August 3, 1998
STANFORD, Calif. -
THE CARDINAL: Stanford enters the 1998 campaign with one of its youngest teams in recent years The Cardinal return eight starters on offense and defense and just 25 lettermen to a team that finished the '97 season 5-6 overall and 3-5 in the Pac-10 Stanford opens fall camp on August 11 for freshman and August 15 for the full squad before beginning the 1998 season September 5 at home vs. San Jose State.
YOUNG AND RESTLESS: To say that the Cardinal is a youthful team lacking in game experience is an understatement Consider the facts: of the 96 players on Stanford's roster, 57 have never played in a game and only six 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."
Players on '98 Roster: 96
Players who have never played: 57
Incoming Freshmen: 25
Sophomores (redshirt freshmen): 22
Jr. and Sr. who have never played: 10
Sr. in their final year of eligibility: 6
Returning Starters: 5 offense, 3 defense
Returning Lettermen: 25 (12-12-1)
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.
NEW FACE AT QB: Stanford will have a new starting quarterback in 1998 - a fact that was not clear until early July when two-year starter Chad Hutchinson signed a professional baseball contract and gave up his final two years of college football eligibility Hutchinson, selected in the second round of the June Major League Baseball Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, started the last 23 games at quarterback for Stanford and finished his career as the school's #7 all-time leading passer with 4,235 yards Hutchinson's departure leaves senior Todd Husak and sophomores Randy Fasani and Joe Borchard to compete for the starting spot Husak is the only one of the three to have game experience As Hutchinson's backup the past two seasons, Husak completed 56-of-117 for 784 yards and six touchdowns in 10 games He enters fall camp listed #1 on the depth chart ahead of Fasani, a 6-4, 235 pounder from Del Oro High School in Granite Bay, Calif Borchard, also a member of the baseball team, did not participate in spring drills and comes in as the team's #3 QB A freshman All-America in baseball last season (.330, 10 HR, 55 RBI), Borchard started 55 games for a Stanford team ranked #1 throughout the entire 1998 regular season "The loss of Hutchinson is significant," says Willingham, "but we have three quarterbacks on the roster who all possess great physical skills to play the position and I expect the competition to be fierce this fall."
Career Passing Leaders
1. Steve Stenstrom, 1991-94 10,531 2. John Elway, 1979-82 9,349 3. John Paye, 1983-86 7,669 4. Jim Plunkett, 1968-70 7,544 5. Guy Benjamin, 1974-77 5,946 6. Jason Palumbis, 1988-91 4,954 7. Chad Hutchinson, 1996-97 4,235 8. Mike Boryla, 1970-73 4,082 9. Dick Norman, 1958-60 3,737 10. John Brodie, 1954-56 3,594
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.
SMITH RETURNS: The return of Tim Smith to the Cardinal secondary helps bolster a unit that should be much improved from a year ago Smith, a 6-4, 230 pound safety, suffered a season-ending knee injury last year in the second game of the season at North Carolina It was a serious blow to the Cardinal defense, which was counting on Smith to be one of the team leaders But, his return in 1998 means that the Cardinal secondary should be one of the most improved units on the team "Tim Smith is a key player for us in the secondary," says Willingham. "He will play either free or strong safety. He can do so many things for us and we'll need his maturity and leadership."
QUOTING WILLINGHAM: "This team reminds me a great deal of my first team at Stanford in 1995. When I took over in '95, the emphasis had to be as a team and I think that holds true again for 1998. We have some obvious concerns heading into the season. We must find a way to replace four outstanding running backs who were the focal point of our rushing attack the past two years. We also lost several outstanding players on defense who played a lot of football for Stanford the past three years. On the defensive line, for instance, we lost three starters (Kailee Wong, Carl Hansen, Bryan Werner) who will be difficult to replace. We hope with the experience returning on the offensive line that this will be an area of strength. There are obvious signs of growth in the secondary and the linebacker corps has been seasoned over the last few years."
Date Opponent Time 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) 10:30 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 at California 12:30 pm
1997 Results (5-6 overall, 3-5 Pac-10)
Date Opponent Result 9/6 San Jose State W, 28-12 9/13 at North Carolina L, 17-28 9/20 at Oregon State* W, 27-24 9/27 Oregon* W, 58-49 10/4 Notre Dame W, 33-15 10/11 at Arizona* L, 22-28 10/18 Arizona State* L, 14-31 11/1 UCLA* L, 7-27 11/8 at USC* L, 21-45 11/15 at Washington State* L, 28-38 11/22 California* W, 21-20
Final 1997 Pac-10 Standings
Pac-10 Overall Washington State 7-1 10-1 UCLA 7-1 9-2 Arizona State 6-2 8-3 Washington 5-3 7-4 USC 4-4 6-6 Arizona 4-4 6-5 Oregon 3-5 6-5 Stanford 3-5 5-6 California 1-7 3-8 Oregon State 0-8 3-8
o The only returning running back who has carried the ball for Stanford is junior Juan-Carlos Lacey, who has gained 131 yards on 24 carries while playing in just three games the past two years.
o 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 QBTodd Husak (-30).
o Stanford's schedule this season includes seven bowl teams which went 6-1 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.
o 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)
o On the current two-deep chart, Stanford has 15 players listed who have no game experience and eight who have seen little playing time.
o Newcomers to watch in 1998 include sophomores (redshirt freshmen) Dave Davis at wide receiver, Coy Wire at running back, Austin Lee at defensive end, Jamien McCullum at free safety, Randy Fasani at quarterback and Ruben Carter at cornerback All are expected to either start or play significant roles this season.
o The one area on the team that is well-stocked with experienced players is the offensive line Four starters return while two others have started in their Cardinal careers C Mike McLaughlin is back for his third season as a starter He has started the past 23 games RT Geoff WIlson started all 11 games a year ago and has started 19 in his career LG Joe Fairchild was a starter in eight games in '97 while LT Jeff Cronshagen started five a year ago and 15 in his career RG Andrew Kroeker started seven games a year ago and has started 19 in his career Backup LT Brian Donoghue has started three games in his career and proven to be a valuable reserve.
o Despite having to replace ILB's Chris Draft and Jon Haskins, two of Stanford's best in recent years, the Cardinal linebacker corps looks to be solid with returning OLB Donnie Spragan and Marc Stockbauer and Sharcus Steen inside Both Stockbauer and Steen have seen significant playing time over the past two seasons and are ready to assume starting assignments Spragan has the tools to become one of the best in the Pac-10.