Aug. 27, 2006
2006 STANFORD FOOTBALL
Game #1 - Stanford (0-0) at No. 20/21 Oregon (0-0)
September 2, Autzen Stadium
Eugene, OR., 12:30 pm, ABC
Date: September 2, 2006
Kickoff: 12:30 pm
Site: Eugene, OR
Television: Live, ABC (Dan Fouts, Tim Brant, Jack Arute)
Radio: KNBR, 1050 am (Tim Roye, Bob Murphy)
Campus Radio: KZSU, 90.1 fm
Internet: www.gostanford.com (live audio, live stats)
The Series: Stanford leads 43-25-1
Last Meeting: Oregon 44, Stanford 20 (10/1/05) at Stanford
Series Notes Oregon has won the last four meetings
Stanford Opens 2006 Season With Pac-10 Contest at Oregon
The Cardinal kicks off the 2006 season with a Pac-10 contest in Eugene against Oregon ... Stanford is coming off a 5-6 season while the Ducks are coming off a 10-2 campaign in 2005 ... Oregon enters the season with a preseason ranking of No. 20 in the USA Today/Coaches' Poll and No. 21 in the AP poll ... The Cardinal, which finished tied for fourth in the conference a year ago with a 4-4 record, return 16 starters, including 10 on offense ... Stanford opens the 2006 campaign with two road games (Oregon, San Jose State) before returning home for the Grand Opening of the New Stanford Stadium on September 16 vs. Navy.
For Openers: Cardinal Has Won Its Last Three Openers; Five of Last Six
Stanford has won its last three season openers and five of its last six dating back to the 2000 campaign ... Last year, in Walt Harris' debut as the Cardinal head coach, Stanford beat Navy 41-38 in Annapolis ... Stanford scored opening day victories in 2003 and 2004 over San Jose State (31-10 and 43-3) ... The Cardinal lost at Boston College to open the '02 season (34-27), but won their first game of the 2001 (38-22 at home vs. Boston College) and 2000 seasons (24-10 at Washington State) ... That 2000 game at WSU marked the last time Stanford has opened the season with a Pac-10 game on the road.
Series Notes: Cardinal Leads Overall Series, Oregon Has Won Last Four
Stanford holds a 43-25-1 lead in the all-time series with the Ducks, but Oregon has won the last four meetings with the Cardinal, including the last three played in Eugene ... The last two games between Stanford and Oregon have been played at Stanford Stadium with Oregon coming out on top both times ... Last year, the Ducks won 44-20 in the Pac-10 opener for both schools ... Oregon gained 595 yards in total offense and outscored the Cardinal 31-3 in the second and third quarters to secure the win ... The last two games in Autzen Stadium have been one-sided wins by the Ducks: 41-14 in 2002 and 35-0 in '03 ... Stanford's last win in Eugene came in 2001 when the Cardinal beat the No. 5 Ducks 49-42 to end Oregon's 23-game winning streak in Autzen Stadium ... Stanford came back from a 42-28 deficit and scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter on the strength of a blocked punt, an onsides kick and an interception.
Head Coach Walt Harris Begins Second Season at Stanford
Now in his second season at Stanford, Walt Harris took over a Cardinal team that finished eighth in the Pac-10 with a 2-6 record in 2004 and, a year later, had his team 4-4 in the conference and in fourth place ... Harris led the Cardinal of a 5-6 overall record and was one win shy of having his team in position for a post-season bowl game ... In eight seasons at Pitt (1997-2004) prior to coming to Stanford, Harris turned the Panthers into a perennial bowl contender and among the top programs in the country ... He led Pitt to six bowl games in eight seasons, including the last five, and a first-ever BCS bowl (Fiesta) following the 2004 campaign ... He was named Stanford's head coach on December 13, 2004 ... Harris, a Bay Area native, has coached for over 30 years, including 12 as a head coach ... He was 52-44 at Pitt and is 68-74 in his career as a head coach, which includes three years at UOP (1989-91), where the Tigers improved each season under Harris ... Harris has coached at Ohio State, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan State and Cal along with a three-year stint with the New York Jets ... In the last five seasons at Pitt, Harris' teams went 39-23, won at least seven games each year and advanced to a bowl game each season.
Five Game Captains Named For Season Opener at Oregon
Stanford has named five game captains for its season opener at Oregon ... They include senior quarterback Trent Edwards and senior wide receiver Mark Bradford on offense, senior Nick Frank on special teams, and seniors Trevor Hooper and Brandon Harrison on defense.
2005 Season Rewind; Cardinal Just Shy of Bowl Eligibility
A look back at Stanford's 2005 season would reveal a Cardinal team that finished 5-6 overall and narrowly missed advancing to a bowl game for the first time since the '01 campaign ... Stanford began the year with an impressive road win at Navy, then after two consecutive losses, reeled off three straight Pac-10 wins for the first time since 1999 ... The Cardinal, which fell one victory shy of advancing to a bowl game, suffered three losses in the final minute of play ... Stanford led eighth-ranked UCLA and sixth-ranked Notre Dame late in each game before losing to the Bruins in overtime and to the Irish with less than a minute to play.
The New Stanford Stadium To Open September 16 Against Navy
Moments after Stanford's season finale last season against Notre Dame on November 26, work began on the New Stanford Stadium ... Built in 1921, Stanford Stadium, with a seating capacity of 85,500, was the largest privately owned stadium in the country ... After nearly 10 months of a rigorous construction schedule that saw crews work, two, eight-hour shifts per day, the New Stanford Stadium will be unveiled at the Cardinal's 2006 home opener vs. Navy on September 16 ... The Stadium will have a seating capacity of approximately 50,000 and the improved sight lines will bring fans 70-100 feet closer to the field of action ... The $90 million project will include new amenities throughout the Stadium, a new natural turf field, improved sound and video systems, removal of the track and fencing around the playing field and more comfortable seating ... A week of festivities are planned leading up to the September 16 Grand Opening.
Moore-Bradford Give Cardinal One of Best Receiver Duos in Pac-10
In senior Mark Bradford and junior Evan Moore, Stanford enters the 2006 season with two of the finest wide receivers in the Pac-10 ... Bradford has started 28 of 33 games for Stanford the past three seasons while Moore had his 2005 season cut short due to injury, but his 2004 campaign gave notice that at 6-7, he is one of the most dangerous receivers in the conference ... Bradford has caught 108 passes in his career for 1,678 yards and (15.5 ypc) and 10 TDs and is the team's most experienced receiver ... He has a chance to finish his career among the school's all-time top-10 receivers ... Moore, who played basketball at Stanford for parts of two seasons, entered the 2005 campaign as one of the league's top young receivers, but in the season opener at Navy on September 10, he suffered a season-ending hip injury ... He has caught 50 balls in his career for 832 yards (16.6 ypc) and eight touchdowns
A Year Later, Kimble, Frank More Experienced Running Backs
A year ago at this time, Stanford's starting backfield consisted of a running back and fullback who were both making their starting debuts after having been converted from another position during the spring ... The backup running back had played a reserve role for two years and two career carries prior to the 2005 season ... Now, entering the 2006 campaign, those same three backs have a full season under their belts, a full season with Walt Harris and his offense and a year's worth of experience which should bode well for the upcoming season ... Anthony Kimble, Jason Evans and Nick Frank have grown up over the last year and will be looked upon in 2006 to show marked improvement and spearhead the Cardinal's rushing attack ... Evans wound up leading the team in rushing last year with 248 yards and one TD while Kimble was next with 244 yards and two TDs ... Frank started all 11 games at fullback in 2005, but should play a more prominent role in 2006 ... "We are way ahead of where we were last year at this time," says Harris. "We've got experienced players and coaches in our system, which should make us more effective."
Experienced Offensive Line Holds Key to Cardinal Success in 2006
One of the keys to the 2006 Cardinal is the play of its offensive line ... And there's every reason to believe Stanford will show marked improvement from a year ago ... Not only does the Cardinal return its entire starting offensive line from a year ago, but Stanford has experience well beyond the starting five ... The Cardinal has eight players on its roster who have spent time in the starting lineup and 11 returning letterman, which includes three, three-year letter-winners and three, two-year letter-winners ... Stanford's offensive linemen have started a total of 122 games the past three years and four of the returnees have started more than 20 games ... Last year's starters, with career games started, include junior Allen Smith at left tackle (7), senior Josiah Vinson at left guard (23), senior Tim Mattran at center (6), junior Alex Fletcher at right guard (11) and fifth-year seniors Jeff Edwards (26) and Jon Cochran (20) at left tackle.
Secondary Shakeup Includes Harrison's Move to Cornerback
While the Cardinal returns three starters in the secondary from last year's team, the starting foursome in Saturday's game at Oregon will have a different look than what many would expect ... The major change is the move of two-year starting safety Brandon Harrison to cornerback, allowing fifth-year senior David Lofton to move into the starting lineup at one safety spot ... Harrison, a three-year letter-winner, has started all 22 games the past two years at strong safety for the Cardinal ... During fall camp, however, the 6-2, 215-pound senior was moved to cornerback, where he earned the starting spot ... Lofton, a 6-4, 220-pound senior and the son of NFL Hall of Famer and former Stanford star, James Lofton, was a part-time starter last year at free safety ... He will move into one starting safety spot alongside senior Trevor Hooper, who was the team's starting free safety last year ... At the other cornerback spot, returning starter Nick Sanchez is battling senior Tim Sims for the starting nod.
Young Defensive Line Must Grow Up Quickly
Two of Stanford's top defensive players a year ago were NT Babatunde Oshinowo and DE Julian Jenkins, both of whom are now playing in the NFL ... The Cardinal must replace those two, four-year letter-winners with a group of defensive lineman that includes six players who are yet to play a down in college football ... A look at the Cardinal's three-deep at their three down line positions includes one senior (two career starts), two juniors (nine starts between them), four sophomores who all redshirted last season, and two true freshmen ... The starting trio includes senior Chris Horn and junior Pannel Egboh at the end positions and sophomore Ekom Udofia at nose tackle ... Horn has played in 10 games in his Cardinal career, starting two, while Egboh was very impressive early in the 2005 campaign, but suffered a broken leg in game four - his only career start - and was lost for the season ... At the nose tackle spot, the depth chart reads Udofia, a redshirt last season, true freshman Sione Fua, and James McGillicuddy, another sophomore who redshirted his true freshman season in 2005 ... Sophomores Matt Kopa and Tom McAndrew are impressive young players, but have yet to play a down for the Cardinal ... Behind Egboh are Gustav Rydstedt, the most experience lineman on the team who started eight games last season, and true freshman Levirt Griffin.
#4 - Mark Bradford, WR, 6-2, 210, JR., 3V
Has been a key component in Stanford's offense the past three years ... Has started 28 of Stanford's 33 games from 2003-05 and caught 108 passes for 1,678 yards (15.5 ypc) and 10 touchdowns ... Has a chance to move into the school's all-time Top 10 lists in every receiving category ... Became the most prolific true freshman receiver in school history after catching 37 passes for 587 yards and three touchdowns in 2003... Followed that up in 2004 by grabbing 34 balls for 482 yards and a touchdown as a sophomore ... Has earned 2006 Second-Team Preseason All-Pac-10 honors from Steele's.
#5 - Trent Edwards, QB, 6-4, 220, SR., 4V
Fifth-year senior ... The unquestioned leader of the Cardinal offense and one of the top players in the Pac-10 Conference ... Has placed his name in the Cardinal record book among the great quarterbacks in Stanford history, completing 393-of-709 passes for 4,402 yards and 30 touchdowns heading into the 2006 campaign ... Begins his final season on The Farm No. 8 all-time in passing yards, pass attempts, pass completions and total offense (4,564 yards), as well as ninth in career touchdown passes ... Has played in 28 games and started 24 for the Cardinal the past three years ... Came to Stanford as one of the nation's most highly sought-after prep quarterbacks from nearby Los Gatos High School ... Named to The Sporting News' 2006 Pre-Season All-Pac-10 First-Team as well as Second-Team by both Athlon's and Steele's.
#39 - Nick Frank, FB, 6-2, 250, SR., 3V
Played on the Cardinal's defensive line in 2003 and 2004, but was converted to fullback in 2005, where he wound up earning the starting assignment ... Has played in 32 of Stanford's 33 games the past three years, 21 as a defensive lineman and 11 as a fullback ... Now in his final season of eligibility at Stanford ... Has the ability to become one of the best fullbacks in the Pac-10 and was rated by Steele's as the No. 25 fullback in the country prior to the season.
#23 - Brandon Harrison, S/CB, 6-2, 215, SR., 3V
A two-year starter and three-year letterwinner who enters the 2006 season as the team's most experienced defensive back ... Expected to see action at both cornerback and safety after spending each of his first three seasons as safety ... Has started the past 22 games at strong safety and played in 32 of 33 in his career ... Stanford's active career leader with four career interceptions and 118 tackles.
#24 - Trevor Hooper, S, 6-1, 205, SR., 4V
Has started 17 games for the Cardinal in his career and is a likely starter at safety in 2006 ... Was in the starting lineup in 2003 as a sophomore at strong safety (11 games), then again as a junior at free safety (six games) ... Has one year of eligibility remaining.
#26 - Anthony Kimble, RB, 6-1, 200, JR., 2V
Begins his second season as a running back after he was converted to the position in the spring of 2005 ... Started the first six games of the 2005 season at running back and became a key component to the Cardinal's offense, rushing for 244 yards and two touchdowns on 66 carries for a 3.7 yard average ... Will compete for the starting running back spot in 2006 ... Came to Stanford as one of the nation's highly sought-after prep receivers ... Has three years of eligibility remaining.
#8 - Evan Moore, WR, 6-7, 235, SR., 3V
Returns to action in 2006 after missing nearly all of last season with a dislocated hip he suffered in the first game of the year at Navy ... Expected to be a huge factor in the success of the 2006 Cardinal ... Earned All-Pac-10 recognition in 2004 ... Has career totals of 50 receptions for 832 yards and a 16.6 average with eight touchdowns ... Great size (6-7, 235) and athleticism, and a tremendous athlete who has the potential to be one of the team's most dangerous offensive players in 2006 ... Has two years of eligibility remaining.
Stanford will play a 12-game regular season schedule for the first time in school history ... During the 2002 and 2003 seasons, when most of Division I teams in college football played 12 regular season games, the Cardinal played 11.
Stanford will once again play one of the toughest schedules in the nation in 2006 ... The Cardinal, which played the second toughest in the schedule last year according to the NCAA, will play seven bowl teams this season ... Five of Stanford's opponents in '06 have appeared in a pre-season national top-25 poll, including three (USC, Cal, Notre Dame) who received top-10 recognition.
Defensive coordinator A.J. Christoff is back on The Farm for his third tour of duty ... Christoff was the Cardinal's defensive coordinator in 1983 under Paul Wiggin and in 2003-04 under Buddy Teevens ... Christoff was the secondary coach of the 49ers in 2005.
Christoff also spent six seasons in Eugene (1977-82) on the Oregon coaching staff ... He coached outside linebackers in 1977-78 and was the Duck's defensive coordinator from 1979-82.
The Cardinal has five new coaches on this year's coaching staff ... Four of Stanford's coaches from last year's team moved on to the NFL ... New coaches for the Cardinal include defensive coordinator A.J. Christoff, outside linebackers/special teams coach Jeff Hammerschimdt, recruiting coordinator /specialists coach Nate Nelson, running backs coach Buzz Preston and offensive line coach Doug Sams ... Christoff, Preston and Nelson had all previously coached at Stanford.
Phil Steele's also ranked Stanford's quarterback unit No. 14 in the country.
Stanford had over 50 players reach a 3.0 gpa or better following the spring '06 quarter ... The Cardinal led the Pac-10 last year with 15 players named to the conference's All-Academic Team.
The Cardinal enters the 2006 campaign with quality depth at the tight end position ... Returning starter Matt Traverso is a fifth-year senior from Sacramento who has proven to be a valuable member of the Cardinal offense ... He is on the Mackey Award "Watch List" as one of the nation's top tight ends ... Traverso has 21 catches in his career for 255 yards and two TDs ...Sophomores Jim Dray (Paramus, New Jersey) and Eric Lorig (Rolling Hills, Calif.) both redshirted the 2005 season as true freshmen, but are both talented young players who will see action this season, as will senior Patrick Danahy (Sarasota, Florida), a three-year letter-winner who has caught 10 passes in his Cardinal career for three TDs.
Stanford has won the past 12 Directors' Cup, given to the nation's top overall athletic department ... During the 2005-06 seson, the Cardinal had 13 teams finish in the top-5 nationally, 20 in the top-10 and 24 in the top-25 ... Stanford has won 104 national collegiate championships and is second all-time with 92 NCAA championships, including an NCAA best 35 women's titles.
Junior PK Aaron Zagory has won the starting placekicking duties for the Cardinal after battling senior Derek Belch (PK) during fall camp ... Zagory, a walk-on from Yellow Springs, Ohio, has been a member of the Cardinal football program for two seasons, but has yet to see any game action ... Zagory was a three-sport star in high school (football, soccer, swimming), class President and Valedictorian.
Senior PK Derrick Belch is another walk-on kicker that is expected to play a role for the Cardinal this season by taking the team's kickoff duties ... Belch, a third-year player who has yet to see any collegiate game action, was a two-time All-San Diego North County selection and Palomar League Kicker of the Year during his prep career at Torrey Pines HS in San Diego.
Senior OG Jon Cochran is slated to change positions on the offensive line this season ... The fifth-year Cardinal has 20 starts in his career at tackle but has earned the starting spot at right guard in 2006 ... He had previously moved from one tackle to the other, starting 11 games at left tackle in 2004 and then seven at right tackle last season.
Junior DE Pannel Egboh is expected to return to action as a starter after suffering a broken leg last year in a game at Washington State ... Egboh was impressive in his first four collegiate contests last year, collecting 15 tackles with 2.5 tackles-for-loss and a sack.
Stanford has four former walk-ons who are on the depth chart at their respective positions and expected to make significant contributions in 2006 in junior PK Derrick Belch, senior LB Peter Griffin, junior WR Kelton Lynn and junior PK Aaron Zagory.
Stanford's roster is represented by player from three countries (U.S., Canada, Sweden) and 26 states, including 33 from California.
Five true freshmen show up on the 2006 preseason depth chart in LB Brian Bulcke, NT Sione Fua, RB Toby Gerhart, LB Nick Macaluso and WR Richard Sherman ... Last year, the scenario was much different for true freshmen when none saw any action on the field.
Stanford has three players expected to make their starting debuts on defense in sophomore LB Clinton Synder, sophomore NT Ekom Udofia and junior LB Pat Maynor ... Senior CB Tim Sims may also receive his first career start ... Snyder and Udofia both redshirted the 2005 season as true freshman.
Sophomores who redshirted in 2005 but are expected to take on a prominent role in 2006 include Fred Campbell (LB), Jim Dray (TE), Matt Kopa (DE), Bo McNally (S), Will Powers (LB), Clinton Synder (LB) and Ekom Udofia (NT).
The brother duo of sophomore Ekom and senior Udeme Udofia will be the first set brothers to start in the same game at Stanford since Dave and Mike Wyman in 1983 ... Ekom is expected to take the opening snap at nose tackle, while Udeme will hold down a linebacker spot.
Senior LB Michael Okwo -- one of Stanford's top defensive player heading into the 2006 campaign -- suffered a broken thumb during preseason camp ... Okwo is out for the season-opener at Oregon but expected back for the San Jose State game
Sophomore LB Clinton Synder was one of the most impressive players during training camp ... Snyder redshirted in 2005 but is expected to be a key player on defense for the Cardinal in 2006 ... He was a Second-Team All-State choice and the San Diego County Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2004 at Monte Vista High School.
Sophomore NT Ekom Udofia is expected to make his much-anticipated collegiate debut at Oregon with the charge of replacing the graduated Babatunde Oshinowo in the middle of Stanford's defensive line ... Udofia came to Stanford as a high school All-American and SuperPrep's top recruit from Arizona but has not played in a game since his prep career was cut short with a season-ending injury his senior campaign.
Phil Steele's College Football Magazine had three Cardinal offensive guards among the best in the nation with junior Alex Fletcher (#17) leading the way, followed by seniors Josiah Vinson (#57) and Ismail Simpson (#58).
Junior P Jay Ottovegio has received 2006 First-Team Preseason All-Pac-10 recognition by Steele's and has a chance to become the first Cardinal punter to earn First-Team All-Conference honors since Ken Naber in 1979 ... Ottovegio, who was also named the No. 9 punter in the country on Steele's list, has averaged 41.0 yards per punt in his first two seasons as the Cardinal starter.
Junior Alex Fletcher (C/OG), also a 2006 First-Team Preseason selection of Steele's, could be in the starting lineup at center vs. Oregon if incumbent starter Tim Mattran is unable to play ... Fletcher started three games at center last year while Mattran was injured and the other eight at right guard, earning honorable mention Freshman All-American and First-Team Freshman All-Pac-10 honors by The Sporting News.
Stanford's linebacker corps includes three players with significant game experience (Udeme Udofia, Mike Silva and Michael Okwo), three sophomores who redshirted last season (Clinton Snyder, Will Powers, Fred Campbell), two true freshmen (Brian Bulcke, Nick Macaluso) and a former walk-on (Peter Griffin).