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Stanford Prepares for San Jose State
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 06/21/1999

August 28, 1998

Saturday, September 5, 1998
12:30 pm (pst)
Stanford Stadium (85,500)
Stanford, CA

THE CARDINAL: Stanford and San Jose State open the 1998 season at Stanford Stadium on September 5 ... It marks the 17th season in which the Cardinal and Spartans have played each other on opening day and the third in the last four years ... Stanford is coming off a 5-6 season while the Spartans finished the '97 campaign 4-7, including wins in their last two games ... The Cardinal has won the last six meetings with San Jose State and are 3-0 against the Spartans under Tyrone Willingham ... Stanford remains at home the following two Saturdays with games against Arizona (Sept. 12) and North Carolina (Sept. 19).

GAME THEME: Saturday is "Kids Day" at Stanford Stadium with all kids 14 and under admitted free ... Their parents will pay only $5.00 for a general admission seat ... NIKE t-shirt wil be given to the first 2,500 kids and all kids will receive a rally pom pom ... Every fan in attendance will receive a "Beat San Jose State" card ... A Kids Fan Festival will take place prior to the game on Angell Field.

YOUNG AND RESTLESS: 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 have never played in a game and only five are seniors in their final year of eligibility ... Only five players have been in the starting lineup for more than one season and only two - P/PK Kevin Miller and C Mike McLaughlin - have started every game the past two years ... "There are a number of young players who have not had the opportunity to show what they can do in a game situation," said Cardinal head coach Tyrone Willingham, "This year, they will get their chance."

TYRONE WILLINGHAM: Cardinal head coach Tyrone Willingham, the 1995 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, has compiled a 19-15-1 record after three years at the helm ... 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.

PRE-SEASON HONORS: Record-breaking receiver and punt returner Troy Walters garnered most of Stanford's pre-season honors as he was named First-Team All-America by Street & Smith's and Second-Team All-America by College Sports News, Lindy's and The Sporting News ... Others receiving pre-season recognition include C Mike McLaughlin, OLB Donnie Spragan, P Kevin Miller and NT Willie Howard ... McLaughlin, beginning his third season as the Cardinal's starting center, was ranked by The Sporting News as the fourth best center in college football while Lindy's ranked him #6 ... Lindy's also tabbed McLaughlin as a Second-Team All-Pac-10 pick ... Spragan, named Second-Team All-Pac-10 by Lindy's, was ranked as the 24th best outside linebacker in the nation ... Lindy's also ranked Howard #14 on their list of the country's best defensive tackles ... Miller was named by Street & Smith's as a First-Team All-Pac-10 punter.

TIGHT BATTLE AT QB: After two years as Chad Hutchinson's backup, junior Todd Husak entered fall camp listed #1 on the depth chart at quarterback ... Husak, from Long Beach, Calif., found himself in a three-way battle for the starting job with sophomores Randy Fasani and Joe Borchard ... While Willingham has yet to name a starter, Husak has enjoyed an outstanding camp and has made it difficult for Fasani or Borchard to pass him on the depth chart ... Husak has played in 10 games in his career, all in a relief role, and completed 56-of-117 (.479) for 784 yards and six touchdowns ... A year ago, he played in six games and was 37-of-78 (.474) for 582 yards and five TDs ... Borchard, a starting outfielder/DH on Stanford's baseball team last year, missed spring practice due to baseball and entered fall camp behind both Husak and Fasani ... But, he quickly closed the gap, made it a three-man battle and put himself in position to play ... He was named a freshman All-America last season in baseball after hitting .330 with 10 HR anbd 55 RBI ... Fasani came to Stanford a year ago as the number-one high school quarterback in the country and his size (6-4, 235) and athletic ability has allowed him to compete for the starting job.

Husak By The Numbers
Year    G/GS    PA  PC  .PCT    Yds Int TD
1996    4/0     39  19  .487    202  2  1
1997    6/0     78  37  .474    582  4  5
Totals 10/0    117  56  .479    784  6  6

RUSHING ATTACK: A year ago at this time, Stanford was boasting of one of the greatest groups of running backs in their history ... And who could argue with that logic ... In Anthony Bookman, Mike Mitchell, Jon Ritchie and Greg Comella, the Cardinal was loaded in the offensive backfield ... Bookman (third with 2,523 yards) and Mitchell (fourth with 2,446 yards) wound up among the top four rushers in school history while Ritchie (Raiders) and Comella (N.Y. Giants) look to be headed for outstanding NFL careers ... Stanford must replace the 1,584 yards and 14 touchdowns scored by the foursome in 1997 ... Filling their shoes will be a group of players who, with one exception, have never carried the ball in a game ... Emerging as the starter at running back is sophomore Coy Wire ... A redshirt last season, Wire moved ahead of junior Juan-Carlos Lacey on the depth chart, but is still expected to share time at RB with Lacey ... Lacey (24 carries, 131 yards) is the only Cardinal rusher who has carried the ball in a game ... Freshman Brian Allen (Ontario, Calif) is also in the mix at RB and he, too, may see playing time against the Spartans ... At the FB slot, senior Maxwell Stevenson, a 5-11, 242-pound power fullback, has earned the starting spot ... He has seen very limited playing time at fullback the past two seasons ... Behind him are juniors Byron Glaspie, a converted linebacker, and walk-on Emory Brock, and freshman Casey Moore (Largo, Florida).

The Running Backs
Who's Gone... (yds. rushing/td)
Anthony Bookman 2,523   19
Mike Mitchell   2,446   23
Greg Comella      498   19
Jon Ritchie       123    4
Total           5,590   65

Who's Back Juan-Carlos Lacey 131 0 Maxwell Stevenson 0 0 Coy Wire 0 0 Total 131 0

THE LINEUP CARD: Youth and inexperienced defines Stanford's starting lineup heading into the '98 season ... Seven players on defense and four on offense will be making their debuts as "starters" ... Defensively, lineman Sam Benner, Andrew Currie and Riall Johnson will be making their first starts as will FS Jamien McCullum and CB Ruben Carter ... ILB Sharcus Steen and Marc Stockbauer have started in the past for injured players, but this will be their first season as "starters" ... Offensively, rookie starters include QB Todd Husak, RB Juan-Carlos Lacey, FB Maxwell Stevenson and WR DeRonnie Pitts ... TE Russell Stewart started the final two games of the 1997 season.

SECONDARY STUFF: An area of the team that is expected to improve from a year ago is the secondary ... The return of senior Tim Smith and the emergence of sophomores CB Ruben Carter and FS Jamien McCullum and junior SS Aaron Focht, and the continued improvement of CB Chris Johnson and Frank Primus is reason for optimism in the secondary ... Smith (6-4, 230), who missed the final nine games of last season with a knee injury, is back at full strength and ready to assume his role as the leader of the defensive backfield ... He will play either strong or free safety with either McCullum or Focht alongside ... Carter takes over a starting corner with Primus playing the nickel back.

FRESHMAN ON THE FARM: In Tyrone Willingham's previous three seasons at Stanford, only one true freshman has played: quarterback Todd Husak in 1996 - and that was due to injuries ... This season, however, look for several Cardinal freshman to see playing time ... Some of the first-year players who are competing for playing time include Eric Heitmann (Katy, Tex.), curently listed as the backup at right guard, FL Ryan Fernandez (Oakland, Calif.) and RB Brian Allen (Ontario, Calif..) ... Others who may see playing time in 1998 are WR Ryan Wells (Middletown, Ohio), WR Caleb Bowman (Sandpoint, Idaho), DE Matt Leonard (Agua Dulce, Calif.),and NT Trey Freeman (Norfolk, Virg.).

KICKING CHORES: Senior Kevin Miller will once again hold down the punting and placekicking chores in 1998 - at least for now ... Miller, who has been Stanford's punter the past three years, has pulled double-duty as the placekicker the past two years ... Head coach Tyrone Willingham had said during fall camp that it would be preferrable to have Miller concentrate soley on punting and have either senior Patrick Shinnefield or sophomore Mike Biselli handle the placekicking duties ... But, Miller emerged from fall camp as the placekicker with Biselli close behind ... Miller has averaged over 40 yards per punt in three years on The Farm and has made 17-of-30 FG and 39-of-42 PATs.

EXPERIENCE ON THE LINE: Of Stanford's five returning offensive starters in 1998, four are offensive linemen ... Center Mike McLaughlin (11 starts in 1997), guard Joe Fairchild (8) and tackles Jeff Cronshagen (5) and Geoff Wilson (11) all return as experienced veterans while back-up returners Andrew Kroeker (7) and Brian Donoghue (1) have also spent time in the starting lineup ... Wilson started eight games at three different positions in 1995, before missing 1996 with a knee injury suffered in fall camp ... He then rebounded to start all 11 games at right tackle in 1997, and be named Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 ... McLaughlin has started all 23 games over the last two years, all but one of them at center, and was also named Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 in 1997 ... The versatile Fairchild started five games at left tackle and three at left guard in 1997, and is slated to contend for the left guard slot in '98 ... Kroeker will get the start at right guard this season, after earning seven starts at left guard last season ... Cronshagen, who has made 15 starts at tackle the last two years, will be the team's starter at left tackle.

OL Experience (starts)
Name            '97 Career
Mike McLaughlin 11  23
Geoff Wilson    11  19
Andrew Kroeker   7  19
Jeff Cronshagen  5  15
Joe Fairchild    8   8

NEW FACES DOMINATE DEFENSIVE LINE: Last season, then-redshirt freshman nose tackle Willie Howard was the "rookie" on Stanford's defensive line, playing alongside seniors Kailee Wong (left end), Carl Hansen (defensive tackle) and Bryan Werner (right end) ... The roles will be reversed in 1998. Howard, who along with the other three linemen started all 11 games last season, is the only returning starter up front. Howard recorded 28 tackles and two sacks and was named the team's top freshman (by eligibility) ... With Wong (2nd round/Minnesota Vikings), Hansen (6th round/Seattle Seahawks) and Werner gone, Howard will move to defensive tackle and be joined up front by senior nose tackle Andrew Currie, junior left end Sam Benner and junior right end Riall Johnson ... Of the three, Currie has the most experience with 19 tackles and three sacks over the last two seasons. Johnson had 11 tackles and a sack off the bench last season, while Benner was also a reserve lineman.

STOCKBAUER & STEEN LOOK TO STEP UP: Seniors Sharcus Steen and Marc Stockbauer were both impressive in reserve linebacker roles in 1997, and will get even more of a chance to prove themselves in '98 ... But filling the shoes of Chris Draft (6th round/Chicago Bears) and Jon Haskins (7th round/San Diego Chargers) will not be easy ... Draft and Haskins were the top two tacklers on the squad in 1997 with 81 and 73, respectively ... The two combined for 63 starts over their four seasons (1994-97) ... Stockbauer appeared in 11 games last season and recorded 34 tackles, including eight against Notre Dame in his lone start ...Steen has played in all 23 games over the last two years, with 43 tackles and 1.5 sacks ...He made two starts last season (Oregon and Oregon State) when Draft was injured.

ON THE AIR: Stanford football games can be heard live this season on KTCT (1050 AM) in San Francisco ... A two-hour pre-game show will be broadcast prior to each home game with Bob Murphy hosting the "tailgate" show from Stanford Stadium ... For the San Jose State game, Murphy will handle the play-by-play duties with former Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett providing color analysis ... Plunkett, a member of the Oakland Raiders broadcast team, will fill in for Ted Robinson, who is unavailable ... Plunkett, of course,won the Heisman Trophy in 1970.

The Facts
Players on '98 Roster: 92
Players who have never played: 54
Incoming Freshmen: 25
Sophomores (redshirt freshmen): 22
Jr. and Sr. who have never played: 7
Sr. in their final year of eligibility: 5
Returning Starters: 5 offense, 3 defense
Returning Lettermen: 25 (12-12-1)

GAME FACTS

TV and Radio Information TV None Radio KTCT (1050 AM) Bob Murphy (play-by-play), Jim Plunkett (color) 10:30 am pregame KLIV (1590 AM) John Schrader (play-by-play)

Stanford Schedule 9/5 San Jose State 12:30 pm 9/12 Arizona* 12:30 pm 9/19 North Carolina (Fox) 3:30 pm 9/26 at Oregon* 1:00 pm 10/3 at Notre Dame (NBC) 11:30 am (pst) 10/10 Oregon State* 2:00 pm 10/22 at Arizona State* (Fox) 7:00 pm 10/31 at UCLA* TBA 11/7 USC* 12:30 pm 11/14 Washington State* 12:30 pm 11/21 California 12:30 pm

San Jose State Schedule 9/5 at Stanford 12:30 pm 9/12 Idaho 6:00 pm 9/19 at Oregon 1:00 pm 9/26 New Mexico* 6:00 pm 10/3 at Virginia 1:00 pm 10/10 Rice* 6:00 pm 10/17 at UTEP* 6:35 pm 10/24 at BYU* noon 10/31 Utah* 1:00 pm 11/7 at Hawaii* 6:00 pm 11/14 San Diego State* 1:00 pm 11/21 at Fresno State* 1:00 pm

This Week in the Pac-10

Thursday, September 3
Arizona (7-5) at Hawaii (3-9)

Saturday, September 5
Washington (8-4, 5-3) at Ariz St (9-3, 6-2)
Houston (3-8) at California (3-8)
Michigan State (7-5) at Oregon (7-5)
Nevada (5-6) at Oregon State (3-8)
San Jose State (4-7) at Stanford (5-6)
Illinois (0-11) at Washington State (10-2)

THE OPPONENT

About San Jose State
Location: San Jose, California
Enrollment: 27,000
Nickname: Spartans
Colors: Gold, White and Blue
Stadium: Spartan Stadium (31,218)
President: Dr. Robert L. Caret
Athletic Director: Chuck Bell
Head Coach: Dave Baldwin
Record at SJSU: 4-7 (1)
Overall Record: 13-19 (3)
1997 Record: 4-7 (4-4 WAC Pacific/T4th)
SID: Lawrence Fan (408) 924-1217

Noting the Spartans
The Spartans return 16 starters (8 offense, 8 defense) from last year's 4-7 squad ... San Jose State opened last season with five straight losses, but rebounded to win four of its last six, including a nationally-televised upset of Air Force ... The Spartans are strongest in the secondary, where they return their entire starting unit, which was the only defensive backfield in the country to have three players rank in the top 50 nationally in interceptions ... Free safety Lyle West was 22nd with five, while Omarr Smith and K.J. Agu tied for 42nd with four ... The Spartans tied for seventh nationally with 20 interceptions ... Offensively, San Jose State will start senior Brian Vye at quarterback, after he threw for 1,019 yards and five touchdowns ... Vye threw for 236 yards and ran for a score in the Spartans' 28-12 loss at Stanford last season.

Head Coach Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin, who served as a Stanford assistant under Jack Elway from 1984-88, is in his second year at San Jose State ... Baldwin led the Spartans to four wins in their last six games in 1997, and their best conference record (4-4) since they went 3-3 in the Big West in 1994 ... Prior to SJSU, Baldwin compiled a 9-12 record in two years as the head coach at Cal State Northridge (1995-96) ... He also served as the head man at Santa Rosa Junior College (1994) and Santa Barbara City College (1990-93), and compiling a 31-21 JC record ... At Stanford, Baldwin was the receivers coach from 1984-87 and the passing coordinator in 1988.

Series History
Stanford holds a commanding 42-10-1 lead in the all-time series, and has won six straight dating back to 1992 ... Stanford has outscored SJSU 219-108 in those six games ... This will be the third time in the last four years that Stanford opened its season against the Spartans ... Fifty-three of the fifty-five games in the series have been played on The Farm, with the only two meetings in San Jose taking place 95 years apart (1900 and 1995).

The Last Time
Stanford jumped out to a 21-0 lead after three quarters en route to a 28-12 victory over San Jose State on September 6 of last season at Stanford Stadium.

Noting Stanford....

  • Of Stanford's 1,306 net rushing yards last year, the Cardinal returns a net total of (-5) yards heading into the '98 campaign ... Those yards come from Lacey's 40 yards gained, and net losses by Troy Walters (-8), Kevin Miller (-7) and QB Todd Husak (-30).
  • Stanford's schedule this season includes seven bowl teams which went 5-2 in the post-season last year ... They include non-conference foes Notre Dame and North Carolina and Pac-10 rivals UCLA, Washington State, Arizona State, Arizona and Oregon.
  • Two coaching changes occurred since last season, including offensive coordinator Bill Diedrick and offensive line coach Pat Schurmur ... Diedrick, who coached at Washington the past four years, replaced Dana Bible (now with the Philadelphia Eagles) ... Schurmur, formerly at Michigan State, replaced Dave Borbely (now at Notre Dame)
  • Stanford has only five fifth-year seniors on its 92-man roster - flanker Jeff Allen, offensive tackle Brian Donoghue, offensive guard Andrew Kroeker, punter/placekicker Kevin Miller and offensive tackle Geoff Wilson.
  • Stanford has scored 21 points or more in 13 of its last 14 meetings against San Jose State ... On the other side of the ball, San Jose State has been held to 21 points or loess in seven of those 14 games
  • After Stanford and San Jose State went 5-5 head-to-head in the 1980's, Stanford holds a 5-1 advantage in the 1990's.
  • The Stanford-San Jose State game in 1999 has been moved from Sept. 11 to Oct. 2 to allow the Spartans to add a game at Colorado on Sept. 11. Stanford opens the 1999 season at Texas on Sept. 4, and will now have byes on both Sept. 11 and Nov. 6.
  • Sophomore DE Austin Lee, expected to compete for a starting spot, will be out approximately 2-4 weeks after suffering a knee injury during fall camp.
  • FL Troy Walters is among the preseason candidates for the Biletnikoff Award, which honors the nation's top receiver.
  • OLB Donnie Spragan has been named to the preseason Butkus Award "Watch List" ... The award honors the top linebacker in college football.
  • Stanford held SJSU to 95 net yards rushing in last year's meeting - the lowest total by a Cardinal opponent during the '97 campaign.
  • The Cardinal allowed a season-low 12 points against San Jose State in last year's game ...In the last two meetings with the Spartans, Stanford has given up just 14 points.


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