Sept. 24, 2012
Washington Huskies (2-1 0-0 Pac-12)
September 27, 2012 6:00 p.m. (PT)
CenturyLink Field (67,000) Seattle, Wash.
Television Live national broadcast on ESPN with Rece Davis (play-by-play), Jesse Palmer (analyst), David Pollack (analyst) and Samantha Steele (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 ESPN Radio with Bill Rosinski (play-by-play) and David Norrie (analyst). 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 (8th - AP, 9th - USA Today) Washington (NR - AP, NR - USA Today)
On the Web GoStanford.com GoHuskies.com Pac-12.com
Inside the Huddle
The Cardinal opens its six-game 2012 road schedule Thursday at Washington. Stanford has won its last three road openers and last three Pac-12 road openers.
A win over the Huskies would give Stanford its third straight season with a 4-0 record, a feat last accomplished on The Farm from 1950-52.
Stanford has won 11 straight games in the month of September (and 14 of its last 15) dating back to the 2008 campaign.
Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw has joined Chuck Taylor (1951-52) as the only head coaches in Stanford history to start their first two seasons with a 3-0 record.
Stanford ran its record to 3-0 with a thrilling 21-14 victory over USC last Saturday at Stanford Stadium. The Cardinal has now started its season 3-0 three straight years. The last time the program registered a trio of consecutive 3-0 starts was 1970-72.
The Cardinal was named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week following the win over USC. It was fourth time Stanford has earned the honor from the Football Writers Association of America (Oct. 31, 2011 Nov. 16, 2009 Oct. 8, 2007).
Senior running back Stepfan Taylor amassed a career-high 213 offensive yards (153 rushing, 60 receiving) against USC. The Doak Walker Award candidate scored two game-breaking touchdowns in the win with a 59-yard run and a 23-yard screen pass reception. Taylor was honored as the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week, the Maxwell Award Player of the Week and CBSSports.com's Heisman Player of the Week.
Senior quarterback Josh Nunes is 3-0 to begin his career as a starter, the first Stanford signal caller to do so since Steve Stenstrom in 1991. Nunes threw two second-half touchdowns and was 9-of-15 passing for 137 yards against USC in the second half after starting with 6-of-17 passing for 78 yards and two interceptions in the first half.
Last Matchup Against Washington - Oct. 22, 2011
Stanford picked up a convincing 65-21 win underneath an avalanche of rushing yards in a matchup of undefeated Pac-12 North Division teams at Stanford Stadium. Stanford rushed for 446 yards to set a school single-game record and averaged 10.1 yards on each of its 44 carries.
Stepfan Taylor rushed for 138 yards on 10 carries and Tyler Gaffney, running out of the Wildcat formation, gained a career-high 117 on nine. Each scored a touchdown, and it marked the first time Stanford had two 100-yard rushers since Toby Gerhart and Anthony Kimble did it against Arizona in 2007. The Cardinal nearly had a third back reach 100. Anthony Wilkerson gained 93 yards on 14 carries and scored two touchdowns, on fourth-quarter runs of 18 and 62 yards.
Stanford, which gained 615 yards altogether, scored on its first eight possessions - six touchdowns and two field goals.
In a series that dates back to 1893, Stanford trails the all-time series with Washington, 38-40-4. Thursday's game marks the 83rd meeting bewteen the two programs.
The Cardinal has won four straight and six of the last seven games between the two schools, including last year's contest at Stanford Stadium, 65-21. Stanford's current four-game winning streak against the Huskies is its longest since winning 10 in a row from 1967-76.
Despite Stanford's recent success in the series, the Cardinal is just 8-21 (.276) against Washington dating back to 1977, posting wins in 1982, 1994, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The Cardinal has won the last three games in Seattle, but prior to that, lost 12 straight on the road against the Huskies during a streak that spanned across four different decades.
There have been several lengthy streaks in the series. From 1959-1966, the Huskies won eight consecutive meetings; from 1983-1993, the Huskies won 10 straight; from 1995-2001, the Huskies won six straight. Stanford rattled off a 10-game winning streak from 1967-76.
While renovations are underway at Husky Stadium, Washington is playing its home games this season at CenturyLink Field. This will be Stanford's first time playing at CenturyLink Field. The Cardinal played next door at Safeco Field against Georgia Tech in the the 2001 Seattle Bowl.
The Cardinal enter Thursday's game with a four-game overall winning streak against the Huskies along with a three-game winning streak at Washington. The last time Stanford won five straight games in the series against the Huskies came during a 10-game winning streak from 1967-76.
Series: Stanford trails, 38-40-4 (.488)
First meeting: 1893 at Washington - Stanford 40, Washington 0
Last meeting: 2011 at Stanford - Stanford 65, Washington 21
Last meeting at Washington: 2010 - Stanford 41, Washington 0
Series streak: Stanford - W4 (6 of last 7)
Stanford's roster features five players from the state of Washington, including freshman OG Joshua Garnett (Puyallup/Puyallup), sophomore DE Charlie Hopkins (Spokane/Gonzaga Preparatory), senior FB Geoff Meinken (Lynwood/Lynwood), freshman WR Michael Rector (Gig Harbor/Bellarmine Preparatory) and OLB Sam Shober (Monroe/Archbishop Murphy).
Washington's roster features nine players from the San Francisco Bay Area. With both rosters combined, this matchup will display 88 players from the state of California and 45 players from the state of Washington.
Thursday night's game will feature three of the biggest and most talented tight ends in the country in Stanford seniors Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo, and Washington sophomore Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
The 6-foot-6, 252-pound Ertz has nine catches for 146 yards and caught a 37-yard game-winning touchdown from Josh Nunes against USC. Toilolo (6-8, 265 lbs.), has seven receptions for 119 yards and one touchdown. Seferian-Jenkins is a 6-6, 266-pounder and amassed 538 yards in receiving last year, setting a single-season school record for a true freshman. This season, he has 20 catches for 211 yards and one touchdown.
Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw and outside linebackers coach Lance Anderson worked together at the University of San Diego with current Huskies pass game coordinator / wide receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty.
Stanford defensive line coach Randy Hart spent 21 seasons (1988-2008) on the Washington staff under five different head coaches.
Special teams coordinator Pete Alamar coached at Cal (2003-2009) and along with Washington assistants Eric Kiesau and Tosh Lupoi during different times throughout that stretch.
Sports performance coach Hans Straub previously served as assistant strength and conditioning coach at Washington for five years prior to arriving on The Farm. During his time at Washington, Straub worked closely with the Huskies softball, baseball and women's volleyball programs.
A Look Back at Defeating USC
No. 2 USC was the highest ranked opponent Stanford has faced - and defeated - since the 2007 edition of the Trojan squad (also ranked No. 2 in the AP poll) fell in Los Angeles to the Cardinal, 24-23.
The Cardinal defense held USC scoreless for the final 41 minutes of the game. USC's second-half offensive possessions resulted in four punts and two turnovers on downs (four of those six possessions were three-and-out series).
Stanford's defense held USC to 26 net yards rushing on 28 carries, the sixth straight game the Cardinal has allowed less than 100 yards rushing. Stanford's defense is limiting opponents to 41.3 yards rushing per game and 1.6 yards per carry, both of which rank first nationally.
Stanford's last home win against an opponent ranked second in the AP poll was Oct. 30, 1982, when the Cardinal defeated No. 2 Washington, 43-31.
Stanford held USC to 91 yards of total offense and five first downs in the second half.
Stanford's defense was the first to hold USC QB Matt Barkley without a touchdown pass since a Nov. 20, 2010, matchup against Oregon State.
Stanford recorded four quarterback sacks and 12 tackles for loss on the evening. USC gave up eight sacks total all of last season.
With the win, Stanford continued it streaks of five consecutive home wins, four consecutive wins over USC (2009-12), three consecutive wins over USC in Pac-12 home openers (2004, 2010 and 2012), five consecutive Pac-12 openers (2008-12), five consecutive Pac-12 home openers (2008-12) and 11 straight wins in the month of September (2008-12).
Stanford earned a 3-0 record to start the season for the third straight year. The last time the program registered a trio of consecutive 3-0 starts was 1970-72.
Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw joined Chuck Taylor (1951-52) as the only head coach in Stanford history to start his first two seasons 3-0.
Seven Stanford head coaches have now defeated USC in back-to-back seasons. Along with Shaw, two other head coaches downed USC in their first two seasons on The Farm, as Clarke Shaughnessy strung together back-to-back wins in 1940-41 and Claude "Tiny" Thornhill beat USC three times from 1933-35
The win marked the first time Stanford ever has defeated USC on four consecutive tries.
Stanford is 10-33-2 at home against the Trojans and has won three of seven matchups at Stanford Stadium since 2000 (five of 14 home contests against USC since 1990).
Stepfan Taylor broke loose for a 59-yard touchdown run, his 33rd career touchdown which tied him for fourth place on Stanford's all-time list. Taylor surpassed 3,000 career rushing yards on his 59-yard touchdown run. Of Taylor's 27 carries against USC, not one yielded negative yardage.
The 153-yard output by Taylor matched his second-highest career total set last season at Arizona (Sept. 17). Taylor rushed for a career-high 177 yards during last season's Fiesta Bowl.
The Cardinal denied all three of USC's third-down conversion attempts in the first quarter. Stanford held USC to just nine rushing yards in the first half, an average of 0.6 per carry.
The teams combined for four interceptions over a period of nine plays at the end of the half.
Stanford is 6-1 at home against ranked opponents (2-1 vs. top 10) since 2009, including wins over No. 2 USC (2012), No. 7 Oregon (2009), No. 13 Arizona (2010), No. 22 Washington (2011), No. 22 Notre Dame (2011) and No. 24 Washington (2009). The home loss to a ranked opponent since 2009 came at the hands of No. 6 Oregon (2011).
Josh Nunes was steady in his third career start by completing 15 of 32 passes for 215 yards. Nunes is 3-0 as a starter with 615 passing yards and six touchdowns against three interceptions. By comparison, Andrew Luck began his Stanford career with a 2-1 record through three games at 639 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Be the First To Know
"Inside Stanford Sports with David Shaw" returns to the airwaves this season on the Cardinal's flagship station KNBR 1050 AM. The one-hour show kicks off at 8:00 p.m. (PT) and will be broadcast live from Gordon Biersch Palo Alto (640 Emerson Street).
The radio show features Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football and head coach David Shaw and several standout Stanford players each month, hosted by current Cardinal radio analyst and former Rose Bowl quarterback Todd Husak. Mark your calendar for all five shows this fall: Monday, Aug. 27 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3 - 8:00 p.m.
Fans in attendance for the radio show at Gordon Biersch will enjoy 10 percent off their purchases and can receive Stanford merchandise prizes given away during commercial breaks. Fans in attendance this week can also win tickets to the Oct. 6 Arizona game, and one lucky fan will win a round-trip ticket on American Airlines.
Fans unable to make it to the Palo Alto live broadcast can tune their radio to 1050 AM in the Bay Area or visit KNBR.com and click the "1050 AM Listen Live" button.
Stanford's first three opponents in 2012 are undefeated and a combined 9-0 in the remainder of their games. San Jose State (3-1), Duke (3-1) and USC (3-1) have only lost to the Cardinal this season. In its most recent games, San Jose State defeated San Diego State, 38-34; Duke defeated Memphis, 38-14; and USC defeated Cal, 27-9.
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 versus San Jose State; Stanford plays at Washington this Thursday - Stanford's third Thursday night game in the last 15 years (`08 vs. Oregon State, `98 at Arizona State).
The Oct. 6 game versus Arizona is a part of Reunion Homecoming weekend on The Farm.
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.
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 versus 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.
Stanford's road schedule will also take the Cardinal to Notre Dame (Oct. 13), 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.
Stanford is ranked ninth in the USA Today Coaches' poll (Sept. 23).
The Cardinal is ranked 8th in the Associated Press Top 25 (Sept. 23), marking the 36th 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 started a new top-10 streak, currently at two weeks.
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.
Stanford has compiled a 34-8 (.810) record over the last four seasons, finishing 8-5 in 2009, 12-1 in 2010 and 11-2 last season. The Cardinal's 34 wins rank second only to Oregon's 38 among Pac-12 teams during this stretch, while its .810 winning percentage ties for sixth among all FBS teams.
Stanford is one of just six teams in the nation that has compiled 26 or more wins over the last three seasons along with LSU (28), Oregon (28), TCU (27), Alabama (26) and Boise State (26). The Cardinal's .897 winning percentage since 2010 is tied for fourth-best among FBS teams during that stretch.
The Cardinal has posted a 23-5 record in Pac-12 Conference play over the last three-plus seasons, which ranks second only to Oregon's 26-2 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 center Sam Schwartzstein, senior running back Stepfan Taylor and fifth-year senior outside linebacker 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 outside linebacker Alex Debniak (San Jose State), junior placekicker Jordan Williamson (Duke) and senior inside linebacker Jarek Lancaster (USC).
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. He ranks third on Stanford's all-time career rushing list with 3,108 yards, earlier this month against Duke passing Brad Muster (2,940). Taylor needs 414 yards to catch Toby Gerhart and 925 more to tie Darrin Nelson for first place. Taylor's 30 career rushing touchdowns are third all-time on The Farm, and he needs seven more to tie Tommy Vardell for second all-time.
Taylor's 3,108 yards career rushing currently ranks sixth among active rushers in the NCAA and his 588 career carries ranks fifth.
Taylor's 15 100-yard games rank third on Stanford's all-time career list behind only Toby Gerhart (20) and Darrin Nelson (16).
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 has an active string of 39 consecutive rushes without being stopped for a loss.
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.
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. Since 2009, Stanford has 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 two quarterback sacks through three games this season (0.67 average), best in the Pac-12 and tied for 12th 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 picking up speed in 2012, averaging 149.7 yards per game after most recently totaling 202 rushing yards against USC. The well-nicknamed "Tunnel Workers Union" has 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. 1 in the nation, allowing 41.3 yards per game and 1.61 yards per carry. The high individual rushing performance against the Cardinal defense to date is 37 net yards by USC's Curtis McNeal.
Stanford is one of only nine teams in FBS football to hold each of its opponent's this season to fewer than 20 points in games (San Jose State - 17, Duke - 13, USC - 14). The Cardinal's scoring defense (14.67) ranks 21st in the nation.
Opponents have scored a total of seven points against Stanford's defense in first quarters of games this season, while an opponent has yet to score against the Cardinal in a fourth quarter.
Stanford defenders have snared six interceptions this season, led by junior free safety Ed Reynolds (three) and sophomore strong safety Jordan Richards (two). The Cardinal totaled seven interceptions all of 2011.
Jordan Richards leads the nation in passes defended at 2.67 per game (six passes broken up and two interceptions).
The Cardinal defense has allowed only one passing score this season and has not allowed a passing touchdown in its last nine quarters (137:17 of game time) on the field.
The Stanford defense has been quick to get off the field in 2012, with 14 three-and-out possessions through three games. The Cardinal ranks 11th in the nation in third down defensive efficiency, allowing a conversion rate of only 25.0 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 third in the NCAA with an average of 9.67 tackles per loss (29 total) for the season. Fourteen different Cardinal players have recorded a tackle for loss in 2012. That breaks down to four defensive linemen (7.5 total TFLs), six linebackers (12.0 total TFLs) and four defensive backs (9.5 total TFLs).
Four Stanford defenders currently are ranked in the Pac-12's top-15 in tackles for loss: senior DE Ben Gardner has 1.67 TFLs/game (5.0 total), seventh-best in the conference; senior OLB Trent Murphy and senior NB Usua Amanam each have 1.5 TFLs/game (4.5 total), tied for ninth; fifth-year senior OLB Chase Thomas has 1.33 TFLs/game (4.0 total), tied for 14th.
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 TFLs and was honored as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.
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 16 receptions, 265 yards and two touchdowns in the opening three 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.
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 TD 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).
Stanford's special teams are getting started on the right foot, boasting the Pac-12's top punt return average of 22.3 yards led by senior Drew Terrell. The Cardinal's kickoff coverage team has also cast a tight web with a net of 46.7 yards per kickoff (1st in Pac-12).
Sophomore kickoff returner Ty Montgomery has been used in spots this season, returning four kicks for a 25.2-yard average. Montgomery brought the opening kickoff against USC back 64 yards.
Of Stanford's last 17 wins dating back to the 2010 season, 12 have been by 25 points or more, while its average margin of victory in its last 17 wins has been 24.3 points (413 total).
Stanford's last 34 victories dating back to the 2009 season have come by an average margin of 24.0 points (817 total), while its seven losses have come by a margin of 8.0 points (56 total).
The Cardinal is 11-9 in its last 20 games decided by a touchdown or less.
The Home Record
Stanford is 26-3 (.897) in its last 29 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 39.0 points a game (1,091 total) over its last 28 home games while allowing just 21.0 (588 total).
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.
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.
Ten true freshmen debuted against San Jose State, 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 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.
Fifteen 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, 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.
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 Hamilton Andrew 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).