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Football Prepares For San Jose State
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 09/03/2000

Sept. 3, 2000

THE CARDINAL: Stanford opened defense of its Pac-10 championship with a solid 24-10 victory at Washington State (Sept. 2) ... The Cardinal will attempt to go 2-0 for the first time since the 1995 season, Tyrone Willingham's first as Stanford's head coach ... Stanford will also attempt to end a two-game losing skid to San Jose State ... The Spartans have beaten the Cardinal the past two years by scores of 35-23 in 1998 and 44-39 in '99 ... Saturday's Silicon Valley Challenge, complete with fireworks shows at halftime and following the game, is free to all children under the age of 14.

STREAKING: Stanford is 11-4 in its last 15 games and 10-1 in its last 11 Pac-10 games ... The Cardinal, which went 8-4 overall and 7-1 in the conference last season, finished the '98 campaign with two Pac-10 wins (Washington State, Cal) and have opened the 2000 season with a conference win ... In non-conference games, however, the Cardinal has won just one of its three out-of-league games in each of the last two years.

The Opponent

About San Jose State
Location: San Jose, California
Enrollment: 27,000
Nickname: Spartans
Colors: Gold, White and Blue
President: Dr. Robert Caret
Athletic Director: Chuck Bell
Head Coach: Dave Baldwin
Record at SJSU: 11-23 (4th season)
Overall Record: 20-35 (6th season)
2000 record: 0-1
1999 Final Record: 3-7 (1-5, 6th)

Noting the Spartans
San Jose State opened their season with a 49-13 loss to top-ranked Nebraska in Lincoln ... The Spartans were led by running back Deonce Whitaker, who rushed 15 times for 147 yards against the Cornhuskers, including a 69-yard run ... SJSU rushed for 193 yards, but gave up 505 yards on the ground to Nebraska, which led 28-6 at the half and 42-13 after three quarters ... Linebacker Josh Perry led both teams with 11 tackles ... Starting QB Marcus Arroyo completed 10-of-23 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns ... His 9-yard TD pass to An Truong in the first quarter closed the gap to 14-6 ... The Spartans are coming off a 3-7 season, including losing their last five games following a 44-39 win over the Cardinal.

Head Coach Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin is in his fourth season at the helm of the Spartans, after previous head coaching stops at Cal State Northridge (1995-96), Santa Rosa JC (1994) and Santa Barbara CC (1990-93) ... His record at SJSU is currently 11-23 ... In his first three years, his teams have gone 4-7, 4-8 and 3-7 ... Baldwin made an immediate impact in San Jose, leading the Spartans to a 4-4 WAC mark in '97 - the first time in four years the school was .500 or better in conference play ... He also served as an assistant on The Farm from 1984-88 under head coach Jack Elway, coaching wide receivers from 1984-87 and coordinating the passing game in 1988.

The Last Time
San Jose State beat Stanford for the second straight season, 44-39 on October 2, 1999 at Stanford Stadium ... The Spartans trailed 32-31 early in the fourth quarter, but scored two touchdowns to pull ahead 44-32 with less than three minutes to play ... QB Chris Kasteler threw for 368 yards and two TDs while tailback Darian Morton rushed for 105 yards to spark the SJSU attack ... Stanford, playing without starting quarterback Todd Husak, battled back from a 24-15 deficit to take a lead in the fourth quarter ... Backup QB Joe Borchard threw for 313 yards and FL Troy Walters had 10 receptions for 186 yards, but in the end it was the Spartan offense which proved too difficult for the Cardinal to handle.

HOME OPENERS: Stanford is 2-2-1 in its five home openers under Tyrone Willingham (1995-99) ... The Cardinal beat WSU in its home opener last season, but lost to San Jose State in 1998 (35-23) ... Willingham's teams have also won the opener in 1997 (28-12 vs. San Jose State), lost in '96 to Utah (17-10) and tied Wisconsin in Willingham's debut in Stanford Stadium in 1995 (24-24).

HEAD COACH TYRONE WILLINGHAM: Now in his sixth season at the helm of the Cardinal football program, Tyrone Willingham has the longest tenure on The Farm since John Ralson's nine-year run from 1963-71 ... Willingham has compiled an overall record of 31-27-1 ... His resume during his first five years at Stanford includes three bowl games, two Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors (1995, '99), a Pac-10 championship and a Rose Bowl appearance ... Willingham previously held assistant coaching positions at Central Michigan ('78-79), Michigan State (1980-82), North Carolina State (1983-85), Rice (1986-88), Stanford (1989-91) and the Minnesota Vikings (1992-94) ... He first came to Stanford as the running backs coach under Dennis Green in 1989, then returned to The Farm as as head coach to replace Bill Walsh on November 28, 1994.

REVIEWING WSU: Stanford used a 24-point second quarter and a stingy defense to defeat the Cougars in the season and Pac-10 opener last Saturday in Pullman, Washington ... The Cardinal were locked in a scoreless tie after one period, but unloaded on the Cougars in the second quarter to build a 24-0 halftime lead ... Stanford dominated statistically in the first half, outgaining WSU 302-53 and limiting the Cougars to just three first downs ... QB Randy Fasani was 13-of-21 for 220 yards and two TDs in the first half while the Cougars could muster just two yards on 13 rushing plays ... The Cardinal defense limited WSU to just three points (the only Cougar TD came on a blocked punt) as it put together one of its finest defensive performances in recent years ... Fasani and RB Kerry Carter hooked up on an 84-yard touchdown pass, which tied for the fifth longest TD pass play in school history.

BEING DEFENSIVE: The 10 points allowed by the Cardinal last Saturday marked the fifth lowest scoring total by an opponent in Tyrone Willingham's 59 games as Stanford's head coach over the last five-plus seasons ... It was the lowest point total by an opponent in the last 13 games, dating back to the 1998 season finale (10-3 win over Cal), and it was the second lowest point total in the team's last 34 games since a 38-0 shutout over Michigan State in the 1996 Sun Bowl.

MORE DEFENSE: Stanford held Washington State scoreless in the first half, a feat (scoreless half) that was accomplished only once last season ... The Cardinal held Cal scoreless in the second half of The Big Game in '99 - marking the only time during the year that Stanford held an opponent scoreless in a half ... Stanford's first quarter shutout of WSU was matched in only three games last year (UCLA, Oregon State, Wisconsin) ... The 252 yards gained by WSU last Saturday was lower than all but one game in 1999 (130 total yards allowed vs. Cal) ... Stanford limited Washington State to just two conversions on 15 third-dwn attempts, intercepted two passes, had three sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

THE NEW DEFENDERS: The Cardinal defense looked significantly different from a year ago, both in personnel and results ... Stanford, which had to replace seven starters from last year's unit, entered the season inexperienced at several key positions ... Coy Wire, a converted running back, was moved to strong safety in the spring ... He started the game in Stanford's nickel package as an inside linebacker ... He finished with six tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss ... Other new defenders who received little or no playing time in 1999 but who are now playing major roles include CB Ryan Fernandez, ILBs Anthony Gabriel and Matt Friedrichs, and NTs Trey Freeman and Craig Albrecht, among others.

FIRST-TIMERS: Stanford had eight players making their collegiate debuts at Washington State and eight making their first appearance in the starting lineup ... First-time starters included, on offense, QB Randy Fasani, FL Ryan Wells, LT Kirk Chambers, LG Paul Weinacht and TE Matt Wright ... On defense, first-time starters were Matt Friedrichs and Coy Wire at inside linebacker and Ryan Fernandez at cornerback ... Players in their first collegiate game included Chambers, TE Darin Naatjes, TE Brett Pierce, FL Luke Powell, QB Chris Lewis, P Eric Johnson, CB Garry Cobb and NT Craig Albrecht.

PLAYING CATCH: No less than 10 players caught at least one pass in last Saturday's season opener at WSU ... Leading the way was senior DeRonnie Pitts, who had six receptions and passed Ed McCaffrey for seventh place on Stanford's all-time list with 151 receptions ... Sophomores Luke Powell and Brett Pierce, playing in their first game, caught their first collegiate pass ... Powell, along with Ryan Wells, had two receptions each ... Adding one reception each were Kerry Carter, Jamien McCullum, Brian Allen, Caleb Bowman, Casey Moore and Emory Brock.

THE TRENCH DOGS: Who are the 'Trench Dogs' and what does it mean??? ... Led by senior tackle Willie Howard, the Trench Dogs are a nickname given to Stanford's defensive line ... Before and after each practice and game, you can see the Trench Dogs wearing chains around their necks as they walk to and from the field ... Stanford's defensive line, which is expected to be the strongest on The Farm in recent years, returns all but one player off last year's team ...Returning starters include Howard at tackle, ends Sam Benner and Austin Lee and key reserves Matt Leonard and Marcus Hoover at end and Travis Pfeifer at tackle ... Led by the Trench Dogs, Stanford finished second in the Pac-10 a year ago with 46 quarterback sacks.

THE SPARTAN SERIES: Despite losing the past two games, Stanford still holds a 42-12-1 advantage in the all-time series ... Prior to the '98 and '99 losses, the Cardinal had won the previous six games vs. SJSU ... The two teams have played all but two games of the series at Stanford Stadium (1900, 1995), but will play next year's game (Sept. 15) at Spartan Stadium ... Cardinal head coach Tyrone Willingham made his head coaching debut at Spartan Stadium on September 2, 1995 a successful one by leading Stanford to a 47-33 win ... Stanford has lost three straight games to San Jose State only once in the series, that coming from 1981-83 ... Two of those games - 1981 and '82 - were the Jack Elway-led Spartans beating the John Elway-led Cardinal.

HOWARD RACKS UP PRESEASON HONORS: Fifth-year senior DT Willie Howard picked up where he left off in Saturday's season opener ... In his 35th consecutive start, the Bay Area native (Mountain View) had three unassisted tackles and a sack in addition to anchoring a Cardinal front line that held Washington State to 91 yards rushing on 36 carries ... Saturday's sack gives him 32 career tackles-for-loss (-137 yards) and 18.5 sacks (-106 yards) ... Howard entered the 2000 campaign as one of the most highly touted defensive linemen in the nation, as he was tabbed as a First-Team Preseason All-American by Athlon and Second Team Preseason All-American by Street & Smith's, who ranked him as the fourth best defensive lineman in the country ... Howard was also on The Sporting News' and Street & Smith's lists of Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award candidates ... Last season, Howard emerged as the leader - both on and off the field - of Stanford's defensive line unit known as the 'Trench Dogs' ... Howard finished third in the Pac-10 in both quarterback sacks (10, -60 yards) and tackles-for-loss (19, -79 yards) in '99, in addition to recording 54 tackles (29 unassisted) ... He was the catalyst of a front line that was significantly better against the rush, allowing 147.9 yards per game compared to 180.6 yards per contest in '98 ... His 10 sacks - along with the 13 recorded by outside linebacker Riall Johnson - helped the Cardinal nearly double its quarterback sack output from the previous year (46 - '99, 28 - '98) ... Howard recorded five tackles, including one for a loss, in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin despite playing with ACL damage and an MCL sprain to his right knee that was suffered in the regular season finale against Notre Dame just five weeks earlier ... As a sophomore in '98, Howard was named Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 after recording 53 tackles and 5.5 sacks, and in his freshman season he had 28 tackles and two sacks at nose tackle.

Notebook

  • Saturday's game against San Jose State will be the first played under the new permanent lights at Stanford Stadium, which were installed over the summer ... It is also the first non-televised home night game in Stanford football history ... The lights will be put on display again next Saturday (Sept. 16) when the Cardinal hosts Texas at 7:15 p.m. in a game that will be nationally-televised by the Fox Sports Network.

  • Stanford, which plays its first three games of the 2000 season under the lights, won its fourth straight night game on Saturday at Washington State ... Stanford was 3-0 at night in '99 - winning at Arizona and posting home victories over Washington State and Notre Dame ... Stanford's last loss under the lights was on Oct. 22, 1998 when the Cardinal fell 44-38 in overtime at Arizona State.

  • Sophomore punter Eric Johnson, who redshirted in '99, made his collegiate debut on Saturday and kicked four times for 136 yards (34.0 yard average) ... Johnson entered the game in the second quarter, after senior Sean Tolpinrud (two years of eligibility remaining) kicked twice for 42 yards (21.0 average) in the opening period.

  • Junior WR Ryan Wells (three years of eligibility remaining) emerged as one of the top kickoff returners in Division I-A football last season, and had one return for 28 yards in the season opener ... Last season, Wells ranked third in the Pac-10 and ninth in the nation with a 27.5 yard average per return (15 returns, 412 yards) ... The average was also the sixth best single season mark in school history. ... He also caught two passes for 10 yards in his first career start at wide receiver.

  • Fifth-year senior TE Russell Stewart - a Bellevue, Washington native - had a streak of 25 consecutive starts snapped on Saturday when he sat out the game with bruised ribs ... Stewart, who took over the starting job in game 10 of the '97 season, has caught 23 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns in his Cardinal career, including career-bests of 12 catches, 136 yards and three scores in '98 ... Senior Matt Wright (two years of eligibility remaining) made the start in place of Stewart.

  • Senior CB Ruben Carter (two years of eligibility remaining), who was among the Pac-10 leaders in pass break-ups in '99 despite missing two games because of injury, is just three interceptions shy of breaking into Stanford's all-time top 10 ... Carter, who has six career interceptions, earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 honors in '99 after leading the team and finishing sixth in the conference with 14 pass break-ups ... He also started off the 2000 season in impressive fashion by recording a team-high eight tackles, including one for a loss.

  • Stanford will play seven of its final 10 games in the Bay Area, including the next three at Stanford Stadium (San Jose State, Texas, Arizona) ... The Cardinal's only remaining trips outside the area are Notre Dame (Oct. 7), Oregon State (Oct. 14) and UCLA (Nov. 4).season, Fasani appeared in 13 games off the bench in '98 and '99, and went 9-of-22 for 94 yards with one touchdown and one interception ... Fasani came to Stanford after coming out of Del Oro High School (near Sacramento, California) as one of the top prep signal-callers in the country in 1996 ... He redshirted the '97 campaign, and then appeared in 10 games (mainly in goal line situations) in '98 ... He went 8-of-16 for 81 yards with an interception and a touchdown in those 10 games, and also rushed for three touchdowns to tie for the team lead in that category ... His most extensive playing time as a collegiate QB came at Notre Dame on Oct. 3, 1998 when he went 4-of-8 for 58 yards ... Fasani started the '99 season as the No. 3 quarterback behind Todd Husak (6th round pick of the Washington Redskins) and Joe Borchard ... Borchard, who was the No. 2 quarterback in '99, was selected in the first round of the June Amateur Baseball Draft (No. 12 overall) by the Chicago White Sox, and agreed to terms with the White Sox on July 28 (he is now with the Birmingham Barons of the class-AA Southern League) ... Prior to game #7 of the '99 season, Fasani was switched to inside linebacker in order to get his athleticism on the field ... In addition to his time at ILB, he also played extensively on special teams last season and has seen time at tight end each of the last two years ... Prior to moving to linebacker last October, Fasani saw time at quarterback in three games (at Texas, Washington State, San Jose State) and went 1-of-6 for 13 yards ... Fasani will be backed up by sophomore Chris Lewis, who was 1-of-3 for six yards vs. WSU, and true freshmen Ryan Eklund and Teyo Johnson.

CARDINAL GROUND ATTACK IS BACK: Stanford's experienced corps of running backs made an immediate impact in 2000 by accounting for all three touchdowns in the 24-10 win at WSU ... Junior FB Casey Moore (three years of eligibility remaining) had a six-yard touchdown reception, as well as a six-yard run for a score, while sophomore RB Kerry Carter had an 84-yard touchdown reception (tied for the fifth longest TD pass in school history) ... Carter, Moore and junior RB Brian Allen combined for 1,124 of the Cardinal's 1,690 yards on the ground in '99 (66.5 percent) as Stanford doubled its rushing output from the '98 campaign (831 yards) ... Carter had a team-high 53 yards rushing on 19 carries in the season opener, in addition to the long touchdown reception ... The Canada native burst onto the scene as a true freshman last season, and finished with 87 carries for 341 yards (3.8 ypc) and a team-high six rushing touchdowns ... Moore, who is also an outstanding blocker, had eight carries for 42 yards and a touchdown on Saturday ... The two scores also nearly matched his entire '99 season total of three (2 rushing, 1 receiving) ... Moore had 23 carries for 190 yards and 11 receptions for 109 yards last season, including a Big Game record-setting 94-yard touchdown run vs. Cal ... Allen (3 carries-2 yards, 1 reception-17 yards vs. WSU) led the team with 604 yards and four touchdowns on 115 carries (5.3 ypc) in '99, and ranked eighth in the Pac-10 in rushing yards per game (54.9) ... He rushed for 100-plus yards in back-to-back games at USC (15-121) and Washington (18-101) last year to become the first Cardinal to accomplish that feat since 1997.

WIRE FINDS A NEW HOME: Senior Coy Wire, who made the switch from running back to safety this spring, made an impressive debut on the defensive side of the ball ... Wire made six tackles, including five unassisted, as well as two tackles-for-loss and a quarterback sack in a starting role at ILB in the Cardinal's nickel package ... Wire is no stranger to the starting lineup, as he started a total of seven games at running back (5 - '98, 2 - '99), and had a team-high 298 yards rushing in '98 and was third on the team in '99 with 317 yards.


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