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Stanford Looks to Knock Off Undefeated Notre Dame
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 10/09/2012

Oct. 9, 2012

No. 17 Stanford Cardinal (4-1 • 2-1 Pac-12)
No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-0)
October 13, 2012 • 12:30 (PT)
Notre Dame Stadium (80,795) • Notre Dame, Ind.

Game Coverage
Gametracker
KNBR 1050 AM
Gameday Central
pac 12 networks
knbr 1050
Game Notes: Stanford | Notre Dame
Depth Chart | Media Guide

Television • Live national broadcast on NBC with Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Mike Mayock (analyst) and Alex Flanagan (sideline).

Radio • Live coverage on Stanford's flagship station - KNBR 1050 AM - with Dave Flemming (play-by-play), Todd Husak (analyst) and John Platz (sideline). All radio broadcasts begin one hour prior to kickoff with the Cardinal Tailgate Show and conclude with the post-game Cardinal Locker Room Report. Live national broadcast on SiriusXM Radio (channel 129) with Don Criqui, Allen Pinkett and Jeff Jeffers. The game can also be heard live on Stanford student radio KZSU 90.1 FM and at kzsulive.stanford.edu.

Live Stats • Live in-game statistics will be provided through GameTracker via GoStanford.com.

Polls • Stanford (17th - AP, 17th - USA Today) • Notre Dame (7th - AP, 7th - USA Today)

On the Web • GoStanford.com • Pac-12.com • UND.com

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Inside the Huddle
• The Cardinal takes a detour from its Pac-12 schedule this week with a trip to Notre Dame for its annual game against the Fighting Irish. Stanford afterward will play six straight conference games to close out its regular season schedule.

• Stanford is riding a 10-game winning streak against regular season non-conference opponents, including each of the last three matchups versus Notre Dame.

• The Cardinal's trip to Notre Dame is its only scheduled game east of the Pac-12 footprint in 2012. Stanford has won its last three games back East, but beforehand, had lost a stretch of 14 games out of 15 played in Central or Eastern Time Zone stadiums.

• This is the fourth straight opponent for Stanford who is ranked - or has been ranked - in the top 25 this season. No. 7 Notre Dame marks the second top-10 opponent for the Cardinal in the first half of its 2012 schedule, following its Sept. 15 game against No. 2/3 USC.

• Stanford has won nine straight games in the month of October dating back to Oct. 9, 2010.

• The Cardinal won an overtime thriller last Saturday against Arizona, 54-48. Senior QB Josh Nunes engineered a 14-point comeback in the fourth quarter, throwing for 360 yards and accounting for five touchdowns in the win. For his performance, Nunes was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.

• Stanford owns active winning streaks against 10 of its 12 regular season 2012 opponents: San Jose State (W5), Duke (W3), USC (W4), Arizona (W3), Notre Dame (W3), Cal (W2), Washington State (W4), Colorado (W3), Oregon State (W2) and UCLA (W3). The Cardinal has a two-game losing streak to Oregon and lost its most recent meeting to Washington.

• Stanford is the only team in college football history to defeat both USC and Notre Dame in three straight seasons. With the Cardinal's victory last month over USC, a win Saturday at Notre Dame would extend the historic mark to four straight years.

• Notre Dame is the 19th top-25 opponent Stanford has played since 2007, though 11 of those matchups have come at home and two at neutral sites. Saturday will mark the sixth road game against a ranked foe over that stretch, with the Cardinal carrying a 3-2 record in such matchups.

• The Stanford-Notre Dame game will be visited by the broadcast of ESPN's College GameDay, the third time for Stanford in the its last 12 games. The Cardinal is 1-1 in its previous games preceded by College GameDay (W at USC - Oct. 29, 2011; L vs. Oregon - Nov. 12, 2011). The first hour of College GameDay is broadcast at 6 a.m. (PT) on ESPNU, followed by two hours (7-9 a.m.) on ESPN.

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Last Matchup Against Notre Dame - Nov. 26, 2011
• Playing in front of a sellout crowd of 50,360, Andrew Luck closed out his home career last November at Stanford Stadium by passing for 233 yards and equaled his career-high with four touchdown throws as the Cardinal rolled, 28-14.

• The victory lifted Stanford to its second-straight 11-1 regular season and clinched a Bowl Championship Series invitation to the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State.

• Luck threw a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Levine Toilolo in the first quarter.

• In the second quarter, Luck's 28-yard scoring pass to tight end Cody Fleener broke John Elway's career record for passing touchdowns (77) and his own single-season mark of 32 set in 2010.

• Luck also threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ty Montgomery in the second quarter as the Cardinal jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead.

• Both teams matched touchdowns in the second half, with Fleener hauling in a big 55-yard scoring pass from Luck with 5:40 remaining in the fourth quarter.

• Montgomery finished with six catches for 77 yards, while Fleener added four for 97 yards. Stepfan Taylor led all rushers with 118 yards on 20 carries.

• The Stanford defense limited Notre Dame to 57 yards rushing, collected five sacks and intercepted two passes.

• Luck also broke Steve Stenstrom's career record for total offense, improving his total to 10,218 yards.

• Stanford wore alternate Nike Pro Combat uniforms, dressing in cranberry red uniforms and black-matted helmets with the traditional "S" outlined in white.

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Notre Dame Series Notes
• In a series that dates back to 1925, Stanford trails 9-17.

• The first meeting between the two programs came at the 1925 Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. - the only time the schools have met at a neutral site - and matched Notre Dame's Four Horsemen and head coach Knute Rockne against Stanford's Ernie Nevers and head coach Pop Warner. The Fighting Irish prevailed, 27-10, to capture their first national title.

• The Legends Trophy is awarded to the winner of the Stanford-Notre Dame rivalry series, named in honor of the 1925 Rose Bowl meeting which was said by sportswriters to contain more legends on one field than had ever played the game. The trophy was created by the Notre Dame Club of the San Francisco Bay Area appropriately from Northern California redwood with an Irish crystal bowl.

• The Cardinal has won the last three meetings, its longest streak in the series. Prior to that, the Fighting Irish won seven consecutive games from 2002-08.

• Stanford's last win at South Bend was in 2010 when it prevailed, 37-14.

• Notre Dame posted the only shutout in the series by blanking Stanford, 27-0, at South Bend in 1942.

• Ten games between Stanford and Notre Dame have been decided by 10 points for less. The Fighting Irish recorded the most resounding win in the series by beating the Cardinal, 57-7, at Stanford Stadium in 2003.

• The Cardinal is 3-10 at Notre Dame Stadium and 6-6 at home.

Series: Stanford trails, 9-17 (.346)
First meeting: 1925 Rose Bowl - Stanford 10, Notre Dame 27
Last meeting: 2011 at Stanford - Stanford 28, Notre Dame 14
Last Notre Dame win: 2008 at Notre Dame - Stanford 21, Notre Dame 28
Series streak: Stanford - W3 (2009-11)

It Happened Against Notre Dame
1925 - Ernie Nevers rushed for 114 yards, but Knute Rockne and the Four Horsemen led Notre Dame to a 27-10 victory over Stanford in the 1925 Rose Bowl as the Irish captured their first national championship.

1989 - Steve Smith set a school-record with 68 pass attempts, but Stanford's upset bid of the top-ranked Irish fell short at Stanford Stadium, 27-17.

1990 - Stanford rallied from a 24-7 second quarter deficit to upset the top-ranked Irish, 36-31, at Notre Dame Stadium. "Touchdown" Tommy Vardell scored the game-winning touchdown on a one-yard run with 0:36 left, his fourth rushing touchdown on the day. Jason Palumbis completed 26-of-34 passes for 256 yards.

1991 - Tommy Vardell rushed for 140 yards on 23 carries but eighth-ranked Notre Dame avenged its loss from the previous season to the Cardinal with a 42-26 win at Stanford Stadium. Stanford went on to win its last seven regular season games.

1992 - Steve Stenstrom completed 21-of-32 passes for 215 yards and Glyn Milburn rushed for 119 yards on 20 carries as 18th-ranked Stanford posted a road upset of No. 6 Notre Dame, 33-16. Stanford scored 33 unanswered points after spotting Notre Dame a 16-0 lead in the second quarter to hand the Irish their only loss of the season.

1994 - Steve Stenstrom completed 37-of-59 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-15 loss at Notre Dame. The 59 pass attempts rank third on Stanford's all-time single-game list.

1997 - Anthony Bookman (142) and Mike Mitchell (135) each rushed for more than 100 yards in Stanford's 33-15 win over Notre Dame at Stanford Stadium. The Cardinal defense sacked Irish quarterback Ron Powlus four times and held Notre Dame to just 298 yards in total offense.

1999 - Mike Biselli's 22-yard field goal as time expires lifted Stanford to a 40-37 win over the Irish in a nationally-televised, post-Thanksgiving Day game at Stanford Stadium. It was one of four Biselli field goals on the afternoon. Todd Husak completed 24-of-34 passes for 334 yards and two touchdowns and Troy Walters caught eight passes for 183 yards, the 11th-best receiving performance in school history.

2009 - Playing in his final game at Stanford Stadium, Toby Gerhart rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns and threw for another as Stanford rallied for a 45-38 victory, snapping Notre Dame's seven-game winning streak in the series.

2010 - Nate Whitaker kicked five field goals to tie a Stanford single-game record and the Cardinal defense limited the Irish to just 44 yards rushing and one offensive touchdown to break a seven-game losing streak at Notre Dame, 37-14. Owen Marecic scored a pair of touchdowns within 13 seconds of one another (first as a fullback on a short dive play, then later making an interception for a score from his inside linebacker position).

2011 - Andrew Luck set the school record for the most career touchdown passes and eclipsed his own single-season mark, throwing for 233 yards and four scores to lead fourth-ranked Stanford past No. 22 Notre Dame, 28-14, in his home finale. Luck topped John Elway's record of 77 touchdown passes and helped the Cardinal build a 21-0 halftime lead. The victory vaulted Stanford into an at-large BCS bowl bid for the second straight year.

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A Look Back at Arizona
• Stanford recorded its fourth win at Stanford Stadium in as many games this season with a 54-48 overtime win over Arizona. The Cardinal improved to 4-3 all-time in overtime games, which began in college football in 1996. The extra-time victory was the first at Stanford Stadium since Oct. 12, 1996 (a 27-24 win over Oregon).

• Stanford evened the all-series record with Arizona, 14-14. Saturday's game marked the 28th meeting between the two programs.

• With the 54-48 victory, Stanford earned its first overtime win since a 56-48 (3OT) thriller at USC in 2011.

• The victory was the fifth straight win for Stanford in its Reunion Homecoming games at Stanford Stadium, dating back to a 24-23 win in 2008 (also against Arizona and also coming back from a fourth-quarter deficit). RB Toby Gerhart carried in a one-yard rushing touchdown with 25 seconds remaining in that game.

• Stanford trailed by 14 points in the fourth quarter, 48-34, before scoring two touchdowns in the final seven minutes of regulation (6:34, 0:45) to knot the game at 48-48. Both scoring drives were led by senior QB Josh Nunes and finished with his rushing touchdowns.

• Stanford won the overtime coin toss and elected to possess the ball second. The Stanford defense turned the ball over with an interception by fifth-year senior OLB Chase Thomas, coming off a high-floating deflection by junior DE Henry Anderson. The Cardinal then obtained possession and handed the ball off twice to senior RB Stepfan Taylor, who ran four yards and then 21 yards into the end zone to claim victory.

• Stanford rebounded with the win over Arizona after dropping a 17-13 decision the previous week at Washington. The Cardinal has bounced back with victories after each of its last seven defeats dating back to 2009. The last time Stanford lost back-to-back games came in 2009 (Oct. 10 vs. Oregon State; Oct. 17 vs. Arizona).

• Stanford extended its home winning streak to six games and has won 17 of its last 18 contests at Stanford Stadium.

• Five different Stanford players scored at least one touchdown in the victory over the Wildcats. Sophomore WR/RB Kelsey Young recorded his first career score on a 55-yard run, while Nunes scored his first, second and third career rushing touchdowns.

• Nunes accounted for a career-high five touchdowns (two passing, three rushing) and threw for a career-high 360 yards with no interceptions. Nunes completed three passes in the game for more than 40 yards, including a new career-high 54-yard completion to senior WR Jamal-Rashad Patterson.

• Taylor ran two for touchdowns and 142 yards, tied for the fourth highest single-game output in his Stanford career. Taylor's longest run of the day (21 yards) came on the game's final play for the winning score in overtime.

• The 142-yard output marked Taylor's 16th career 100-yard rushing game, tying him for second with Darrin Nelson on the program's all-time list.

• Stanford ran for a season-high 257 yards against Arizona, averaging 6.0 yards per carry.

• In all, Stanford gained 617 yards of total offense, the most since racking up 672 against San Jose State in 1999.

• Senior TE Levine Toilolo led Stanford In receiving with 141 yards on five catches, outpacing his previous career high of 102 yards set in 2011 (also against Arizona). Toilolo caught a 12-yard touchdown in the second quarter, along with big-play receptions for 42 and 46 yards.

• After yielding 17 or fewer points in each previous game this season, Stanford was hit by Arizona's spread-option offense for 48 points. The Wildcats amassed 617 yards of offense, the most allowed by a Cardinal defense since 626 yards at Oregon on Oct. 2, 2010. Arizona ran 103 plays of offense.

• Nine Stanford defenders recorded tackles for loss in the game against Arizona. Senior ILB Jarek Lancaster and junior NT David Parry both recorded their first sacks of 2012.

• The Cardinal defense employed for the first time this season a wholesale rotation, whereby all 11 players of the second-team defense took the field to start three different series in the game. The first such wave came in the game's second defensive series, a three-and-out.

• Stanford fifth-year senior P Daniel Zychlinski punted four times (54.2 average) against Arizona, all four of which spanned more than 50 yards.

• Junior K Jordan Williamson hit six of his eight kickoffs for touchbacks in the game. For the first time in 2012, Stanford attempted no field goals.

• There were 11 lead changes between Stanford and Arizona.

• Stanford and Arizona combined for 102 points, the third most in a single game in school history and most since the 2011 triple-overtime game at USC.

• Stanford is now 6-0 all-time in Oct. 6 games.

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The Schedule
• Stanford's first five opponents in 2012 are a combined 18-4 in the remainder of its games. San Jose State (4-1), Duke (5-1) and USC (4-1) have only lost to the Cardinal this season, while Washington (3-2) lost at LSU and at Oregon, and Arizona (3-3) lost to Oregon State and at Oregon. In its most recent games, San Jose State two weeks ago defeated Navy, 12-0; Duke defeated Virginia, 42-17; USC defeated Utah, 38-28; and Washington lost to Oregon, 52-21.

• In the new era of Pac-12 Conference scheduling, Stanford plays two non-Saturday games in 2012. The Cardinal opened the season Aug. 31 (Friday) at home vs. San Jose State; Stanford played at Washington Sept. 27 for the Cardinal's third Thursday night game in the last 15 years (`08 vs. Oregon State, `98 at Arizona State).

• Stanford and rival Cal will play the 115th edition of the Big Game in an unprecedented October setting when the Cardinal travels to Berkeley on Oct. 20. Kickoff has been set for noon (PT).

• The Cardinal will travel as a conference foe for the first time to Boulder, Colo., to face Colorado on Nov. 3. Stanford last played at Colorado in a 1990 non-conference affair.

• When Stanford hosts Washington State on Oct. 27, the Cardinal will celebrate its Football Alumni Reunion and honor the 20th anniversary of the 1992 team led by head coach Bill Walsh, which finished 10-2 with a 24-3 victory over Penn State in the Blockbuster Bowl.

• The Nov. 10 home game against Oregon State is the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame game, including attendance by and honor of the newest Hall of Fame inductees.

• For the second straight season, Stanford will miss Arizona State and Utah in the Pac-12 Conference's interdivision rotation. The Cardinal will face both opponents for home-and-home matchups in 2013-14.

• A pair of 2012 conference opponents in Arizona and Colorado are off the regular season schedule for Stanford in both 2013 and 2014.

• Stanford's road schedule will also take the Cardinal to Oregon (Nov. 17) and UCLA (Nov. 24).

• The second annual Pac-12 Championship game will be played on the campus of the division winner with the best overall conference record.

The Polls
• Stanford is ranked 17th in the USA Today Coaches' poll (Oct. 7).

• The Cardinal is ranked 17th in the Associated Press Top 25 (Oct. 7), marking the 38th straight week Stanford has been ranked among the AP's Top 25. The streak is tied for the fifth longest in the nation, dating back to Sept. 5, 2010. Prior to the 2012 AP preseason poll, the Cardinal had been ranked 23 consecutive weeks among its top 10.

• Stanford has been ranked in the preseason AP poll 16 times, while the Cardinal appeared in a program-best 43 straight weekly polls from 1969-72.

• Stanford finished the 2011 season ranked No. 7 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches' polls, marking the second straight season the Cardinal had finished inside the top 10 after being ranked No. 4 at the conclusion of the 2010 season.

Media Picks Stanford Second in Pac-12 North
• Stanford was picked to finish second in the Pac-12 North Division in a poll of conference media members. The prediction would equal where Stanford finished a year ago when it lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with Oregon.

• Stanford received five first-place votes in the North Division, but was picked behind Oregon which received 117. The Ducks amassed 732 points to 533 for Stanford. Washington was picked third in the division with 503 points, followed by California (382), Washington State (228) and Oregon State (205).

• USC was tabbed to win the Pac-12 South and received 117 of 120 first-place votes. The Trojans were also tabbed to win the Pac-12 Championship Game, receiving 102 of 123 votes.

• The media poll has correctly selected the conference champion in 28 of 51 previous polls, including 11 of the last 12. Historically, the media has not been great at selecting Stanford's outcome, although it did correctly slot Stanford second in 2011.

• On the season of Stanford's most recent Rose Bowl appearance (1999), the Cardinal was picked to finish eighth. In the 51 years of the conference media poll, Stanford has never been picked first, but has played in three Rose Bowls during that span.

Cardinal Rising
• Stanford has compiled a 35-9 (.795) record over the last four seasons, finishing 8-5 in 2009, 12-1 in 2010 and 11-2 last season. The Cardinal's 35 wins rank second only to Oregon's 39 among Pac-12 teams during this stretch, while its .795 winning percentage stands sixth among all FBS teams.

• Stanford is one of just six teams in the nation that has compiled 27 or more wins over the last three seasons along with Oregon (30), LSU (29), Boise State (28), TCU (28) and Alabama (27). The Cardinal's .871 winning percentage since 2010 is tied for fifth-best among FBS teams during that stretch.

• The Cardinal has posted a 24-6 record in Pac-12 Conference play over the last four seasons, which ranks second only to Oregon's 28-2 mark. Prior to its 8-5 finish in 2009, the Cardinal suffered through seven straight losing seasons, compiling a 25-55 record from 2002-08.

Captains to Lead the Cardinal
• Fifth-year senior C Sam Schwartzstein, senior RB Stepfan Taylor and fifth-year senior OLB Chase Thomas have been named tri-captains for the 2012 season, as voted by their teammates.

• A fourth game captain each week represents the special teams: fifth-year senior OLB Alex Debniak (San Jose State), junior K Jordan Williamson (Duke), senior ILB Jarek Lancaster (USC), sophomore WR Ty Montgomery (Washington), and sophomore NB Ronnie Harris (Arizona).

Fifth-Year Seniors
• Stanford has five fifth-year seniors on its 2012 roster, including SS Harold Bernard, OLB Alex Debniak, C Sam Schwartzstein, OLB Chase Thomas and P Daniel Zychlinski.

Taylor's Tale
• One of the top running backs in the Pac-12 Conference and a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award, Stepfan Taylor figures prominently on many of Stanford's career lists in his senior season. Taylor ranks third on Stanford's all-time career rushing list with 3,325 yards, earlier this month against Duke passing Brad Muster (2,940). Taylor needs 197 yards to catch Toby Gerhart and 708 more to tie Darrin Nelson for first place. Taylor's 32 career rushing touchdowns are third all-time on The Farm, and he needs five more to tie Tommy Vardell for second.

• Taylor's 3,325 yards career rushing currently ranks sixth among active rushers in the NCAA, and his 640 career carries ranks third.

• Taylor's 16 100-yard games rank tied for second on Stanford's all-time career list behind only Toby Gerhart (20).

• The Stanford senior running back possesses the second and third best single-season rushing marks in school history. Taylor's sophomore (1,137) and junior (1,330) seasons rank ahead of Gerhart's junior season (1,136) and behind Gerhart's senior season (1,871).

• Taylor finished last season with 1,330 yards on 242 carries (5.5) and averaged 102.3 yards per game, which ranked fourth in the Pac-12 and 21st nationally. Taylor is one of six Stanford backs to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season and just the third back to accomplish the feat in consecutive seasons, joining Nelson (1977-78) and Gerhart (2008-09).

• Renowned for making defenders miss and for moving his legs forward on contact, Taylor earlier this season put together a string of 58 consecutive rushes without being stopped for a loss this season.

• Taylor's 213 offensive yards (153 rushing, 60 receiving) against No. 2 USC was a career high.

• A 59-yard touchdown run against USC pushed Taylor past the 3,000-yard career mark. It was also the third-longest carry of his Cardinal career. Taylor's two longest rushing plays also came at Stanford Stadium: 70 yards vs. Washington in 2011 and 62 yards vs. Oregon State in 2010.

• Taylor was honored broadly following his game-breaking performances in Stanford's 21-14 win over USC: Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week, Maxwell Award Player of the Week and CBSSports.com Heisman Player of the Week.

Giddy Up
• Stanford has recorded four of the school's top five single-season rushing marks over the last four seasons. In 2009, the Cardinal ran for a school-record 2,837 yards behind Heisman Trophy finalist Toby Gerhart. In 2010, the Cardinal finished with 2,779 yards on the ground, which ranks as the second best mark in school history.

• Last season, Stanford finished with 2,738 yards - good for third all-time. The Cardinal rushed for a school-record 446 yards in the Oct. 22 contest versus Washington.

• Of Stanford's 935 plays from scrimmage last season, 55.4 percent (518) were rushing plays while 44.6 (417) were pass attempts. From 2009 through 2011, Stanford rushed the ball on 59.8 percent of its offensive plays (1,589-2,657).

All Eyes on the O-Line
• The Cardinal's 2012 offensive line carried over just two starters in the same positions as last year: fifth-year senior C Sam Schwartzstein and junior RT Cameron Fleming. Senior RG Kevin Danser and senior LG Khalil Wilkes have debuted this year in the starting lineup, while junior David Yankey has been working at a new position at left tackle after starting 13 games in 2011 at left guard.

• Stanford's offensive line has allowed just five quarterback sacks through five games this season (1.00 average), best in the Pac-12 and tied for 19th in the country. In 2011, the Cardinal allowed 11 sacks in 13 games (0.85) for seventh-best in the nation, and six sacks in 13 games (0.46) which ranked second in 2010.

• The ground game is averaging 154.8 yards per game, including a season-high 257 rushing yards against Arizona. The well-nicknamed "Tunnel Workers Union" moved earth and defenders to the tune of 210.6 rushing yards per game in 2011 (18th in the nation), 213.8 yards in 2010 (17th) and 218.2 yards in 2009 (11th).

• Three true freshmen have seen action on the offensive line this year for Stanford: OG Joshua Garnett, OT Kyle Murphy and OT Andrus Peat. As all three rated as five-star recruits out of high school and headlined Stanford's 2012 signing class, the talented trio of frosh have played both in the main five offensive line positions and in the Cardinal's six- and seven-linemen offensive sets.

• Twenty-eight percent of Stanford's offensive plays in 2011 contained more than five offensive linemen on the field.

• The myriad positions played by Stanford's offensive linemen can sometimes call personnel into alternate jersey numbers. Junior OG Dillon Bonnell (No. 75) has worn No. 96 in action this season and freshman OT Kyle Murphy (No. 78) has donned No. 94. Murphy even has had one pass attempt thrown his way.

Doing It On Defense
• Stanford's rushing defense is ranked No. 6 in the nation, allowing 77.2 yards per game and 2.66 yards per carry. The Cardinal's last two opponents, Arizona and Washington, both rushed for 100 yards after a string of six games with opponents held below the century mark.

• Opponents have scored a total of 10 points against Stanford's defense in first quarters of games this season, while only Washington (seven points) and Arizona (15) has scored against the Cardinal in a fourth quarter.

• Stanford defenders have snared eight interceptions this season, led by junior FS Ed Reynolds (three) and sophomore SS Jordan Richards (two). The Cardinal totaled seven interceptions all of 2011.

Jordan Richards ranks 10th in the nation in passes defended at 1.80 per game (seven passes broken up and two interceptions).

• The Cardinal defense has allowed only five passing scores this season, including a span of 192:24 of game time on the field without allowing a passing touchdown that ended in the final minutes at Washington.

• The Stanford defense has been quick to get off the field in 2012, with 22 three-and-out possessions through five games. The Cardinal ranks 12th in the nation in third down defensive efficiency, allowing a conversion rate of only 29.76 percent.

• In 2011, Stanford finished third nationally in rushing defense, sixth in third down conversion defense (31.0; 51-164) and 11th in sacks per game (3.00).

Behind Enemy Lines
• Stanford's vaunted 3-4 defense ranks tied for fourth in the NCAA with an average of 8.6 tackles per loss (43 total) for the season. Sixteen different Cardinal players have recorded a tackle for loss in 2012. That breaks down to five defensive linemen (11.5 total TFL), seven linebackers (19.0 total TFL) and four defensive backs (12.5 total TFL).

• Four Stanford defenders currently are ranked in the Pac-12's top-20 in tackles for loss: fifth-year senior OLB Chase Thomas and senior DE Ben Gardner each have 1.05 TFL/game (6.0 total), tied for 11th; senior OLB Trent Murphy and senior NB Usua Amanam each have 1.10 TFL/game (5.5 total), tied for 17th.

• In the season opener against San Jose State, the Cardinal notched 11 tackles for loss - led by Usua Amanam (4.0) and Chase Thomas (2.0). Seven different Cardinal players recorded tackles for loss in the game. Stanford stacked on six more tackles for loss against Duke. Nine different Cardinal defenders notched tackles for loss against USC, totaling 12 in the game. Ben Gardner led the way with 3.5 TFL and was honored as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. Seven Stanford defenders recorded seven solo tackles for loss at Washington, and nine had tackles for loss against Arizona.

• Stanford's defense finished 11th in the nation in sacks (3.0) last season and 28th in tackles for loss (6.85).

The Stanford Trees
• Stanford's tight end tandem of Zach Ertz (27-346-4) and Levine Toilolo (25-343-6) combined to catch 52 passes for 689 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. The duo has combined for 34 receptions, 594 yards and four touchdowns in the opening five games of 2012. Ertz and Toilolo are the Cardinal's two leading receivers this season.

• Following his three receptions for 71 yards and the game-winning touchdown against USC, Zach Ertz was named the John Mackey Tight End of the Week. Ertz followed the next game against Washington with career highs of six receptions and 106 yards. Against Arizona, he caught a team-high six passes for 64 yards and a touchdown.

Levine Toilolo caught the two longest receptions of his career both in the Arizona game (42, 46). Toilolo hauled in five total passes for a career-best 141 yards, along with a 12-yard touchdown. The 6-foot-8 target not only was tough to defend, but he also picked up yardage impressively after catches.

• Last season, tight ends accounted for more than half (20 of 38) of Stanford's touchdown receptions, with Coby Fleener leading the team with 10 touchdown grabs.

• Six tight ends currently on NFL rosters were grown on "The Farm" - Jim Dray (Arizona Cardinals), Coby Fleener (Indianapolis Colts), Erik Lorig (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Evan Moore (Seattle Seahawks), Konrad Reuland (New York Jets) and Alex Smith (Cleveland Browns).

Special Start
• Stanford's special teams are getting started on the right foot, boasting the Pac-12's top punt return average of 22.0 yards led by senior Drew Terrell. The Cardinal's kickoff coverage team has also cast a tight web with a net of 46.6 yards per kickoff (1st in Pac-12).

• Sophomore KOR Ty Montgomery has been used in several spots this season, returning 10 kicks for a 25.8-yard average. Montgomery brought the opening kickoff against USC back 64 yards.

Scoring Margins
• Of Stanford's last 18 wins dating back to the 2010 season, 12 have been by 25 points or more, while its average margin of victory in its last 18 wins has been 23.3 points (419 total).

• Stanford's last 35 victories dating back to the 2009 season have come by an average margin of 23.5 points (823 total), while its eight losses have come by a margin of 7.5 points (60 total).

• The Cardinal is 12-10 in its last 22 games decided by a touchdown or less.

The Home Record
• Stanford is 27-3 (.900) in its last 30 home games dating back to the final home contest of the 2007 season, with its only home losses coming against No. 6 USC (2008), California (2009) and No. 6 Oregon (2011) during that stretch.

• The Cardinal had won 11 straight home games at Stanford Stadium prior to its 53-30 loss to Oregon on Nov. 12 of last season. The current home winning streak stands at five games.

• Stanford is averaging 39.5 points a game (1,145 total) over its last 29 home games while allowing just 21.9 (636 total).

Fresh Faces Time to Shine
• The 2012 Stanford signing class that was ranked fifth nationally by Rivals.com and sixth-best by Scout.com has arrived on the Farm as freshmen.

• The offensive line class was hailed by some as the greatest in the history of college football. As a whole, the talent level of the class has lived up to expectations this fall.

• Eleven true freshmen have made their debuts this season, encompassing all three phases of the game on offense, defense and special teams: Alex Carter, Joshua Garnett, Zach Hoffpauir, Luke Kaumatule, Drew Madhu, Blake Martinez, Reed Miller, Kyle Murphy, Andrus Peat, Aziz Shittu and Kodi Whitfield. The defensive backs (Carter, Hoffpauir, Madhu) and offensive linemen (Garnett, Murphy, Peat) lead the way in this talented freshman class.

• By way of comparison, four true freshman saw the field for the Cardinal in 2011. Six played in each of 2010 and 2009. Eight freshmen played in their first year in 2008.

• Sixteen additional Stanford players have made their collegiate debut in the first three games of 2012: sophomores Kevin Anderson, Brendon Austin, Lance Callihan, Ronnie Harris, Anthony Hayes, Kevin Hogan, Charlie Hopkins, Ra'Chard Pippens, Jordan Pratt, Torsten Rotto, J.B. Salem, Patrick Skov, Remound Wright and Kelsey Young, plus juniors Dillon Bonnell and Conor McFadden.

Coaching Changes
• Stanford welcomes two new coaches to its staff in 2012, with Pete Alamar taking over the role as special teams coordinator and David Kotulski assuming the duties of inside linebackers coach.

• Alamar served as special teams coordinator for the past two seasons at Fresno State and also spent seven seasons (2003-09) in the same capacity at California.

• Running backs coach Mike Sanford has taken on additional responsibilities as recruiting coordinator.

In the Classroom
• Stanford's football program received an Academic Progress Rating (APR) of 977 last spring, which was the highest rating in the Pac-12 Conference and a figure that ranked 13th nationally among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions.

• Stanford had 65 players card a grade point average of 3.0 or better last spring quarter.

• Stanford University requires its students to declare an undergraduate major before starting their junior year. Among the team's juniors and seniors, 18 different majors are represented. Fifteen Cardinal upperclassmen are engineering majors. Majors with three or more Cardinal scholar-athletes: biomechanical engineering, economics, management science & engineering, political science, psychology, and science, technology & society.

Cardinal Playbooks Go Digital
• Stanford ushered in a new era with iPad playbooks for the 2012 season. With the start of the Cardinal's fall training camp, each Stanford player and coach received an iPad outfitted with a digital playbook powered by Denver-based partner PlayerLync.

• Five professional teams in the NFL are currently equipped through the same partnership, and Stanford is proud to be the first in college football to take this leap forward in operational efficiency, cost reduction and environmental responsibility.

• The voluminous paper playbooks which consumed trees, money and countless man-hours of production are now a thing of the past for Stanford. The training camp playbook, weekly game playbooks and daily notes are now all immediately published from the coaching staff to the players via unattended content synchronization, ensuring that Stanford's players have all the right information as soon as it is available. Documents and video are automatically pushed to each team member's iPad without their involvement.

Cardinal Playbooks Go Digital
• Stanford ushered in a new era with iPad playbooks for the 2012 season. With the start of the Cardinal's fall training camp, each Stanford player and coach received an iPad outfitted with a digital playbook powered by Denver-based partner PlayerLync.

• Five professional teams in the NFL are currently equipped through the same partnership, and Stanford is proud to be the first in college football to take this leap forward in operational efficiency, cost reduction and environmental responsibility.

• The voluminous paper playbooks which consumed trees, money and countless man-hours of production are now a thing of the past for Stanford. The training camp playbook, weekly game playbooks and daily notes are now all immediately published from the coaching staff to the players via unattended content synchronization, ensuring that Stanford's players have all the right information as soon as it is available. Documents and video are automatically pushed to each team member's iPad without their involvement.

Stanford and the NFL
• The Cardinal coaching staff from top to bottom was molded in the National Football League:
David Shaw • Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football / Head Coach (9 years) • Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens
Derek Mason • Associate Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Backs (3 years) • Minnesota Vikings
Pep HamiltonAndrew Luck Director of Offense / Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks (10 years) • Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears
Mike Bloomgren • Running Game Coordinator / Offensive Line (4 years): New York Jets
Aaron Moorehead • Offensive Assistant (5 years playing) • Indianapolis Colts (Super Bowl XLI Champion)
Ron Lynn • Director of Player Development (19 years) • San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers
Mike Gleeson • Video Director (8 years) • New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan Devlin • Assistant Director of Operations & Recruiting (2 years) • Arizona Cardinals
• Defensive Assistant Vavae Tata and Volunteer Assistant Harry Alderson participated in the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship for a summer with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, respectively.

• Numerous current Cardinal players have NFL bloodlines:
• Freshman CB Alex Carter's father Tom Carter played for the Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals (1993-2001).
• Freshman OT Nick Davidson's father Jeff Davidson played for the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints (1990-94) and grandfather Jim Davidson played for the Miami Dolphins (1966-67).
• Freshman OLB Noor Davis' father Chris Davis played for the New York Giants (1987), and his uncle Andre Tippet played for the New England Patriots (1982-93) and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
• Junior WR John Flacco's brother Joe Flacco is the Baltimore Ravens' starting QB.
• Freshman OG Joshua Garnett's father Scott Garnett played for the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills (1984-85, `87).
• Freshman WR Dontonio Jordan's uncle James Rouse played for the Chicago Bears (1990-91).
• Sophomore CB Wayne Lyons' cousin Frank Sanders played for the Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens (1995-2003).
• Sophomore OT/OG Brian Moran's father Matt Moran played for the Kansas City Chiefs (1986).
• Freshman FS Josiah Paye's brother John Paye played for the San Francisco 49ers (1987-88).
• Freshman OT Andrus Peat's father Todd Peat played for the St. Louis / Phoenix Cardinals and Los Angeles Raiders (1987-90, `92-'93).
• Sophomore C Kevin Reihner's father George Reihner played for the Houston Oilers (1977-79, `82).
• Junior FS Ed Reynolds' father Ed Reynolds played for the New England Patriots and New York Giants (1983-92).
• Freshman RB Barry Sanders' father Barry Sanders played for the Detroit Lions (1989-98) and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
• Junior RB Ricky Seale's father Sam Seale played for the Los Angeles Raiders, San Diego Chargers and Los Angeles Rams (1984-93).
• Senior TE Levine Toilolo's three uncles played in the NFL: Dan Saleaumua for the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks (1987-98); Edwin Mulitalo for the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions (1999-2008); and Joe Salave'a for the Tennessee Oilers/Titans, San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins (1998-2001, 2003-06).
• Sophomore ILB James Vaughters' cousin Oliver (Jay) Johnson played for the Philadelphia Eagles (1969-70).
• Freshman WR Kodi Whitfield's father Bob Whitfield played for the Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants (1992-2006).


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