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Weekly Football Release
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 06/21/1999

September 7, 1998

THIS WEEK
#21 Arizona (1-0, 0-0)
vs. Stanford (0-1, 0-0)

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


Radio: KTCT (1050 AM)
Ted Robinson (play-by-play)
Bob Murphy (color)
10:30 am pregame

THE CARDINAL: Stanford (0-1) will attempt to rebound from last week's 35-23 season-opening loss to San Jose State when it faces 21st ranked Arizona on Saturday ...The Cardinal lost a 28-22 decision in Tucson last season, the first of Stanford's five straight losses ... Saturday's Pac-10 opener marks the earliest conference opener for the Cardinal since playing at Washington on September 4, 1993 ... The last time Stanford played Arizona at Stanford Stadium was on September 24, 1994 - a 34-10 Wildcat win in the Pac-10 opener for both schools ... The last time Stanford beat Arizona at home was in 1985 (28-17).

GAME THEME: Saturday will be a "Diversity Day Celebration" at Stanford Stadium ... There will be a pregame diversity celebration on Angell Field, and in the stadium during the game ... One lucky fan will also have the opportunity to kick a field goal for $100,000 in cash.

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 have never played in a game and only five are seniors in their final year of eligibility ... Last Saturday against San Jose State, nine players made their starting debuts (4 offense, 5 defense) and 18 others played in their first collegiate game ... Making their first career starts 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.

TYRONE WILLINGHAM: Cardinal head coach Tyrone Willingham, the 1995 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, has compiled a 19-16-1 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.

HUSAK MAKES DEBUT AT QB: Junior Todd Husak made his debut as the Cardinal's starting quarterback last Saturday against San Jose State after spending the past two seasons as a backup to Chad Hutchinson ... Husak placed his name in the Cardinal record by throwing 54 passes - the sixth highest single game total in school history, and the most under head coach Tyrone Willingham ... He completed 29-of-54 for 298 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions ... Prior to last week's game, 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 ... He competed with sophomores Randy Fasani and Joe Borchard in the fall.

Quarterback Todd Husak completed 29-of-54 passes for 298 yards and three TD's in his starting debut.
COMPARING HUSAK'S DEBUT: Todd Husak's 298 yards passing in his starting debut is 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 last Saturday against San Jose State.

THE WALTERS WATCH: Pre-season All-America Troy Walters has added a new dimension to his already impressive repertoire: kick returner ... Walters, in his second season as Stanford's starting flanker, is now returning kickoffs to go along with his duties as receiver and punt returner ... Coming off an 86-reception, 1,206-yard season in '97, Walters has received recognition 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 last week's 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 ... He has now recorded at least one TD reception in his last four games (five in the final three games of the '97 season) ... 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 ... His 1,721 career receiving yards is just 64 shy of #10 in the Cardinal record book (1,785, Gene Washington, 1966-68) ... He is also two TDs and 16 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.

HOWARD & JOHNSON: With the departure of three starting defensive linemen from last year's team, including First-Team All-America Kailee Wong, the Cardinal is now relying on a group of young, inexperienced players to fill the gap ... Junior DT Willie Howard started all 11 games a year ago and junior DE Riall Johnson played a reserve role in '97, and both are being counted on to lead the young defensive line in 1998 ... Both had impressive games a week ago against San Jose State as the duo combined for 14 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss and 4.5 quarterback sacks ... The 4.5 sacks exceeds the '97 season game best of four vs. Oregon in game #4 ... Howard accounted for seven tackles, four tackles-for-loss for (-18) yards and 2.5 sacks for (-13 yards) ... Johnson also had seven tackles - all unassisted, four tackles-for-loss for (-14) yards and two sacks for (-11) yards ... Now that Wong (second round draft pick, Minnesota Vikings), DT Carl Hansen (practice squad, Seattle Seahawks) and DE Bryan Werner have graduated, Howard and Johnson have assumed the role as leaders of the defensive line.

FRESHMEN 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 ... In last week's season opener, three true freshman saw action: OG Eric Heitmann (Katy, Tex.), FL Ryan Fernandez (Oakland, Calif.) and RB Brian Allen (Ontario, Calif..) ... Allen returned two kickoffs for 23 yards against the Spartans, Heitmann received playing time at offensive guard while Fernandez was in on some offensive plays at flanker.

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 ... Against San Jose State in the season opener, handling everything but kickoffs (Biselli), Miller averaged 45.8 on five punts, hit both PAT attempts and was one-for-two on field goal attempts, including a career-best 40-yarder ... Miller has a career punting average of 40.5 while making 18-of-32 FGs and 41-of-44 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, who has started 24 straight games since entering the starting lineup in 1996, 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 while Kroeker, who started seven games in '97, mans the right guard spot ... Kroeker has started 20 games during his Stanford career ... Cronshagen has made 16 starts at tackle since 1996 .... In Saturday's season opener, Cronshagen started at left tackle, Fairchild at left guard, McLaughlin at center, Kroeker at right guard and Wilson at right tackle.

THE NEW NAMES: Fourteen sophomores (redshirt freshmen) who spent the 1997 season watching and learning from the sidelines - and not playing - made their way onto the field for the first time in last Saturday's game vs. San Jose State ... Three of them started, including RB Coy Wire, FS Jamien McCullum and CB Ruben Carter ... Wire rushed for 27 yards on 13 carries and had one reception for 11 yards, McCullum had six tackles and Carter added five tackles ...Other sophomores making their first appearance in a Cardinal uniform were WR Dave Davis (four receptions, 60 yards, one TD), ILB Matt Friedrichs (three tackles), OLB Anthony Gabriel, DE Marcus Hoover, FS Simba Hodari, C Zack Quaccia, WR Tafiti Uso, TE Matt Wright, ILB Mike Burke, NT Travis Pfeifer and PK Mike Biselli.

MAKING TACKLES: The main chore for the 1998 Stanford defense will be to replace its two leading tacklers of both 1996 and 1997 - ILBs Chris Draft (Chicago Bears practice squad) and Jon Haskins (San Diego Chargers practice squad) ... Haskins had 100 tackles and Draft 97 in '96, while Draft had 81 and Haskins 73 last season ... Their replacements at ILB - seniors Marc Stockbauer and Sharcus Steen - established themselves as the top candidates to fill those gaps in Saturday's season opener ... Both Stockbauer and Steen tied for the team lead with nine tackles, while each also had a tackle for loss ... Stockbauer and Steen had been impressive as reserves behind Draft and Haskins the past two seasons ... Last year, Stockbauer appeared in all 11 games 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.

SMITH RETURNS: Starting free safety Tim Smith returned to the Cardinal starting lineup on Saturday, after suffering an ACL injury to his left knee at North Carolina in week two of the 1997 season ... Smith picked up where he left off against San Jose State, tying for the team lead with nine tackles ... Smith was a redshirt quarterback in 1995, but was moved to defensive back in 1996 and became one of the great surprises of the Cardinal defense ... He finished '96 with a team-leading four interceptions, and also had 28 tackles, three sacks and five pass breakups ... He entered the '97 campaign as the starting strong safety and one of the key players on the Cardinal defense, before suffering the season-ending knee injury late in the North Carolina contest ... He recorded four unassisted tackles and two pass break ups in '97.

Arizona Schedule

9/3    at Hawaii (ESPN)          W, 27-6
9/12   at Stanford*             12:30 pm
9/19   Iowa                      7:00 pm
9/24   at San Diego St. (ESPN)   5:00 pm 
10/3   at Washington* (Fox)      7:00 pm 
10/10  UCLA*                     7:00 pm
10/17  at Oregon State*          1:00 pm
10/24  Northeast Louisiana       7:00 pm
10/31  Oregon*                   7:00 pm
11/7   Washington State*         7:00 pm
11/14  at California*           12:30 pm
11/21  Arizona State* (Fox)      4:30 pm

Pac-10 Standings

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

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 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 Arizona


Location: Tucson, Arizona
Enrollment: 34,000
Nickname: Wildcats
Colors: Cardinal and Navy
Stadium: Arizona Stadium (57,803)
President: Dr. Peter Likins
Athletic Director: Jim Livengood
Head Coach: Dick Tomey
Record at Arizona: 73-51-4 (11)
Overall Record: 136-97-7 (21)
SID: Tom Duddleston Jr. (520) 621-4163

Noting the Wildcats

Arizona opened up the 1998 campaign with a 27-6 win at Hawaii last Thursday night ... The Wildcats play five of their first seven games away from Tucson this season ... The Wildcats took the lead for good when Chris McAlister took the opening kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown ... The Wildcat defense took over from there, holding the Rainbows to just 10 first downs and 176 total net yards ... Junior quarterback Keith Smith was 17-for-22 for 218 yards and two touchdowns ... The Wildcats return 14 starters (9 offense, 5 defense) from last year's squad that finished 7-5 and defeated New Mexico 20-14 in the Insight.com Bowl ... Last season, the Widcats averaged 402 yards of total offense per game, its highest total since joining the Pac-10 in 1979.

Head Coach Dick Tomey

Tomey has led the Wildcats to six bowl games in his 11 seasons in Tucson, including four in the last six seasons ... Tomey is among the top 10 in career victories by active Division I-A coaches with 136 ... He is also the winningest coach in Arizona football history with 73 ... Prior to coming to Arizona in 1987, he served as the head coach at Hawaii from 1977-86 ... He compiled a 63-46-3 record during that span, and is still the all-time winningest coach in Hawaii history.

Series History

Arizona leads the all-time series 10-5, including five victories in a row dating back to 1991 ... The Wildcats have also won two straight on The Farm, and are 4-2 all-time at Stanford Stadium ... In their last meeting at Stanford, Arizona posted a 34-10 victory in 1994.

The Last Time

Last season in Tucson (October 11), Arizona held the Cardinal to just 11 net yards rushing on 32 attempts to upset then-No. 16 Stanford 28-22 ... Stanford fumbled the ball eight times in the contest, and turned over five of them, two of which led to Wildcat touchdowns ... After trailing 7-0 after the first quarter, the Cardinal scored twice in a span of just 1:09 in the second quarter on a five-yard touchdown pass from Chad Hutchinson to Troy Walters and a 21-yard blocked punt return by Frank Primus ... But the Wildcats scored two touchdowns before intermission to take a 21-13 lead it would never relinquish.


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