-year senior), flanker Greg Camarillo (redshirt junior) and strong safety Timi Wusu (redshirt sophomore).
The Need For Speed: Sophomore defensive back T.J. Rushing and wide receivers Gerren Crochet (redshirt sophomore) and Nick Sebes (redshirt junior) made up three-fourths of the Stanford 4x100 relay team that won the prestigious Texas Relays last spring in the third-fastest time in school history (40.25) ... Besides excelling on the track, all three are expected to see an increased role on the gridiron this season ... Rushing is battling for a starting berth at cornerback and will be a key component of Stanford's secondary this season ... Both Sebes and Crochet will be integral parts of the Cardinal's receiving corps.
Georgia On Their Minds: Stanford has 94 players on its 2003 roster, and an amazing 11 have traveled nearly 3,000 miles from the state of Georgia to make their homes on The Farm ... The total is the second highest of any state, behind only California's 28 ... Seven of the 11 are expected to play big roles this fall: sophomore DE Julian Jenkins (Atlanta), sophomore RB J.R. Lemon (Fayetteville), sophomore CB Calvin Armstrong (Decatur), junior CB Leigh Torrence (Atlanta), sophomore OLB Kevin Schimmelmann (Marietta), redshirt freshman RG Jeff Edwards (Atlanta) and redshirt freshman OT Matt McClernan (Norcross) ... In addition, four members of Stanford's talented 2003 recruiting class are from Georgia: DE Emmanuel Awofadeju (Roswell), RB Jason Evans (Acworth), DL David Jackson (Dunwoody) and OL Amir Malayery (Lawrenceville) ... The Cardinal coaching staff also has ties to the state of Georgia ... Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator David Kelly coached at Georgia Tech from 2000-01, Georgia from 1994-95 and Dunwoody (GA) HS from 1981-93, while defensive ends coach Peter McCarty was at Georgia Tech in 2001.
Opponent: San Jose StateDate: September 6, 2003Kickoff: 7:00 pm PTLocation: Stanford, Calif.Stadium: Stanford Stadium (85,500)Series: Stanford leads 44-13-1Last Meeting: 63-24 Stanford (9/14/02)Television: noneRadio: Talk 910 KNEWInternet: www.gostanford.com (live game audio and live game stats)
Television and Radio InformationTV: No live televisionRadio: Talk 910 KNEW Ted Robinson (play-by-play) Bob Murphy (analyst) Pre-game show - 5:30 pm
* Tight end Alex Smith was named pre-season Second-Team All-America by Street & Smith's magazine ... Smith (Denver, CO) started 10 games a year ago after Brett Pierce was lost for the season in the opening game ... Smith went on to catch 30 passes for 380 yards (12.7 ypc) and two touchdowns ... He was the team's second leading receiver and his 30 catches was the most by a Cardinal tight end since the 1994 season.
* Position moves in the past year include Oshiomogho Atogwe from SS to FS, Amon Gordon from DE to DT, Drew Caylor from DE to C, Kris Bonifas from MLB to FB, Kevin Schimmelman from SS to OLB, David Bergeron from OLB to MLB, David Lofton from QB to WR and QB, Will Svitek from DE/TE to DE and Capp Culver from OLB to FB.
* One of the most prestigious awards for a prep athlete is the Franklin D. Watkins Award, which is given annually to the top African-American student-athlete in the nation ... On the Cardinal's 2003 roster, Stanford has six players who have been named national finalists, including two who have won the award ... Winners of the Watkins Award are sophomore Michael Craven and redshirt freshman Marcus McCutcheon while national finalist include seniors Chris Lewis, Luke Powell and Brandon Royster and sophomore J.R. Lemon.
* Nigerian Connection: Stanford has seven players on its current roster of Nigerian desent ... The list includes junior FS Oshiomogho Atogwe, freshman DE Emmanuel Awofadeju, freshman FB Emeka Nnoli, freshman OLB Michael Okwo, sophomore NT Babatunde Oshinowo, freshman DE Udeme Udofia and sophomore SS Timi Wusu ... Atogwe, Oshinowo and Wusu are all expected to play promient roles on the Cardinal defense in 2003.
* Redshirt freshman WR David Lofton is the son of former Cardinal and NFL great James, who was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame on August 3 in Canton ... David delivered his father's induction speech in front of an estimated 8,500 in attendance.
* A quick look at the Cardinal's current two-deep chart on defense finds just two seniors among the 22 listed ... Also included are nine juniors, seven sophomores, two redshirt freshman and two true freshman.
* Freshman Evan Moore (Brea, CA), one of the top two-sport preps in the nation last year, will also play on the Cardinal's nationally-ranked basketball team in 2003-04.
* In additin to Moore playing on the basketball team, several other Cardinal players compete in another sport ... The list includes P Eric Johnson (golf) and track athletes Gerren Crochet (sprints), Jay Goff (decathlon), T.J. Rushing (sprints), Nick Sebes (sprints), Timi Wusu (decathlon)
* Senior QB Chris Lewis enters the 2003 season tied for ninth on The Farm with 25 career touchdown passes ... With 3,168 career passing yards, he needs 570 passing yards to pass Dick Norman and move into the school's all-time top-10.
* Starting fullback Cooper Blackhurst has found a home at fullback (he is currently No. 1 on the depth chart) after spending the majority of his career moving around the defensive side of the ball ... Blackhurst, who redshirted in 1998 and went on a Mormon Mission to Australia in 1999, played outside linebacker in 2000 and defensive end in 2001 before moving to the backfield last year.
* Stanford's roster includes 57 players who received recognition as members of the National Honor Society.
* Stanford led the Pac-10 last season with 19 players chosen to the conference's All-Academic team.