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Football Prepares for Oregon
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 06/21/1999

Sept. 19, 1998

THE CARDINAL: Stanford concluded its season-opening three-game homestand with a 37-34 win over North Carolina last Saturday ... The win, Stanford's first of the year, gave the Cardinal a 1-2 overall record ... Saturday's game at Oregon marks the conference opener for the 3-0 Ducks and the second Pac-10 contest for Stanford, which lost its conference opener to Arizona 31-14 ... The Ducks, ranked 20th in the nation by AP and 21st by USA Today/ESPN, are averaging 46.3 points per game and are ranked fourth in the country in scoring offense and eighth in total offense ... Stanford, however, has beaten the Ducks six of the last seven meetings and have won three straight in Eugene.

WILD DUCKS: Stanford's recent series against Oregon has produced some of the most entertaining games over the past five years ... In the last five meetings between the Cardinal and Ducks (1993-97), one game produced a Stanford record for most points scored and most yards in total offense (1997), one game was decided in overtime (1996) and two games were decided by a touchdown or less (1993, '95) ... During those five games, the two teams have combined to averge 930 yards in total offense and 61 points per game ... Stanford, which has won four of those five games, has averaged 34.6 points and 460 yards of offense while the Ducks have scored 36.4 points and averaged 470 yards ...

Through the air, Oregon has gained 349 yards per game in the last five meetings with the Cardinal while Stanford has thrown for an average of 327 yards against the Ducks ... A year ago in a 59-48 Stanford win, the two teams combined to set Stanford records for most points scored (107) and most yards in total offense (1,108) ... In the '96 game, the Cardinal's Kevin Miller kicked a 25 yard field goal with 50 seconds remaining to tie the score, then he booted a 27-yard field goal in overtime to propel Stanford to a 27-24 victory ... The Cardinal upset 12th ranked Oregon 28-21 in the '95 game in Eugene to run its record to 3-0-1 ...

The Ducks handed Stanford a 55-21 loss at Stanford Stadium en route to the Rose Bowl in 1994 ... The '93 game in Eugene featured 793 yards through the air as Stanford won 38-34 ... Stanford has won the last three meetings with Oregon and six of the last seven.

TYRONE WILLINGHAM: Cardinal head coach Tyrone Willingham, the 1995 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, has compiled a 20-17-1 record in three-plus years on The Farm (1995-98) ... He has led the Cardinal to two bowl appearances and is only the third coach in school history to lead Stanford to a bowl game in his first two years on The Farm (the other two are Tiny Thornhill in 1933 and '34 and Bill Walsh in '77 and '78) ...

Willingham spent 17 years as an assistant coach on the college and professional levels - including three as Stanford's running backs coach under Denny Green from 1989-91 - before being named Stanford's head coach on Dec. 9, 1994.

STRONG SCHEDULE: Stanford's schedule was ranked prior to the season as the ninth toughest in college football ... The Cardinal's first three games have included 16th ranked Arizona and North Carolina, ranked in the preseason top-10 ... Still ahead are four games in the next six weeks against currently ranked teams ... The other two games are against Arizona State, a pre-season top-10 team, and Oregon State (2-1) ... In the next six weeks, Stanford will play at Oregon, ranked 20th by AP, at Notre Dame, ranked 23rd, at 3rd ranked UCLA and a home contest with 18th ranked USC.

YOUTH MOVEMENT: To say that the Cardinal is a youthful team lacking in game experience is an understatement ... Consider the facts: of the 92 players on Stanford's roster, 54 had never played in a game prior to the start of the '98 season and only five are seniors in their final year of eligibility ... Nine players (4 offense, 5 defense) made their starting debuts against San Jose State in the season opener and 18 others played in their first collegiate game ...

Making their first career starts against the Spartans were WR DeRonnie Pitts, QB Todd Husak, RB Coy Wire, FB Maxwell Stevenson, DE Sam Benner, NT Andrew Currie, DE Riall Johnson, FS Jamien McCullum and CB Ruben Carter ... Three of them - Wire, McCullum and Carter - made their debuts in a Cardinal uniform ... In the first three games of the 1998 campaign, 57 players have seen action for the Cardinal and 26 had never played for Stanford prior to this season.

THE WALTERS WATCH: Pre-season All-America FL Troy Walters missed last Saturday's game with North Carolina with a sprained ankle suffered in the Arizona game and is listed as uncertain for this week's game at Oregon ... Walters injured his ankle in the first quarter of the Arizona game on Sept. 12 after a 67-yard reception ... It is the first injury of Walters' career, both college and high school ... In less than two games this season, Walters has registered seven receptions for 138 yards (19.7 ypc) and one touchdown ... He moved into the top-10 all-time at Stanford with his 67 receiving yards against Arizona ...

He now has 1,788 career receiving yards, #10 on the all-time list ahead of Gene Washington's (1966-68) 1,785 yards ... Now in his second season as Stanford's starting flanker, Walters is also Stanford's return man on punts and kickoffs ...He had an 86-reception, 1,206-yard season in '97and began the '98 campaign as a pre-season First-Team All-America receiver and a First-Team All-America return specialist ... One publication called him the "second most exciting player in college football" ...

He is a candidate for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver and a consensus pre-season First-Team All-Pac-10 selection ... In the season opener vs. San Jose State, Walters had six receptions for 71 yards, including a 28-yard TD pass from Husak,and three kickoff returns for 71 yards ... Walters will be among the school's all-time top-10 receivers in receptions, receiving yardage and touchdown receptions by the end of the '98 campaign ...

He is two TDs and 15 receptions shy of the all-time top-10 ... Walters, the son of Minnesota Vikings assistant coach Trent Walters, has two years of eligibility remaining (1998, 1999) and could contend for every Cardinal receiving record by the time he leaves The Farm.

NOTING HUSAK: After three games as Stanford's starting quarterback, junior Todd Husak currently ranks 10th in the nation in passing, averaging 295 yards per game ... Last Saturday against North Carolina, Husak threw for a career-high 313 yards on 23-for-38 ... In the first half, Husak completed 16-of-24 for 227 yards and one TD ... Husak placed his name in the Cardinal record book by throwing 54 passes - the sixth highest single game total in school history - and the most under head coach Tyrone Willingham, in his debut as the starter in the season opener vs. San Joe State ...

He completed 29-of-54 for 298 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions against the Spartans ...He came back the following week agaainst Arizona to complete 18-of-41 for 274 yards and two touchdowns ... He has thrown 133 passes in the first three games - an average of 44 passes per game ...

Prior to this season, Husak had thrown 117 passes in two years ... His previous highs occurred in last year's game at USC, when he replaced Hutchinson in the second half and completed 18-of-36 for 266 yards and two touchdowns ... Husak was not officially named the Cardinal's starter until September 1, just four days before the season opener ...

His 298 yards passing in his starting debut was better than the debuts of the top eight passers in Stanford history, including John Elway in 1980 and Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett in 1968 ... Plunkett threw for 277 yards in his debut against San Jose State as he led Stanford to a 68-20 win ... Elway started his first game at Oregon and threw for 250 yards and two TDs in a 35-25 win ... Husak's 29 completions and 54 attempts in his first start is also tops among the top eight QBs in Cardinal history ... Also, only Plunkett's four TD effort in '68 is better than the three TDs Husak threw in his debut against San Jose State ...

Husak's father, Dr. Bill Husak, is the athletic director at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

WIRE'S WAY: Sophomore running back Coy Wire is proving to be one of Stanford's most versatile offensive weapons ... Wire, who redshirted last season as a freshman, is coming off his best performance to date ... Against the Tar Heels, the Camp Hill, PA. native carried the ball 24 times for 77 yards and one touchdown, caught five passes for 39 yards and returned two kickoffs for another 42 yards ... He also threw a 26-yard scoring pass to WR DeRonnie Pitts on a halfback option play ...

Wire had 158 all-purpose yards and his 24 carries were the most for a Cardinal running back in nine games (Mike Mitchell had 29 carries last season vs. Notre Dame ... Wire had 13 carries and one reception in the season opener vs. San Jose State, but saw limited playing time in week two vs. Arizona due to an injury.

ALLEN'S RETURN: Fifth-year senior FL Jeff Allen returned to the lineup on Saturday after missing the first two games of the year due to a back injury ... With Troy Walters sidelined with an injury, Allen was called on to make his first career start against North Carolina ... And he did not dissapoint ...

Allen recorded career bests with five receptions for 111 yards, including his first career touchdown, that coming on a nine-yard pass from Todd Husak ... Allen had just two receptions for 43 yards in his career prior to the North Carolina game ... Allen competed on the Cardinal track team for four years (1995-98) ... He was the Pac-10 runnerup in the 400m hurdles in 1997.

BACKUP QB'S: Perhaps the most publicized competition during fall practice occurred at the quarterback spot where two-year backup Todd Husak battled a pair of talented second-year sophomores in Randy Fasani and Joe Borchard ... While Husak kept his spot as the starter, both Fasani and Borchard are listed on the depth chart as number-two ... Both have played this season and both contributed to Stanford's 37-34 win over North Carolina ...

Borchard, a freshman All-America baseball player for Stanford last season and a potential first round draft pick, entered the game with less than 40 seconds left after Husak got his bell rung and was forced to leave the game ... Stanford was in a second-and-14 situation on UNC's 45-yard line in a 34-34 tie ... Borchard promptly scrambled 41 yards to the North Carolina four-yard line to set up the game winning field goal ... Fasani, who has been designated Stanford's goal-line QB, came in on two series vs. UNC which led to 10 Cardinal points.

DAVIS EMERGES: Sophomore WR Dave Davis, who redshirted as a freshman a year ago, has emerged as one of the top young receivers in the Pac-10 ... He has 18 receptions for a team-high 295 yards and three touchdowns ... He ranks 23rd nationally and fourth in the conference in receiving yards per game at 98.3 and fourth in the league with 6.0 receptions per game ...

He has recorded back-to-back 100-yard receiving games and in the absence of Troy Walters, Davis has been able to give the Cardinal a big-play threat ... He recorded six catches for 108 yards against North Carolina, which followed an eight-catch, 127-yard, two TD performance the week before vs. Arizona ... Davis, from Syracuse, New York, has caught scoring passes of 24-yards (vs. San Jose State), 12 and 42 (both vs. Arizona).

MILLER TIME: Senior P/PK Kevin Miller hit his second game-winning field goal of his career last Saturday when he connected on a 20-yarder with no time remaining in Stanford's 37-34 win over UNC ... Miller , one of only five, fifth-year seniors on the team, is four-for-five in field goals this season and eight-of-eight on PATs ... He is also averaging 40.9 yards per punt ... Miller made just five field goals all of last season ... Saturday's three field goal performance was the first of his career.

STANFORD-OREGON STAT COMPARISON (NCAA rank)

                                 Stanford             Oregon
    Rushing Offense              97.3 (91)        224.7 (21)
    Passing Offense              308.0 (9)        278.0 (15)
    Total Offense               405.3 (31)         502.7 (8)
    Scoring Offense              24.7 (58)          46.3 (4)
    Rushing Defense             165.0 (68)        177.0 (80)
    Pass Eff. Defense   165.4 rating (109)  95.8 rating (21)
    Total Defense               427.7 (96)        336.7 (60)
    Scoring Defense              33.3 (94)         14.3 (22)
RIALL IS FOR REAL: Junior DE Riall Johnson is proving to be one of the top young defensive lineman in the Pac-10 ... A reserve last season behind All-America Kailee Wong, Johnson has stepped into a starting role and been a force on the defensive line in the first two games ... He is fourth on the team with 13 tackles and the team-leader in quarterback sacks (3-20) and tackles-for-loss (6-25) ... He is also among the conference leaders in sacks and tackles-for-loss ...

Johnson, from Lynnwood, Washington, had 11 tackles, three tackles-for-loss and one sack all of last year playing behind Wong ... A redshirt in 1996, Johnson has two years of eligibility remaining after the '98 campaign ... He began the '98 season by registering four tackles-for-loss, two sacks and seven total tackles in the season opener vs. San Jose State ... He came back in game two vs. Arizona to record six tackles, two tackles-for-loss and one sack.

HOWARD A FORCE UP FRONT: In just two games, junior defensive tackle Willie Howard has almost equalled his statistical numbers from all of last season ... The two-year starter had two quarterback sacks and two tackles-for-loss in all of '97, but already has five tackles-for-loss (19 yards) and two-and-a-half sacks (13 yards) in '98 ... The lone returning starter on the defensive line also has 11 tackles, seven of them unassisted ... Howard, who has started all 13 games in which he has played after redshirting the '96 season, came to Stanford from nearby Los Altos High School and Mountain View, California. PITTS STEPS UP: Junior wide receiver DeRonnie Pitts already has 12 receptions in the first two weeks of the '98 season, nearly matching his '97 season total of 14 ... The Saginaw, Michigan native had seven catches for 70 yards and a touchdown against San Jose State, and added five catches for 33 yards against Arizona ... Pitts played in eight games last season, primarily in three- and four-receiver sets, and had 13 receptions for 195 yards and one touchdown in eight games.

FRESHMAN IMPACT: Prior to this season, only two true freshman had seen playing time in Tyrone Willingham's three seasons at Stanford ... Those two included QB Todd Husak in 1996, who was forced to play due to injuries, and RB Juan-Carlos Lacey, who played just one game in '96 and was able to receive a redshirt year ... In 1998, however, five freshmen have seen action in the first two games, three in the season opener vs. San Jose State and two more in game two vs. Arizona ... WR Ryan Fernandez, OT Eric Heitmann and RB Brian Allen have played in both games ... Two true freshmen saw their first game action last week against the Wildcats: S Tank Williams and CB Brian Taylor.

Pac-10 Standings

                   Pac-10  Overall
Arizona              1-0     3-0
Washington           1-0     2-0
Oregon               0-0     3-0
USC                  1-0     3-0
Washington State     0-0     3-0
UCLA                 0-0     2-0
California           0-0     2-1
Oregon State         0-1     2-1
Stanford             0-1     1-2
Arizona State        0-1     1-2

Media Services

Weekly Luncheon The Stanford Media Relations Office hosts a weekly football luncheon featuring head coach Tyrone Willingham and various players every Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in the ABC Conference Rooms of the Arrillaga Family Sports Center ... A teleconference with the opposing head coach will also take place.

Practices All practices are open to the media and fans unless otherwise noted ... Media credentials for field access are required and can be obtained by contacting the Media Relations Office ... Players and coaches will be available to the media for approximately 15 minutes following each practice.

On-Line All information and press releases on Stanford football can be found on the Cardinal website at gostanford.com ... Player bios, historical data, opponent information and all records can be found at gostanford.com ... Also, all Stanford football games are broadcast live on the internet ... The broadcasts can be accessed through the Stanford home page at gostanford.com or at broadcast.com.

Stanford Football '98 Fox Sports Bay Area will televise Stanford Football '98 each Sunday at 4:00 pm ... Each show will include comments and analysis from Cardinal head coach Tyrone Willingham as well as player features and interviews ... Brian Webber will host the show.

Satellite Feed The Pacific-10 Conference weekly satellite feed will begin on Wednesday, September 9 and run through November 25 ... Satellite feeds are held each Wednesday from 11:00-11:30 am (pst) on Telstar 4, Transponder 20 (C-Band).

THE OPPONENT

About Oregon
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Enrollment: 17,500
Nickname: Ducks
Colors: Emerald Green and Lemon Yellow
Stadium: Autzen Stadium (41,698)
President: Dave Frohnmayer
Athletic Director: Bill Moos
Head Coach: Mike Bellotti
Record at Oregon: 25-13 (4th season)
Overall Record: 48-38-2 (9th season)
1998 record: 3-0
1997 record: 7-5

Noting the Ducks

Oregon is coming off a 58-3 home win against San Jose State on Saturday ... The Ducks rushed for 210 yards and threw for 231 ... QB Akili Smith went eight-of-11 for 220 yards and three TDs ... The Ducks return 15 starters and 45 letterwinners from last year's 7-5 squad that beat Air Force 41-13 in the Las Vegas Bowl ... The win over Air Force snapped a four-game bowl losing streak dating back to 1990 ... The Ducks are shooting for their fourth straight bowl appearance in '98 ('97 Las Vegas Bowl, '96 Cotton Bowl, '95 Rose Bowl) ...

Oregon is led offensive by its two-man quarterback rotation of seniors Jason Maas and Akili Smith ... Maas threw for 1631 yards and 18 touchdowns in '97, while Smith threw for 1385 yards and 13 scores ... The defense is led by '97 Second Team All-Pac-10 selection Peter Sirmon (ILB) who had 115 tackles and 4.5 sacks as just a sophomore last season ...After hosting Stanford, Oregon plays three of its next four away from Autzen Stadium.

Head Coach Mike Bellotti

In the last nine years, the Ducks have gone to six bowl games under Bellotti's influence ... Oregon went to three bowl games in Bellotti's six years as offensive coordinator (1989-94), and three more in the three years (1995-97) since he took ovr for Rich Brooks as the Ducks' head coach ... Before Oregon, Bellotti spent five seasons as the head at Chico State (1984-88) ... He also served as an assistant coach at both Cal State Hayward and UC Davis.

Series History

Stanford has won six of the last seven meetings, and leads the all-time series 42-20-1 ... The Cardinal has also won the last three meetings at Autzen Stadium since 1991 ... The Cardinal has scored 114 points in its last three meetings with the Ducks, all victories.

The Last Time

The Cardinal and Ducks combined for 107 points and 1108 total yards, with Stanford pulling out a 58-49 win on September 27 at Stanford Stadium ... Chad Hutchinson threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns (21-for-31), while Troy Walers caught 13 of those balls for 169 yards and two scored ... The Cardinal raced out to a 35-14 lead with 4:02 left in the first half, and led the rest of the way.


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