Offense Shines in Spring Game
STANFORD, Calif. – What the Cardinal & White Spring Game seemed to indicate most of all for the Stanford football team at Stanford Stadium on Saturday, was that the passing offense should have plenty of options for the 2022 season.
Both Tanner McKee and Ari Patu were effective in extensive duty, with Beau Nelson coming in for the final series. They combined to complete 16 of 20 passes for 172 yards with no interceptions. And they completed passes to eight different receivers, with five throws going for touchdowns.
There were 37 plays run, with drives beginning from designated spots on the field – their own 42-yard-line, and the defense's 25, 18, and 14. The offense scored on seven of 11 possessions.
McKee completed 8 of 10 for 93 yards and three touchdowns, and Patu was 7 of 8 for 74 yards and two TDs. Nelson was 1 of 2 for 5 yards.
Caleb Robinson. Photo by Karen Hickey/ISIphotos.com.
With the running-back position stretched, Stanford went to the air often. The Cardinal passed 20 times and ran 17, and took advantage of some new talent when going to the air. Among the most impressive was 6-foot-3, 207-pound receiver Mudia Reuben, one of three early enrollees participating in camp this spring.
Reuben caught two touchdowns, a 9-yarder from McKee and an 18-yarder from Patu, and had four catches for 39 yards. Reuben's first score came on a back-shoulder fade with good coverage, and the second came on play-action with Patu finding Reuben on the back of the end zone for the last of six touchdowns.
Sam Roush was another standout. The 6-5 tight end, another early enrollee, had two catches for 16 yards – both for touchdowns. On a 15-yarder from McKee, Roush went high to snag the pass and held on while being upended in the end zone. He later caught a 1-yarder on the outside from Patu. Caleb Robinson set up that score with a 24-yard catch and run, breaking two tackles before Nicolas Toomer knocked him down at the 1.
Photo by Bob Drebin/ISIphotos.com.
David Kasemervisz, a sophomore receiver who did not see action in an offensive role last season, had two catches for 19 yards.
The defense had the early edge, holding the offense to only one score on its first five possessions. But the offense got into gear with touchdowns on its next five. The Cardinal was efficient in the red zone, an offseason emphasis for David Shaw and his staff.
The running game was held to 34 yards on 17 carries, but running backs Robinson and E.J. Smith were threats through the air. Smith opened the scoring by catching the ball on a crossing route and beating the defense to the edge for a 40-yard score.
With spring ball over, the Cardinal now breaks until fall camp begins, with the Sept. 3 opener against Colgate coming soon.
Spring Game Statistics
TD: E.J. Smith 40 pass from Tanner McKee (Joshua Karty kick).
TD: Sam Roush 15 pass from Tanner McKee (Diego Preciado kick).
TD: E.J. Smith 9 run (Emmet Kenney kick).
TD: Mudia Reuben 9 pass from Tanner McKee (Joshua Karty kick).
TD: Sam Roush 1 pass from Ari Patu (Diego Preciado).
TD: Mudia Reuben 18 pass from Ari Patu (Emmet Kenney kick).
FG: FG Joshua Karty 25.
Rushing: Caleb Robinson 6-17, E.J. Smith 4-13, Tanner McKee 3-13, Danny McFadden 2-1, Ari Patu 2-(-10). Totals – 17-34.
Passing: Tanner McKee 8-10-0-93, Ari Patu 7-8-0-74, Beau Nelson 1-2-0-5. Totals – 16-20-0-172.
Receiving: Mudia Reuben 4-39, Bradley Archer 3-13, E.J. Smith 2-48, David Kasemervisz 2-19, Sam Roush 2-16, Caleb Robinson 1-24, Jayson Raines 1-8, Bryce Farrell 1-24. Totals – 16-172.