Stanford Looks to Get Back on Winning Track at TCU
Sept. 8, 2008
Game ThreeStanford Cardinal at TCU Horned FrogsSept. 13, 2008 Amon G. Carter Stadium 4:00 p.m. PT
Stanford Looks to Get Back on Winning Track at TCUAfter dropping a 41-17 decision to 15th-ranked Arizona State Saturday night in Tempe, the Stanford Cardinal (1-1, 1-1 Pac-10) will travel to Fort Worth, Texas this Saturday for a date with the TCU Horned Frogs (2-0, 1-0 Mountain West Conference) at Amon G. Carter Stadium (44,358). A win would give Stanford its best three-game record since the 2004 campaign, when it opened with a 2-1 record on its way to a 3-1 start.
Broadcast InformationSaturday night's Stanford-TCU game will be carried live on KTRB AM 860 with Tim Roye (play-by-play) and former Stanford player 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.
Stanford-TCU SeriesIn the only meeting ever between the two schools, TCU defeated Stanford, 38-36 on October 13 of last season at Stanford Stadium. The Cardinal took a 31-24 lead into the fourth quarter only to see the Horned Frogs score a pair of touchdowns, including the game winner with 4:13 left on a two-yard run by Aaron Brown. Stanford drove to the TCU 18-yard line only to see Robert Henson bat away a Tavita Pritchard pass on a fourth and eight play to seel the victory. Brown finished with 91 yards on 21 carries while quarterback Andy Dalton completed 23-of-34 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Stanford's Anthony Kimble carried 19 times for 109 yards while Pritchard completed 12-of-27 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
Cardinal ClipsStanford is 1-1 on the season and 1-1 in the Pac-10 Conference after dropping a 41-17 decision Saturday night to 15th-ranked Arizona State in Tempe...opened the season with a 36-28 victory over Oregon State on August 28 at Stanford Stadium.A win over TCU on Saturday would give the Cardinal its best three-game record since 2005 when it got out of the gates with a 2-1 record on the way to a 3-1 beginning.Stanford has posted a 3-3 record in the Lone Star state dating back to 1957, including a pair of Sun Bowl victories in 1977 and 1996.Have yielded 962 yards in total offense over the first two games of the year against Oregon State (490) and Arizona State (472)...a total of 749 of the 962 yards have come in the air.Of the eight touchdowns allowed by the Stanford defense, six have come through the air.Running back Toby Gerhart is averaging 107.0 yards a game after two contests after rushing for a career-best 147 yards against Oregon State and 67 at Arizona State...Gerhart has scored two touchdowns in each game to become the first Stanford back to rush for two touchdowns in back-to-back games since Anthony Bookman in 1997 vs. Oregon (2) and Notre Dame (2).Stanford was -1 in the turnover column against Arizona State, as Cardinal quarterbacks threw three interceptions while the defense came up with a pick and a fumble recovery...was +3 in the turnover column against Oregon State, forcing one fumble and picking off two passes, including one that was returned for a touchdown...last season, Stanford finished +3 in turnover ratio, which was the second best mark in the Pac-10 behind Oregon (+7)...in 2006, the Cardinal were -11 in the same category.Are 1-20 against ranked teams dating back to the 2002 season, with the win coming over USC (#1 USA Today/#2 AP) last season.Cornerback Kris Evans has one interception in each game to become the first Stanford player to pick off a pass in consecutive games since current Houston Texans safety Brandon Harrison did so in 2005 at Washington State and at Arizona.After opening the season at home against Oregon State, Stanford is in a stretch that will see the team play four of five games on the road...after playing at TCU on Saturday, the Cardinal will return home to face San Jose State on Sept. 20 before traveling to Washington (Sept. 27) and Notre Dame (Oct. 4) in back-to-back weekends...all told, seven of Stanford's 12 regular season games are on the road, marking the second time in three seasons and the third time in school-history the team has played seven road games (2006 and 1976)...seven of the 12 opponents on Stanford's schedule appeared in bowl games last season.Return home next Saturday to renew its longtime series with San Jose State in the Bill Walsh Legacy Game...kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at Stanford Stadium.
Stanford's Probable Starting Lineup
OffensePos. No. Player NotesWR 9 Richard Sherman Has led Stanford in receiving each of the last two seasonsLT 76 Ben Muth Fifth-year senior who made 9 starts last seasonLG 72 Chase Beeler Oklahoma transfer has started each of the first two 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 19 career starts, including 16 in a rowTE 84 Austin Gunder Has made eight straight starts dating back to last seasonQB 14 Tavita Pritchard Is 21-for-35 for 188 yards and one TD after two gamesRB 7 Toby Gerhart Has four rushing TDs in first two gamesFB 48 Owen Marecic Pac-10 honorable mention selection last seasonWR 89 Doug Baldwin Had three catches for 14 yards at Arizona State
DefensePos. No. Player NotesDE 91 Pannel Egboh Recorded 13.5 TFL and 6.0 sacks in `07DT 95 Brian Bulke Has made four straight starts dating back to last yearNT 54 Ekom Udofia Credited with three assisted tackles at Arizona StateDE 80 Erik Lorig Six tackles vs. Arizona StateSLB 20 Clinton Snyder Bednarik, Nagurski, Butkus and Lombardi Award candidateMLB 43 Chike Amajoyi Made six starts last season as a freshmanWLB 44 Pat Maynor Butkus Award candidate had six tackles vs. Arizona StateLC 6 Wopamo Osaisai Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week with 11 tackles vs. OSUFS 40 Taylor Skaufel 14 total tackles through two games (8 solo)SS 22 Bo McNally Had 34-yard interception return for TD vs. Oregon StateRC 24 Kris Evans Has interception in each of first two games
SpecialistsPos. No. Player NotesPK 11 Aaron Zagory Is 3-for-4 on FGs, 6-for-6 on PATsK 32 Travis Golia Made the team as a walk-onP 38 David Green Averaging 44.6 yards a punt after two games (8-357)LS 56 Zach Nolan Takes over for four year starter Brent NewhouseHLD 22 Bo McNally Will be backed up by Daniel ZychlinskiKR 35 Jeremy Stewart 180 return yards vs. ASU most by Cardinal since 1997PR 89 Doug Baldwin One return for -8 yards vs. Arizona State
Stanford Team NotesStanford Back on the Road This Weekend at TCUStanford will play its second of seven road games this season Saturday night in Fort Worth, Tex. as the Cardinal face the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium (44,358). Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. PT. A win would give Stanford its best three-game start since it opened the 2004 season with a 2-1 record on its way to a 3-1 start.
Stanford in the Lone Star StateStanford is 3-3 in six trips to the state of Texas in its football history, having made stops in Austin, El Paso and Houston over the years. Included in Stanford's 3-3 record in the state of Texas are a pair of Sun Bowl victories in 1977 (24-14 over LSU) and 1996 (38-0 over Michigan State). The last time Stanford ventured to the Lone Star state was in 1999, as the Cardinal suffered a 69-17 defeat in Austin to Texas. Here's a look at Stanford's visits to Texas over the years...
1957 at Rice L 7-34 1963 at Rice L 13-23 1977 vs. LSU (Sun Bowl) W 24-14 1986 at Texas W 31-20 1996 vs. Michigan State (Sun Bowl) W 38-0 1999 at Texas L 17-69
Last Year Against the Horned FrogsIn the only meeting ever between the two schools, TCU defeated Stanford, 38-36 on October 13 of last season at Stanford Stadium. The Cardinal took a 31-24 lead into the fourth quarter only to see the Horned Frogs score a pair of touchdowns, including the game winner with 4:13 left on a two-yard run by Aaron Brown. Stanford drove to the TCU 18-yard line only to see Robert Henson bat away a Tavita Pritchard pass on a fourth and eight play to seel the victory. Brown finished with 91 yards on 21 carries while quarterback Andy Dalton completed 23-of-34 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Stanford's Anthony Kimble carried 19 times for 109 yards while Pritchard completed 12-of-27 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
Texas Well-Represented on Stanford RosterSeven players on Stanford's roster hail from the state of Texas, including Thaddeus Chase (El Paso-Burgess HS), Pannel Egboh (Mesquite-North Mesquite HS), Andrew Luck (Houston-Sratford HS), Michael Thomas (Hoston-Nimitz HS), Taylor Skaufel (The Woodlands-The Woodlands HS), Sam Schwartzstein (Southlake-Carroll HS) and Austin Yancy (League City-Clear Creek HS). Texas, along with Arizona and Florida, has the most representation on the Stanford roster outside of California (34).
Offensive NotesStanford is averaging 267.0 yards in total offense (534 total) over the first two games, including 161.5 per game on the ground (323 total) and 105.5 in the air (211 total)...of Stanford's six touchdowns this season, four have come on the ground, one has come via the pass and one on defense (interception return)...averaging 4.2 yards per play...running back Toby Gerhart, who has accounted for four of Stanford's six touchdowns this season, is averaging 107 yards (214 total) and 6.1 yards a carry (35 total) after two games...quarterback Tavita Pritchard has completed 21-of-35 passes (60.0) this season for 188 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions (103.12 pass efficiency rating)...nine different players have caught passes this season, topped by Richard Sherman, Ryan Whalen and Doug Baldwin, who have four apiece...Stanford returns nine starters from last year's offensive unit.
Defensive NotesStanford is yielding 481.0 yards a game in total offense, including 106.5 per game on the ground and 374.5 in the air...of the opponent's 962 yards in total offense, 749 (78%) have come in the air...has four sacks and eight tackles-for-loss after two games...Kris Evans had a career-best nine tackles against Arizona State, including eight solo stops...Evans tops Stanford with 18 tackles after two games, while also collecting his first two career interceptions...Wopamo Osaisai, who had 11 tackles in the season-opener against Oregon State, was credited with five stops at Arizona State...14 of his 15 total tackles this season have been solo efforts...Bo McNally returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown in the season opener against Oregon State, marking his second career interception return for a TD (at Washington, 2006).
Special Teams NotesAaron Zagory is 3-for-4 in field goal attempts this season and has made his last three in a row (41, 42 and 28) after missing his first try of the season from 48...David Green is averaging 44.6 yard a punt after two games (8-357)...Stephen Carr blocked a punt early in the first quarter against Oregon State, marking Stanford's first blocked punt since Thaddeus Chase accomplished the feat last season against Notre Dame.
A Look Back at the Arizona State GameStanford dropped a 41-17 decision to 15th-ranked (AP) Arizona State Saturday night in Tempe...ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter completed 27-of-36 passes for 345 yards and three touchdowns while Dimitri Nance rushed for 75 yards on 18 carries to pace the Sun Devil offense...ASU scored on four of its five possessions in the first half and built a 20-10 lead at intermission...extended the lead to 27-10 on a Nance one-yard run at the 10:45 mark on the third quarter...Stanford cut the lead to 27-17 after Toby Gerhart scored his second TD of the game, a one-yard run at the 3:07 mark of the third quarter...however, ASU scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to put the game out of reach...the Sun Devils finished with 472 yards in total offense, compared to Stanford's 233 total.
Tracking TobyAfter opening the season with a career-high 147 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Oregon State, junior running back Toby Gerhart finished with 67 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns Saturday night against Arizona State. With two touchdowns against the Sun Devils, Gerhart became the first Stanford back to rush for multiple touchdowns in back-to-back games since Anthony Bookman rushed for two touchdowns in consecutive games against Oregon and Notre Dame in 1997. Gerhart's performance against Oregon State was the best by a Stanford back ever in a season opener and the highest rushing total since J.R. Lemon rushed for 162 yards on 19 carries against Washington in 2004. It also tied for 27th-best rishing performance in school history (Mike Mitchell vs. USC, 1996). Gerhart has combined to rush for 359 yards on 47 carries and five touchdowns over his last three games dating back to last year's San Jose State game, when he rushed for 140 yards on 12 carries before suffering a season ending knee injury in the third quarter.
It's Tavita for StartersJunior quarterback Tavita Pritchard emerged from fall camp atop the depth chart, edging out sophomore Alex Loukas and junior Jason Forcier for the starting position. He completed 10-of-17 passes for 91 yards and one touchdown in the season-opener against Oregon State, hooking up with Anthony Kimble for a 15-yard TD pass early in the fourth quarter. Last Saturday at Arizona State, he finished with 97 yards, completing 11-of-18 passes with two interceptions. Pritchard appeared in nine games last season and made seven consecutive starts from Oct. 6 to Nov. 4, completing 97-of-194 (50.0) of his passes for 1,114 yards and five touchdowns. 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.
Forcier Makes Stanford DebutJason Forcier, who redshirted last season after transferring from Michigan, made his Stanford debut Saturday night against Arizona State, entering the game in the second quarter. He completed 2-of-6 passes for 18 yards, with 11 of the yards coming on a hookup with Coby Fleener on his second attempt. Forcier played in six games as a reserve quarterback at Michigan in 2006, completing all three of his pass attempts for 60 yards.
Zags on the MarkAfter serving in a back-up role last season to placekicker Derek Belch, Aaron Zagory is 3-for-4 in field goal tries this season. He has made his last three in a row from distances of 41, 42 and 28 yards after missing his first try of the year from 49 yards against Oregon State. Zagory is now 11-for-17 in field goal tries in his Stanford career (8-for-13 in 2006) with a career long of 42 (vs. Oregon State, 2008).
Turnover MarginStanford held a 3-0 advantage in turnover margin against Oregon State, picking up where it left off last season when the Cardinal finished +3 in turnover margin in the Pac-10, which was the second best mark in the conference behind Oregon (+9). Against the Beavers, Stanford forced one fumble and had two interceptions, including one that was returned 34 yards for a touchdown by Bo McNally. However, Stanford slipped to -1 in turnover margin at Arizona State, throwing three interceptions while recovering one fumble with one interception.
Sacks and Tackles-for-LossStanford finished the 2007 season 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. Two games into the 2008 season, Stanford has registered four sacks and eight tackles-for-loss.
Road TestedFour 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 ScheduleSeven 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 RoadThe Cardinal is 12-25 at Stanford Stadium dating back to the 2002 season, including a 4-16 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 15-29 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).
Coaching ChangesTwo 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).
ImprovementIn addition to the win column, Stanford showed marked improvement in several notable categories last season compared to 2006, when the Cardinal finished with a 1-11 overall record (1-8 Pac-10 conference)...here's a look at some of the notable areas of improvement last season...
OFFENSE 2007 2006SCORING 235 127Points Per Game 19.6 10.6FIRST DOWNS 230 163RUSHING YARDS 1334 781Average Per Game 111.2 65.1PASSING YARDAGE 2536 2002Average Per Game 211.3 166.8TOTAL OFFENSE 2870 2783Average Per Game 322.5 231.9TIME OF POSSESSION 30:25 28:12SACKS BY YARDS 37-284 14-111TOUCHDOWNS SCORED 27 15RED ZONE TOUCHDOWNS 18-37 (49%) 7-26 (27%)
DEFENSE 2007 2006SCORING 339 377Points Per Game 28.2FIRST DOWNS 254 269RUSHING YARDAGE 2032 2526Average Per Game 169.3 177.0
Preseason Watch ListsFour 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 StatusSenior 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.
2007 RewindStanford 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.