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The Cardinal Prepares For No. 5 Texas
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 09/10/2000

Sept. 10, 2000

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#5 Texas (1-0) at Stanford (1-1)

Saturday, September 16, 2000 7:23 p.m. (PT)
Stanford Stadium (85,500) Stanford, CA

THE CARDINAL: Stanford and Texas complete their two-year home-and-home series this Saturday with a nationally-televised game at Stanford Stadium ... The Longhorns opened their season with a convincing 52-10 win over Louisiana-Lafayette while the Cardinal saw its record dip to 1-1 after a 40-27 loss to San Jose State ... Texas enters the game ranked sixth in the nation in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and fifth in the Associated Press poll ... Saturday's contest marks the third consecutive night game for Stanford this season ... The Cardinal has a bye week following Saturday's game with Texas and returns to Pac-10 play September 30 vs. Arizona.

THE TOP TEN: Texas is the first top-10 team to visit Stanford Stadium since undefeated Arizona State on October 26, 1996 ... The Sun Devils, who went on to win the Pacific-10 Conference championship, entered the game ranked fourth in the nation ... They defeated Stanford 41-9 to move to 8-0 on the season ... The Cardinal last faced a top-10 team in the Rose Bowl when fourth-ranked Wisconsin beat Stanford 19-7 ... Stanford played at No. 2 UCLA on October 31, 1998 and led the undefeated Bruins late in the game before UCLA pulled out a 28-24 win ... Stanford's last win over a top-10 team came on September 18, 1993 against No. 7 Colorado ... The Cardinal scored the game-winning TD with eight seconds to play to beat the Buffaloes 41-37.

LATELY: Stanford is 11-5 in its last 16 games and 10-1 in its last 11 Pac-10 games ... The Cardinal, which went 8-4 overall and 7-1 in the conference last season, finished the '98 campaign with two Pac-10 wins (Washington State, Cal) and have opened the 2000 season with a conference win ... In non-conference games, however, the Cardinal has won just one of its last six out-of-league games in the last two-plus years (1998-00)

THE TEXAS SERIES: Stanford and Texas will meet for the fourth time in their history on Saturday ... The two teams played home-and-home games in 1985 and '86 and again in '99 and 2000 ... The only game played at Stanford was the series' first in 1985 ... Texas came out on top 38-34 on September 25, 1985 ... The following year in Austin, Stanford suprised Texas by beating the Longhorns 31-20 ... A year ago, Texas beat Stanford 69-17 in Austin.

HEAD COACH TYRONE WILLINGHAM: Now in his sixth season at the helm of the Cardinal football program, Tyrone Willingham has the longest tenure on The Farm since John Ralson's nine-year run from 1963-71 ... Willingham has compiled an overall record of 31-28-1 ... His resume during his first five years at Stanford includes three bowl games, two Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors (1995, '99), a Pac-10 championship and a Rose Bowl appearance ... Willingham previously held assistant coaching positions at Central Michigan ('78-79), Michigan State (1980-82), North Carolina State (1983-85), Rice (1986-88), Stanford (1989-91) and the Minnesota Vikings (1992-94) ... He first came to Stanford as the running backs coach under Dennis Green in 1989, then returned to The Farm as as head coach to replace Bill Walsh on Nov. 28, 1994.

REVIEWING SJSU: Stanford lost to San Jose State for the third consecutive season ... The Spartans used the running of Deonce Whitaker and a timely defense to hand Stanford its first loss of the season ... Whitaker rushed for 254 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns, including a 65-yarder in the second quarter ... Stanford gained 614 yards in total offense (373 passing, 241 rushing), but committed three turnovers and scored just six points in the second half ... Willie Adams got things started for the Spartans as he intercepted a Randy Fasani pass on the Cardinal's opening series and took it back 63 yards for a touchdown ... Stanford scored two TDs on Fasani-to-Jamien McCullum pass plays from nine and 75 yards out, then took a 21-14 lead on a Fasani-to-DeRonnie Pitts TD pass play ... But, the Spartans scored 26 unanswered points and led 40-21 early in the fourth quarter.

AFTER A LOSS: Stanford has won its last five games after losses, including one in 1998, three in '99 and one in 2000 ... The Cardinal beat Washington State in 1998 after losing to USC the week before ... In '99, Stanford's losses to Texas, San Jose State and Washington were followed by wins over Washington State, Oregon State and Arizona State ... Stanford lost its '99 season finale to Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, then opened the 2000 campaign with a win at Washington State.

YearLossNext Game Win
1998USC34-9Wash. St.38-28
1999@Texas69-17Wash. St.54-17
1999SJSU44-39Oregon St.21-17
1999@Wash35-30@Ariz. St.50-30
99/00Wisc. (1/1/00)17-9@Wash. St.24-10

GOING DEEP: Stanford has four pass plays of over 40 yards in its first two games this season, two of which have gone for touchdowns and are among the longest in school history ... In the season opener at WSU, QB Randy Fasani and RB Kerry Carter hooked up on an 84-yard touchdown pass play, tying it for the fifth longest in school history ... Last Saturday vs. San Jose State, Fasani had three plays of over 40 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown to Jamien McCullum ... The play goes into the record book tied for the 15th longest touchdown pass in school history ... Fasani has also hooked up with Luke Powell for 67 yards and Caleb Bowman for 40 yards.

OFFENSIVELY: Stanford is once again putting up offensive numbers which rank among the best in college football ... Last season, the Cardinal offense set school records for points scored, touchdowns scored and yards gained ... It ranked first in the Pac-10 in scoring offense and passing offense and second in total offense while ranking among the nation's top-10 in each category ... After losing four First-Team All-Pac-10 players on offense, including quarterback Todd Husak and Biletnikoff Award winner Troy Walters, Stanford's 2000 offense is continuing the trend as one of the most difficult to defend in college football ... Currently, the Cardinal offense leads the Pac-10 in total offense and passing offense and is third in rushing offense ... Nationally, Stanford ranks fifth in total offense (494.0 ypg) and eighth in passing offense (314.5) ... Its offensive numbers are thus far better than the record-breaking 1999 Cardinal offense.

FIRST HALF OFFENSE: Stanford has been a first half offense through its first two games in 2000 ... The Cardinal has scored 45 of its 51 points, gained 668 of its 988 total yards and thrown for 438 of its 629 yards through the air in the first half of its first two games vs. Washington State and San Jose State ... Against the Cougars, the Cardinal scored all 24 of its points, threw for 220 yards and gained 302 yards in the first half ... Last Saturday vs. San Jose State, Stanford scored 21 of its 27 points and gained 366 yards in the first half.

GROUND GAME: Stanford has shown an improved ground game thus far in 2000, averaging 179.5 rushing yards through the first two games ... The Cardinal, which averaged 153.6 yards on the ground last season, is currently third in the Pac-10 and 35th in the nation in rushing offense ... Stanford is also averaging 4.4 yards per rush

BEING DEFENSIVE: The 10 points allowed by the Cardinal against Washington State (Sept. 2) marked the fifth lowest scoring total by an opponent in Tyrone Willingham's 60 games as Stanford's head coach over the last five-plus seasons ... It was the lowest point total by an opponent in the previous 13 games, dating back to the 1998 season finale (10-3 win over Cal), and it was the second lowest point total in the team's previous 34 games since a 38-0 shutout over Michigan State in the 1996 Sun Bowl.

PLAYING CATCH: No less than 10 players have caught at least one pass for the Cardinal through the first two games ... Leading the way is senior DeRonnie Pitts, who had 11 receptions against San Jose State and is now tied for fourth on Stanford's all-time list with 162 receptions ... Sophomore Luke Powell has caught four passes for 123 yards (30.8 ypc) and Jamien McCullum has three catches for 108 yards (36.0 ypc) and two touchdowns ... Others who have caught passes thus far in 2000 include WR's Ryan Wells and Caleb Bowman, TE Brett Pierce, RB Brian Allen and Kerry Carter and FB Casey Moore and Emory Brock.

BROWN VS. STANFORD: Saturday's game will be the third meeting between the Cardinal and Mack Brown, the Longhorn's head coach ... Brown, who is 2-0 vs. the Cardinal, first met Stanford in 1997 when he was the head coach at North Carolina ... His Tar Heel team beat the Cardinal 28-17 in Chapel Hill ... Last year, of course, Brown led the Longhorns to a win over Stanford in Austin ... This will be Brown's first trip to Stanford Stadium.

HOWARD RACKS UP PRESEASON HONORS: Fifth-year senior DT Willie Howard entered the 2000 season as one of the most highly touted defensive linemen in the nation ... Howard was tabbed as a First-Team PreSeason All-American by Athlon and Second Team Preseason All-American by Street & Smith's, who ranked him as the fourth best defensive lineman in the country ... Howard was also on The Sporting News' and Street & Smith's lists of Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award candidates .... Thus far this season, Howard, who has made 36 consecutive starts, has seven tackles (six unassisted), two tackles for loss (-7 yards) and a quarterback sack (-6 yards) ... He recorded a tackle for loss in each of the first two games, and has had at least one in 13 of his last 15 games dating back to the end of the 1998 season ... He now has 33 career tackles-for-loss (-138 yards) and 18.5 sacks (-106 yards) ... Last season, Howard emerged as the leader - both on and off the field - of Stanford's defensive line unit known as the ?Trench Dogs" ... Howard finished third in the Pac-10 in both quarterback sacks (10, -60 yards) and tackles-for-loss (19, -79 yards) in '99, and was the catalyst of a front line that allowed 147.9 yards rushing per game in '99 compared to 180.6 yards per contest in '98 ... His 10 sacks - along with the 13 recorded by outside linebacker Riall Johnson - helped the Cardinal nearly double its quarterback sack output from the previous year (46 - '99, 28 - '98) ... Howard recorded five tackles, including one for a loss, in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin despite playing with ACL damage and an MCL sprain to his right knee that was suffered in the regular season finale against Notre Dame just five weeks earlier.

BIG NIGHT VS. SJSU MOVES PITTS UP SCHOOL RECEIVING CHARTS: Fifth-year senior WR DeRonnie Pitts had a career-high 11 receptions (along with 130 yards and two touchdowns) on Saturday vs. San Jose State to move from seventh place all the way into a tie for fourth on Stanford's all-time reception list ... The Saginaw, Michigan native moved past Justin Armour (154, 1991-94) and Jeff James (154, 1984-87) and into a fourth place tie with Vincent White (162, 1979-82) ... In addition, Pitts' two touchdown receptions against the Spartans gave him 18 for his career and moved him into a tie for fourth on the all-time school list with Tony Hill (1973-76) and White ... Pitts also now stands ninth on the school receiving yardage list with 2,245 yards, after passing Hill (2,225) on Saturday ... He can move up three more spots with 55 yards receiving against the Longhorns, as he closes in on James (2,265), Emile Harry (2,270, 1981-84) and Brian Manning (2,280, 1993-96).

PITTS OFF TO FAST START IN 2000: To say fifth-year senior WR DeRonnie Pitts has been a big factor in the Cardinal's passing attack this season is an understatement ... Pitts leads all of NCAA Division 1-A football in receptions with 8.50 per game and has accounted for over 48 percent of the Cardinal's receptions through week two - 17 of a possible 35 - for 185 yards and two touchdowns ... In addition to leading the country in receptions per game, Pitts is also 28th in the country and second in the Pac-10 in receiving yards per game with 92.50 ... He had the eighth 100-yard receiving game of his career on Saturday night against San Jose State, catching a career-best 11 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns ... Pitts, who was the team's #2 receiver the last two seasons behind 1999 Biletnikoff Award winner Troy Walters, ranks tied for fourth in Stanford history in career receptions (162) and career touchdown receptions (18), and ninth in career receiving yards (2,245) ... By the time the 2000 season is complete, Pitts will likely be second or third in every receiving category in the school record book ... Pitts made a rapid ascent up the charts with a combined total of 132 receptions for 1,865 yards and 15 touchdowns in '98 and '99 ... His breakout season was '98 when he caught 74 passes, which is tied for the third highest single season total in school history, for 1,012 yards and seven touchdowns ... The 1,012 yards still ranks as the fifth best single season total in Stanford history ... Pitts' recent accomplishments have been well noticed, as he was ranked as the 18th best wide receiver in the nation by The Sporting News and 24th by Lindy's, and is on the ?watch list" for the Biletnikoff Award.

FASANI EARNS STARTING JOB: Junior Randy Fasani, a fourth-year junior from the Sacramento area, steps into the starting quarterback spot this season in place of Todd Husak, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins ... Prior to this season, Fasani appeared in 13 games off the bench in '98 and '99, and went 9-of-22 for 94 yards with one touchdown and one interception ... Fasani came to Stanford after coming out of Del Oro High School as one of the top prep signal-callers in the country in 1996 ... He redshirted the '97 campaign, and then appeared in 10 games (mainly in goal line situations) in '98 ... He went 8-of-16 for 81 yards with an interception and a touchdown in those 10 games, and also rushed for three touchdowns to tie for the team lead in that category ... His most extensive playing time as a collegiate QB came at Notre Dame on Oct. 3, 1998 when he went 4-of-8 for 58 yards ... Fasani started the '99 season as the No. 3 quarterback behind Husak and Joe Borchard ... Borchard, who was the No. 2 quarterback in '99, was selected in the first round of the June Amateur Baseball Draft (No. 12 overall) by the Chicago White Sox, and agreed to terms with the White Sox on July 28 (finished the season with the Birmingham Barons of the class-AA Southern League) ... Prior to game #7 of the '99 season, Fasani was switched to inside linebacker in order to get his athleticism on the field ... In addition to his time at ILB, he also played extensively on special teams last season and has seen time at tight end each of the last two years ... Prior to moving to linebacker last October, Fasani saw time at quarterback in three games ... He finished '99 1-for-6 for 13 yards, including a 1-for-3, 13-yard effort at Texas ... Fasani is backed up by sophomore Chris Lewis, who was 1-of-3 for six yards vs. Washington State, and true freshmen Ryan Eklund and Teyo Johnson.

FASANI MAKES THE MOST OF CHANCE: Senior QB Randy Fasani is off to a strong start in his first season as the starting signal-caller ... Fasani is 34-of-67 for 623 yards and six touchdowns, along with just one interception, through week two and ranks in the top 40 nationally in three statistical categories ... He is sixth in Division 1-A and first in the Pac-10 in total offense (335.5 yards pg), 16th in the nation and first in the conference in pass efficiency (155.42 rating) and tied for 35th in the country and fifth in the Pac-10 in completions per game (17.00) ... Against San Jose State, Fasani threw for 373 yards - the 20th highest single game total in school history - and went 18-of-42 with four touchdowns and one interception ... In the first quarter alone, Fasani threw for 154 yards and two scores ... He connected on two plass plays of 65 yards or more - 67-yards to Luke Powell and 75-yards to Jamien McCullum - and has three passes for 65 yards or more this season ... In the season opening win at Washington State, he was 16-of-25 for 250 yards with no interceptions and two touchdowns - a 84-yard pass to Kerry Carter and a six-yard toss to Casey Moore ... The 84-yard play to Carter tied for the fifth longest touchdown pass in school history ... In the second quarter of that game alone, Fasani went 5-of-7 for 159 yards and two scores ... He has also been effective on the ground, with 15 carries for 48 net yards, including a 38-yard scamper against WSU that is the longest run by a Cardinal this season.

BISELLI AIMS FOR LOU GROZA AWARD: Stanford senior placekicker Mike Biselli (two years of eligibility remaining), who was a First Team All-Pac-10 selection a year ago, is listed among the preseason candidates for the Lou Groza award, given annually to the nation's top placekicker ... In addition, The Sporting News ranked him No. 5 on their list of the nation's top placekickers while Lindy's tabbed him No. 8 nationally ... Biselli moved into 10th on the school's all-time PAT list on Saturday by going a perfect 3-of-3 against San Jose State to move to 55 for his career and surpass Mike Langford's 53 (1974-75) ... He missed his only field goal attempt vs. the Spartans (48 yards), however, to have his streak of consecutive games with a field goal snapped at six ... Biselli is now 15-of-18 on career field goal attempts - with all three misses coming from outside 45 yards - and 55-of-58 on PATs.

RIALL'S RUSH: The return of fifth-year senior OLB Riall Johnson gives Stanford one of the most feared pass rushers in the nation ... Johnson, who was a Second Team All-Pac-10 selection last year, tied for the 1999 Pac-10 lead in sacks with 13 (-108 yards) ... He also ranked sixth in the conference in tackles for loss with 17 (-119 yards), to go along with 42 tackles (28 unassisted), two pass break-ups, one forced fumble and one safety ... Johnson, who was moved from defensive end to outside linebacker prior to the '99 season, now has 22 career sacks (-166 yards) and 34 tackles-for-loss (-196 yards) ... The Lynwood, Washington native has started at defensive end (part of the Cardinal's nickel package) in the first two games, and collected six tackles, two tackles-for-loss (-6 yards), one quarterback sack (-5 yards) and two pass break-ups ... The Sporting News tabbed Johnson No. 7 on their list of the nation's top outside linebackers in the preseason while Lindy's had him at No. 14 ... Johnson's younger brother, Teyo, one of the nation's prized recruits, is the Cardinal's third-string quarterback.

KERRY CARTER OFF TO FAST START - AGAIN: Sophomore RB Kerry Carter burst onto the scene last fall with an impressive collegiate debut at Texas (9-69, TD) and a three-touchdown performance in week three at Arizona ... Carter iss off to a fast start in 2000 as well, with a team-high 143 yards on 36 carries (4.0 ypc) ... His rushing output of 71.5 yards per game currently ranks sixth in the Pac-10 ... He rushed for a career-high 90 yards on 17 carries vs. San Jose State, to follow up a 19-carry, 53-yard performance at Washington State ... Carter also caught an 84-yard touchdown pass at WSU, which tied for the fifth longest TD reception in school history.

ALLEN PICKS UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF: Junior RB Brian Allen, who ranked eighth in the Pac-10 in rushing yards per game last season (54.9), returned to that form Saturday night by rushing for 95 yards on just 10 carries (9.5) ... Allen, who was limited to just three carries in the season opener vs. WSU, rushed for a team-high 604 yards on 115 carries and four touchdowns in '99.



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Cardinal AXEcess
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