CFN Take: Stanford Shocks UCLA

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 28, 2014


Stanford Cardinal 2014 ... Head Coach: David Shaw

Stanford Cardinal

2014 Schedule
Record: 7-5

Aug. 30 UC Davis W 45-0
Sep. 6 USC L 13-10
Sep. 13 Army W 35-0
Sep. 20 OPEN DATE
Sep. 27 at Washington W 20-13
Oct. 4 at Notre Dame L 17-14
Oct. 10 Washington St W 34-17
Oct. 18 at Arizona State L 26-10
Oct. 25 Oregon State W 38-14
Nov. 1 at Oregon L 45-16
Nov. 8 OPEN DATE
Nov. 15 Utah L 20-17 2OT
Nov. 22 at California W 38-17
Nov. 28 at UCLA W 31-10
Nov. 28 Stanford 31, at UCLA 10
And You Care Because … UCLA had the Pac-12 South title for the taking, and came out rolling with a 15-yard Thomas Duarte touchdown catch on the opening drive, and that was about it. The Bruins took a 10-7 lead on a 42-yard Ka’imi Fairbairn field goal early in the second, but it was all Stanford D after the first few minutes, allowing fewer than 200 yards of total offense over the final 55 minutes. Remound Wright ran for two short touchdowns and Kevin Hogan threw two touchdown passes, including a 37-yarder to Devon Cajuste late in the first half with 24 unanswered points.
What Else? Time of possession: Stanford 37:49 – UCLA 22:11
- Stanford QB Kevin Hogan completed 16-of-19 passes for 234 yards and two scores, and ran seven times for 46 yards
- UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 17-of-32 passes for 146 yards and a score
- Total yards: Stanford 436 – UCLA 262
Game Rating: C-

Nov. 22 Stanford 38, at California 17
And You Care Because … California turned it over five times and couldn’t stop committing penalties, and Stanford took advantage getting up 31-7 on three of Remound Wright’s four touchdown runs and a five-yard Kevin Hogan dash. Cal got a ten-yard Stephen Anderson scoring run, but the mistakes were too much for the Bears throughout. The Bears didn’t get back into the end zone until the final few minutes on a 12-yard Daniel Lasco run, but the Cardinal had the game well in hand.
What Else? Stanford RB Remound Wright ran 23 times for 92 yards and four scores
- California QB Jared Goff completed 16-of-31 passes for 182 yards and a score with two picks
- Penalties: California 12 for 113 yards – Stanford 4 for 21 yards
- Turnovers: Cal 5 – Stanford 1
Game Rating: C-

Nov. 15 Utah 20, at Stanford 17 2OT
And You Care Because … Kenneth Scott caught a three-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime to give Utah the win after answering for a 51-yard Jordan Williamson field goal. The two teams only managed a touchdown each in regulation with Lee Ward catching a three-yard touchdown pass in the first to give Stanford a 7-0 lead, and Utah got into the end zone on a two-yard Travis Wilson run in the second. In the first OT, Kaelin Clay gave Utah the lead on a 25-yard pass, but Stanford answered with a 14-yard Austin Hooper catch.
What Else? Utah QB Travis Wilson completed 21-of-28 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for nine yards and a score
- Stanford QB Kevin Hogan completed 17-of-27 passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns
- Total yards: Stanford 294 – Utah 247
- Third down conversions: Utah 7-of-16 – Stanford 3-of-13
Game Rating: B

Nov. 1 at Oregon 45, Stanford 16
And You Care Because … Oregon proved it could handle Stanford as Marcus Mariota found Charles Nelson for a six-yard score and ran for a 22-yard touchdowns in the first quarter. Stanford fought back with two of Jordan Williamson’s three field goals, and a one-yard Patrick Skov run to pull within 24-16, but Thomas Tyner’s 21-yard touchdown run sparked an unanswered run of 21 points. Mariota added a seven-yard score and a 25-yard touchdown pass to Darren Carrington.
What Else? Oregon QB Marcus Mariota completed 19-of-30 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and ran nine times for 85 yards and two scores
- Stanford QB Kevin Hogan completed 21-of-29 passes for 237 yards and an interception, and led the team with 42 rushing yards on 11 carries
- Time of possession: Stanford 35:38 – Oregon 24:22
- Third down conversions: Oregon 8-of-13 – Stanford 6-of-13
Game Rating: C+

Oct. 25 at Stanford 38, Oregon State 14
And You Care Because … Stanford busted through a 7-7 ties with 31 straight points as Kevin Hogan threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Pratt, ran for a 37-yard score, and Ty Montgomery returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown as the highlights in the run. Oregon State got a Chris Brown five-yard touchdown run early, but didn’t get back on the board until late on a one-yard Damien Haskins run. The Stanford defense shut down the Beavers allowing just 221 yards.
What Else? Stanford QB Kevin Hogan completed 18-of-28 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions, and ran four times for 39 yards and a score
- Oregon State QB Sean Mannion completed 14-of-30 passes for 122 yards
- Stanford WR Ty Montgomery caught six passes for 73 yards, returned two punts for 58 yards and a touchdown, and ran twice for 16 yards
- Oregon State ran 29 times for 12 yards and two touchdowns
Game Rating: D

Oct. 18 at Arizona State 26, Stanford 10
And You Care Because … It was the Arizona State defense that got the job done, holding Stanford to a 40-yard Jordan Williamson field goal on the way to a 20-3 lead into the fourth quarter. D.J. Foster ran for a score, Jaelen Strong caught a three-yard touchdown pass, and Zane Gonzalez kicked four field goals, with his last two coming after Stanford pulled within ten on a one-yard Patrick Skov run early in the fourth.
What Else? Arizona State QB Mike Bercovici completed 23-of-33 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown
- Stanford WR Ty Montgomery caught six passes for 82 yards, and returned three kickoffs for 57 yards
- Arizona State RB D.J. Foster ran 24 times for a team-leading 59 yards and a score, and caught seven passes for a team-high 92 yards
- Total yards: Arizona State 356 – Stanford 288
Game Rating: C+

Oct. 10 at Stanford 34, Washington State 17
And You Care Because … Kevin Hogan threw three touchdowns passes and Remound Wright and Barry Sanders paced the ground game as Stanford got up early but had to fight to put the Cougars away. Hogan found tight end Eric Cotton for a 39-yard score, and hit Greg Taboada for touchdown passes from three and four yards away for a 24-10 lead going into the fourth. Washington State pulled close with a three-yard River Cracraft touchdown catch, but the Cardinal scored ten unanswered points with Wright closing things out with a six-yard score.
What Else? Stanford QB Kevin Hogan completed 23-of-35 passes for 284 yards and three scores
- Washington State QB Connor Halliday completed 44-of-71 passes for 303 yards and two scores with a pick. River Cracraft caught 15 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown
- Stanford outgained Wazzu 193 yards to -38 on the ground
- Penalties; Washington State 10 for 74 yards – Stanford 9 for 80 yards
Game Rating: C+

Oct. 4 at Notre Dame 17, Stanford 14
And You Care Because … With just over a minute to play and down 14-10, Notre Dame was facing a 4th-and-11 on the Stanford 23. Everett Golson scrambled and found Ben Koyack deep in the end zone for the touchdown, and the D held on for the win. Stanford’s offense struggle, but it managed a ten-yard Kevin Hogan touchdown run in the first and took the lead with just over three minutes to play on an 11-yard run from Remound Wright. The Irish tied it at seven with a Chris Brown 17-yard touchdown catch, and took the lead midway through the fourth on a 45-yard Kyle Brindza field goal. Stanford answered, but Golson did the Cardinal one better.
What Else? Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith made 14 tackles with a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss
- Notre Dame QB Everett Golson completed 20-of-43 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and ran seven times for 34 yards
- Stanford QB Kevin Hogan completed 18-of-36 passes for 158 yards and two interceptions, and he ran for a score
- Total yards: Notre Dame 370 – Stanford 205
Game Rating: A-

Sept. 27 Stanford 20, at Washington 13
And You Care Because … The Stanford offense needed a spark, and it got it as Washington’s fake punt attempt midway through the fourth quarter was stopped, and the Cardinal took advantage going 47 yards in six plays with Kevin Hogan running it in from five yards out for the game-winning score. Stanford took a 10-0 lead on a 17-yard Ty Montgomery touchdown catch, plowing his way in for the score, but Washington tied it at 13 in the first half on a 25-yard Jaydon Mickens catch and a 32-yard fumble return for a score from Shaq Thompson. The Husky offense went stagnant, finishing with just 179 yards.
What Else? Stanford QB Kevin Hogan completed 17-of-26 passes for 178 yards and a score with an interception
- Washington QB Cyler Miles completed 15-of-29 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown
- Turnovers: Stanford 3 – Washington 0
- The two teams combined to convert 8-of-30 third down conversions
Game Rating: C+

Sept. 13 at Stanford 35, Army 0
And You Care Because … Stanford had no problems stuffing the Army attack, allowing just 207 total yards with 198 on the ground. Kevin Hogan connected with Devon Cajuste for three touchdown passes from 23, two and 15 yards out, and then Ty Montgomery took over in the fourth with a four-yard touchdown run and a 32-yard scoring grab.
What Else? Stanford QB Kevin Hogan completed 20-of-28 passes for 216 yards and four touchdowns.
- Stanford RB Barry Sanders ran nine times for a game-high 92 yards.
- Army averaged just 3.5 yards per carry. QB A.J. Schurr ran for 65 yards on six carries, while Larry Dixon ran 19 times for 60 yards.
- Stanford WR Ty Montgomery caught eight passes for 86 yards and a score, and ran for a touchdown, while Devon Cajuste caught four passes for 52 yards and three scores.
Game Rating: D+

Sept. 6 USC 13, at Stanford 10
And You Care Because … Andre Heidari nailed a 53-yard field goal with 2:30 to play for a 13-10 USC lead, and the Trojan D held on with J.R. Tavai blindsiding Kevin Hogan deep in to force a game-sealing fumble on a deep Stanford drive. The game was all about missed opportunities for the Cardinal with two missed field goals, two key turnovers, and stalls in the red zone. Stanford had a 10-7 lead at halftime with a Patrick Skov two-yard touchdown run and a 33-yard Jordan Williamson field goal, but USC’s defense managed to bend but not break in the second half. Two Heidari field goals in the second half were enough for the Trojans.
What Else? Stanford outgained USC 413 yards to 291 and held on to the ball for close to 34 minutes. The Cardinal dominated this game at times, but couldn’t seem to score, with missed field goals and penalties proving deadly.
- The USC running game worked. Javorius Allen ran 23 times for 154 yards, and Justin Davis pounded for 20 yards and a score on eight carries. Stanford won its share of battles, did enough to stay alive offensively.
- Red zone chances: USC 2-of-2, Stanford 2-of-5. The Cardinal got the ball on the green, but couldn’t putt.
- Welcome to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. USC DT/DE Leonard Williams made 11 tackles with a sack on a gimpy ankle.
Game Rating: A

Aug. 30 at Stanford 45, UC Davis 0
And You Care Because … The Cardinal started out the scoring on a Ty Montgomery punt return, and Kevin Hogan took over from there with three touchdown passes including a 44-yarder to Montgomery in the second quarter on the way to a 38-0 lead.
What Else? The Stanford defense never let UCD breathe, allowing just 115 yards of total offense and six first downs while forcing three turnovers.
- Kevin Hogan threw a pick, but he completed 12-of-16 passes for 204 yards and three scores with a rushing touchdown. There were a few misfires, but he didn’t have any problem moving the offense in the first half.
- The rushing wealth was spread around in the blowout. Barry Sanders led the way with 43 yards.
- Any questions about Ty Montgomery’s health appeared to be answered – he was his normally quick self, leading the team with 77 yards and a score on five catches and returning two punts for 74 yards and a score.
Game Rating: D

2014 Preview 

The Cardinal is entering their most challenging season since before Jim Harbaugh arrived at the Farm in 2007.

Stanford has won at least 11 games, and appeared in a major bowl game, in each of the last four seasons. Maintaining that torrid trend, though, will require head coach David Shaw and a new-look staff to seamlessly insert first-time starters into the lineup. This program is either going to take a step in reverse or it’ll showcase just how skilled it is at signing and developing blue-chip high school athletes.

The Cardinal has faced hurdles during their current run. Yet, they've always found a way to overcome the departures of cornerstone figures, like Harbaugh, Andrew Luck and Toby Gerhart. This season’s challenge? Retool a roster that lost ten All-Pac-12 performers to the NFL, five on offense and five on defense.

The encouraging news around campus is that the coach and the quarterback—junior Kevin Hogan—remain the same, which will serve as a stable foundation entering 2014. Shaw has been magnificent in three seasons since replacing Harbaugh, going 34-7, with back-to-back Pac-12 titles. Plus, he and his assistants continue to reel in top-tier talent from around the country, which will greatly aid in the rebuilding effort.

Just because Hogan doesn’t figure to be challenged this summer doesn’t mean he’s been tearing it up. In fact, the Cardinal needs their third-year starter to raise the level of his game to help offset the losses of 1,700-yard rusher Tyler Gaffney and four-fifths of the starting O-line. That running game, a staple in these parts, could be tested, as little-used backs Kelsey Young, Barry Sanders and others prepare to run behind a heralded, yet largely unproven front wall.

The D, another cornerstone to the program’s recent success, is undergoing its own facelift. Not only have a slew of all-stars departed, but so has coordinator Derek Mason, the architect of those physical, well-coached units. Still, Stanford won’t dip as far as many assume. The mix of veterans, like DE Henry Anderson, LB A.J. Tarpley, CB Alex Carter and SS Jordan Richards, and up-and comers is enough to ensure that the Cardinal will be one of the Pac-12’s saltiest defenses for a fifth year in a row.

Stanford has been a resilient squad in recent years, thriving in the face of those doubters and skeptics patiently waiting for the program to slide back into mediocrity. Academic institutions of this caliber can’t possibly maintain on Saturdays as well, right? The Cardinal aren’t going away anytime soon, or at least as long as Shaw is in charge, but they'll face more than the usual number of hurdles in 2014 as they try to remain among the Pac-12—and national—elite.

What to watch for on offense: Who’s this year’s 1,000-yard back? The Cardinal has produced a 1,000-yard runner in each of the last six seasons. But who’ll be this season’s Toby Gerhart, Stepfan Taylor or Tyler Gaffney? The favorites are versatile junior Kelsey Young and elusive sophomore Barry Sanders. Both are exciting, but neither fits the mold of the traditional Stanford battering ram between the tackles. The ground game’s success could hinge on the development of the new starting linemen, C Graham Shuler, RT Kyle Murphy and guards Joshua Garnett and Johnny Caspers, who have two career starts among them.

What to watch for on defense: Shittu happens. The Cardinal staff has been raving about junior lineman Aziz Shittu throughout the spring in what could be a harbinger of things to come this fall. While the top recruit from the 2012 class has yet to contribute, that’s about to change. At 6-3 and 280 pounds, he has the size to start next to David Parry on the inside, yet he’s also quick enough to play on the outside. Even if Shittu fails to unseat Parry or ends Blake Lueders and Henry Anderson, he’s going to play a key role for the rebuilding Stanford D-line.

The team will be far better if… it trades more three-point attempts for touchdowns. The Cardinal ranked No. 12 nationally in field goals and No. 83 in red-zone touchdown percentage, signaling a complete lack of offensive efficiency. Stanford needs to play with more pop and precision in 2014, especially if the short-yardage running game and the defense take a step in reverse. Even when Andrew Luck was around, Stanford didn’t demand as much from its quarterbacks as other schools. But a slight shift in expectations could take place in 2014.

The Schedule: The Cardinal gets to ease into the season - at least for a week - with UC Davis. And then it's on with USC coming into Palo Alto for a must-win game before going to Army. The Cardinal doesn't get many breaks from then on with three road games in the next four going to Washington, Notre Dame and Arizona State and hosting Washington State. If that wasn't rough enough - especially after the USC game early on - the Oregon showdown is in Eugene and there's a date with a loaded UCLA team to close out the regular season.

Best offensive player: Senior WR Ty Montgomery. There isn’t a playmaker at Stanford who can stretch a defense—or a kick coverage team—the way Montgomery can. In fact, there aren’t many in the country who can match the senior’s big-play knack. In the methodical Cardinal attack, Montgomery is the jackrabbit capable of changing a game’s tempo with a single explosive play. In stark contrast to the team’s ground-and-pound philosophy, he led the FBS in 2013 with 20 all-purpose plays of at least 30 yards.

Best defensive player: Senior DE Henry Anderson. Not too many people outside of Palo Alto know Anderson. But that’s going to change in 2014. The senior is about to go on a salary run season that opens eyes across the country. The 6-6, 295-pounder is country strong, yet he’s also athletic enough to beat his man off the edge or through the gaps. Anderson is going to match his production with his immense skill set, and not a moment too soon. Stanford needs the third-year starter to erupt into a handful to take some of the heat off a defense inserting new starters at all three levels.

Key player to a successful season: Junior QB Kevin Hogan. Hogan is a winning quarterback, with the record to back it up. Not only is he 16-3 as a starter, but he’s a pristine 10-1 vs. AP Top 25 opponents. But being the offensive caretaker won’t be enough in a year that the Cardinal has lost so much talent and veteran leadership to the NFL. Hogan has to be more of an accelerant in 2014, the kind of quarterback who makes those around him better. If Stanford is going to overcome its personnel losses, it’ll be up to No. 8 to get beyond a middling sophomore year by performing at an overall higher level in the pocket.

The season will be a success if ... Stanford three-peats. Go ahead and blame the lofty expectations on David Shaw, who’s making Pac-12 championships the norm on the Farm. Yeah, this third title in a row would be the toughest one, from the roster holes to a road schedule that includes trips to Seattle, Tempe, Eugene and Pasadena. But the Cardinal has the secret sauce for stopping the Ducks, and it’s unlikely another team will win the North Division. Stanford probably isn’t playoff timber, but it has enough remaining talent to remain atop the Pac-12.

Key game: Nov. 1 at Oregon. What else, right? This has become a 21st century rivalry with a lot of juice, in and outside of the Pac-12. The Cardinal has had the Ducks’ number the last two seasons, delivering upsets behind a bare-knuckle ground game and defense. The winner at Autzen Stadium gets a huge leg up on capturing the North Division, which has housed all three Pac-12 champions. Plus, this could be Oregon QB Marcus Mariota’s Heisman moment, as he gets another crack at that physical Stanford D.

2013 Fun Stats:
- Average yards per rush - rushing: Stanford 5.0 – Opponents 2.9
- Third-down%: Stanford 50% – Opponents 32%
- Sacks: Stanford 44 - Opponents 16

- 2014 Stanford Preview - What You Need To Know & Top Players


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