No. 21/16 Stanford Cardinal (2-0 0-0 Pac-12)
No. 2/3 USC Trojans (2-0 0-0 Pac-12)
September 15, 2012 4:30 p.m. (PT)
Stanford Stadium (50,000) Foster Field Stanford, Calif.
Television Live national broadcast on FOX with Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Charles Davis (analyst) and Julie Alexandria (sideline).
Radio Live coverage on Stanford's flagship station - KNBR 1050 AM - with Tim Roye (play-by-play), Todd Husak (analyst) and John Platz (sideline). All radio broadcasts begin one hour prior to kickoff with the Cardinal Tailgate Show and conclude with the post-game Cardinal Locker Room Report. Live national broadcast on Compass Media Networks with Drew Bontadelli and Tony Hill. The game can also be heard live on Stanford student radio KZSU 90.1 FM and at kzsulive.stanford.edu.
Live Stats Live in-game statistics will be provided through GameTracker via GoStanford.com
Tickets Stanford Athletics Ticket Office GoStanford.com 1.800.STANFORD
Polls Stanford (21st - AP, 16th - USA Today) USC (2nd - AP, 3rd - USA Today)
On the Web GoStanford.com USCtrojans.com Pac-12.com
Inside the Huddle
Stanford ran its record to 2-0 last Saturday with a 50-13 victory over Duke at Stanford Stadium. The Cardinal has now started its season 2-0 three straight years.
The Cardinal opens its conference schedule with No. 2 USC on Saturday. Stanford has won three in a row against its longtime Southern California rival and four of the last five.
Stanford defeated USC in a 2011 triple-overtime thriller in Los Angeles, 56-48, the second straight year that the Cardinal clipped the Trojans on the final play of the game.
Saturday marks the first Pac-12 game for both Stanford and USC in 2012. This meeting is the first Pac-12 game of the year and the only conference matchup this week.
Stanford next week will have a bye before preparing to travel to Washington (Sept. 27) at CenturyLink Field, the first Thursday night game for Stanford since an overtime defeat at Arizona State on October 22, 1998.
Stanford has won 10 straight games in the month of September (and 13 of its last 14) dating back to the 2008 campaign.
A win over USC would give the Cardinal a 3-0 record to start the season for the third straight year. The last time the program registered a trio of consecutive 3-0 starts was 1970-72.
Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw can join Chuck Taylor (1951-52) as the only head coach in Stanford history to start his first two seasons 3-0.
Six Stanford head coaches have defeated USC in back-to-back seasons, the latest coming during Jim Harbaugh's watch from 2009-10. Only two coaches downed USC in their first two seasons on the Farm as Clarke Shaughnessy strung together back-to-back wins in 1940-41 and Claude "Tiny" Thornhill beat USC three times from 1933-35.
Stanford is 5-2 at home against ranked opponents (1-2 vs. top 10) since 2009, including wins over No. 7 Oregon (2009), No. 13 Arizona (2010), No. 22 Washington (2011), No. 22 Notre Dame (2011) and No. 24 Washington (2009). The home losses to ranked opponents since 2009 came at the hands of No. 6 Oregon (2011) and No. 11 USC (2009).
Stanford is 25-3 (.893) in its last 28 home games at Stanford Stadium dating back to the final home game of the 2007 season.
Over its last 27 home games, Stanford has scored 1,070 points (39.6) while allowing 574 points (21.3).
The Cardinal returns 48 letterwinners (28 offense, 27 defense, 3 specialists) and 15 starters (6 offense, 7 defense, 2 specialists) from last year's 11-2 Fiesta Bowl team.
Stanford has played 10 true freshmen in this young 2012 season. In all, 24 Cardinal players have made their collegiate debut this year.
Last Matchup Against USC - Oct. 29, 2011
In one of the most dramatic finishes in the long rivalry, sixth-ranked Stanford defeated No. 20 USC in triple-overtime, 56-48, before a sellout crowd of 93,607 at the Los Angeles Coliseum to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 16 games. Cardinal linebacker A.J. Tarpley sealed the victory by recovering a Curtis McNeal fumble in the endzone in the longest game in Stanford history. It marked the third consecutive win in Los Angeles by the Cardinal, a feat last accomplished in 1933, 1935 and 1937.
The game showcased two of the best quarterbacks in the country in Andrew Luck of Stanford and Matt Barkley of USC. Luck hit 29-of-40 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran nine times for 36 yards. Barkley completed 28-of-45 attempts for 284 yards and three touchdowns.
The Trojans took a 34-27 lead with 3:08 left in regulation when defensive back Nickell Robey intercepted a Luck pass and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown. However, Luck drove the Cardinal 76 yards to setup a two-yard scoring run by Stepfan Taylor to tie the score with 38 seconds remaining.
Both teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime, with Jeremy Stewart scoring for Stanford on a one-yard run, and Barkley finding wide receiver Robert Woods on a 15-yard pass.
In the second overtime, tight end Randall Telfer caught a 12-yard TD pass from Barkley to give USC a 48-41 lead, but Luck answered by throwing an 11-yard scoring pass to tight end Levine Toilolo.
In the third overtime, Taylor helped the Cardinal regain the lead on a five-yard touchdown run, and Luck connected with tight end Coby Fleener for a two-point conversion to lift Stanford to a 56-48 advantage. Barkley quickly hit wide receiver Marquis Lee with a 21-yard pass that carried to the Cardinal four-yard-line. But on the next play, Cardinal nose guard Terrence Stephens hit McNeal and forced a fumble with Tarpley recovering.
USC ran 88 plays and accumulated 516 total yards. Stanford ran 68 plays and amassed 432 yards.
McNeal rushed for 145 yards on 20 carries for the Trojans, while Taylor ran 23 times for 99 yards for the Cardinal. Griff Whalen caught six passes for 104 yards for Stanford, and Woods collected nine receptions for 89 yards for USC.
Saturday's game marks the 90th meeting between Stanford and USC. In a series that dates back to 1905, the second-ranked Trojans lead the all-time series, 58-28-3. Stanford does not count the 1918 contest won by the Trojans in its series scores, as it was played as part of an unofficial schedule by the Student Army Training Corps Team.
The Cardinal has won the last three games and four of the last five. Only five times during the series history has Stanford beaten USC three straight times, and never four in a row. The Cardinal posted three-game winning streaks in 1933-1935; 1940-1942; 1955-1957; 1999-2001; and 2009-2011. USC's last victory at Stanford Stadium came in 2008 when it prevailed, 45-23. Three of the last five meetings have been decided by eight points or less, including the last two.
Stanford is 9-33-2 (.227) at home against the Trojans and has won two of six matchups at Stanford Stadium since 2000 (four of 13 home contests against USC since 1990).
Stanford has averaged 39 points over the last five meetings with USC while posting a 4-1 record. In its last three games against the Trojans, the Cardinal has tallied 55 (2009), 37 (2010) and 56 points (2011).
Stanford had never scored more than 35 points in its first 86 meetings with USC.
Current Stanford defensive assistant Tavita Pritchard engineered one of the biggest upsets in college football history on Oct. 6, 2007, against No. 2 USC in the Los Angeles Coliseum. Making his first career start, Pritchard threw a 10-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to wide receiver Mark Bradford with 49 seconds remaining to lift the Cardinal to a 24-23 victory. The Trojans were favored by 41 points.
This will be the 11th time in the series history between Stanford and USC in which both squads are ranked in the AP poll. Stanford is 6-5 in contests when both teams are ranked, including each of the last three affairs (2011, 2009 and 1992).
Stanford and USC currently have a combined 118 players from the state of California on its respective rosters. Stanford's roster boasts 14 players from Southern California including: senior CB Terrence Brown (Torrance/Orange Lutheran), sophomore QB Evan Crower (San Diego/St. Augustine), sophomore ILB Sam Mercer (Thousand Oaks/Chaminade Preparatory), senior ILB Myles Muagututia (San Diego/Francis Parker), freshman LS Reed Miller (Encinitas/Santa Fe Christian), freshman OT Kyle Murphy (San Clemente/San Clemente), junior QB Josh Nunes (Upland/Upland), senior QB Robbie Picazo (Rancho Santa Margarita/Tesoro), senior TE Jemari Roberts (Long Beach/Wilson), sophomore DE J.B. Salem (Newport Beach/Newport Beach), junior RB Ricky Seale (Escondido/Escondido), senior SS Brent Seals (Chino Hills/Bishop Amat), senior TE Levine Toilolo (La Mesa/Helix),junior WR Jeff Trojan (Huntington Beach/Edison), sophomore LS Austin Tubbs (San Clemente/San Clemente), freshman P/K Conrad Ukropina (Pasadena/Loyola), freshman WR Kodi Whitfield (Los Angeles/Loyola), junior RB Anthony Wilkerson (Foothill Ranch/Tustin) and sophomore RB/WR Kelsey Young (Norco/Norco).
Series: Stanford trails, 28-58-3 (.331)
First meeting: 1905 at Stanford - Stanford 16, USC 0
Last meeting: 2011 at USC - Stanford 56, USC 48 (3OT)
Series streak: Stanford - W3 (4 of last 5)
A Look Back at Defeating Duke
The Cardinal defense locked down Duke early, forcing punts on the Blue Devils' first seven series. Six of the game's first seven Duke drives ended three-and-out.
After the first three-and-out that opened the game, Duke punted to senior Drew Terrell, who took his return 76 yards the other way for a touchdown and Stanford 7-0 lead before the offense ever took the field.
The punt return touchdown was the first of Terrell's career and the first for a Stanford players since Richard Sherman versus San Jose State on Sept. 19, 2009. The 76-yard punt return for Terrell was the longest since Luke Powell's 90-yard return versus UCLA on Nov. 1, 2003.
Terrell also scored a touchdown in the third quarter on a 19-yard touchdown in the third quarter, his second receiving score in as many games this season. Terrell became the first Stanford player to score on offense and special teams in the same game since Chris Owusu versus San Jose State on Sept. 19, 2009.
Senior quarterback Josh Nunes threw for career-highs versus Duke of 16 completions, 275 passing yards and three touchdowns, along with his first career interception.
Nunes completed five passes of more than 25 yards versus Duke after a long completion of 14 yards in the season opener versus San Jose State. A 43-yard connection with senior tight end Zach Ertz is Nunes' new career high.
Stanford has now scored 50 or more points eight times in the last four seasons. The Cardinal have pushed across 40 or more points 18 times since 2009.
The Stanford defense held Duke to 27 net yards rushing, the fifth straight game the Cardinal has allowed less than 100 yards rushing.
Junior free safety Ed Reynolds scored on a pick-six last Saturday on a 71-yard highlight interception return, to go along with another 50-yard INT return versus Duke. Reynolds is tied for the NCAA lead with three interceptions this year, and his 144 total return yards are more than 63 percent ahead of the next best player.
Stanford has won 10 consecutive non-conference games in the regular season, dating back to 2009 (San Jose State).
Five opponents on Stanford's 2012 slate are currently ranked in both the USA Today Coaches' Poll (No. 3 USC, No. 4 Oregon, No. 19 Notre Dame, No. 23 UCLA and No. 25 Arizona) and AP Poll (No. 2 USC, No. 4 Oregon, No. 20 Notre Dame, No. 22 UCLA and No. 24 Arizona).
Last week, three of Stanford's future opponents defeated teams ranked in the AP Poll (Arizona def. No. 18 Oklahoma State, Oregon State def. No. 13 Wisconsin and UCLA def. No. 16 Nebraska).
Be the First To Know
"Inside Stanford Sports with David Shaw" returns to the airwaves this season on the Cardinal's flagship station KNBR 1050 AM. The one-hour show kicks off at 8:00 p.m. (PT) and will be broadcast live from Gordon Biersch Palo Alto (640 Emerson Street).
The radio show features Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football and head coach David Shaw and several standout Stanford players each month, hosted by current Cardinal radio analyst and former Rose Bowl quarterback Todd Husak. Mark your calendar for all five shows this fall: Monday, Aug. 27 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3 - 8:00 p.m.
Fans in attendance for the radio show at Gordon Biersch will enjoy 10 percent off their purchases and can receive Stanford merchandise prizes given away during commercial breaks. Fans in attendance will also have a chance to register to win a round-trip ticket on American Airlines - ticket winner will be announced during final broadcast on Dec. 3 (winner must be present to win).
Fans unable to make it to the Palo Alto live broadcast can tune their radio to 1050 AM in the Bay Area or visit KNBR.com and click the "1050 AM Listen Live" button.
In the new era of Pac-12 Conference scheduling, Stanford plays two non-Saturday games in 2012. The Cardinal opened the season Aug. 31 (Friday) at home versus San Jose State; after a bye in week four, Stanford plays at Washington Sept. 27 (Thursday).
The Oct. 6 game versus Arizona is a part of Reunion Homecoming Weekend on The Farm.
Stanford and rival Cal will play the 115th edition of the Big Game in an unprecedented October setting when the Cardinal travels to Berkeley on Oct. 20.
The Cardinal will travel as a conference foe for the first time to Boulder, Colo., to face Colorado on Nov. 3. Stanford last played at Colorado in a 1990 non-conference affair.
When Stanford hosts Washington State on Oct. 27, the Cardinal will celebrate its Football Alumni Reunion and honor the 20th anniversary of the 1992 team led by head coach Bill Walsh, which finished 10-2 with a 24-3 victory over Penn State in the Blockbuster Bowl.
The Nov. 10 home game versus Oregon State is the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame game, including attendance by and honor of the newest Hall of Fame inductees.
For the second straight season, Stanford will miss Arizona State and Utah in the Pac-12 Conference's interdivision rotation. The Cardinal will face both opponents for home-and-home matchups in 2013-14.
Stanford's road schedule will also take the Cardinal to Notre Dame (Oct. 13), Oregon (Nov. 17) and UCLA (Nov. 24).
The second annual Pac-12 Championship game will be played on the campus of the division winner with the best overall conference record.
Stanford is ranked 16th in the USA Today Coaches' poll (Sept. 9). The Cardinal is ranked 21st in the Associated Press Top 25 (Sept. 9), marking the 34rd straight week Stanford has been ranked among the AP's Top 25. The streak is tied for the ninth longest in the nation, dating back to Sept. 5, 2010. Prior to the AP preseason poll, the Cardinal had been ranked 23 consecutive weeks among its top 10.
Stanford has been ranked in the preseason AP poll 16 times, while the Cardinal appeared in a program-best 43 straight weekly polls from 1969-72.
Stanford finished the 2011 season ranked No. 7 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches' polls, marking the second straight season the Cardinal had finished inside the top 10 after being ranked No. 4 at the conclusion of the 2010 season.
Media Picks Stanford Second in Pac-12 North
Stanford was picked to finish second in the Pac-12 North Division in a poll of conference media members. The prediction would equal where Stanford finished a year ago when it lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with Oregon.
Stanford received five first-place votes in the North Division, but was picked behind Oregon which received 117. The Ducks amassed 732 points to 533 for Stanford. Washington was picked third in the division with 503 points, followed by California (382), Washington State (228) and Oregon State (205).
USC was tabbed to win the Pac-12 South and received 117 of 120 first-place votes. The Trojans were also tabbed to win the Pac-12 Championship Game, receiving 102 of 123 votes.
The media poll has correctly selected the conference champion in 28 of 51 previous polls, including 11 of the last 12. Historically, the media has not been great at selecting Stanford's outcome, although it did correctly slot Stanford second in 2011.
The season of Stanford's most recent Rose Bowl appearance, 1999, the Cardinal was picked to finish eighth. In the 51 years of the conference media poll, Stanford has never been picked first, but has played in three Rose Bowls during that span.
Stanford has compiled a 33-8 (.805) record over the last four seasons, finishing 8-5 in 2009, 12-1 in 2010 and 11-2 last season. The Cardinal's 33 wins rank second only to Oregon's 36 among Pac-12 teams during this stretch while its .805 winning percentage ties for sixth among all FBS teams.
Stanford is one of just four teams in the nation that has compiled 25 or more wins over the last three seasons, along with LSU (26), Oregon (26) and TCU (25). The Cardinal's .893 winning percentage since 2010 is fourth-best among FBS teams during that stretch.
The Cardinal has also posted a 22-5 record in Pac-12 Conference play over the last three-plus seasons, which ranks second only to Oregon's 25-2 mark. Prior to its 8-5 finish in 2009, the Cardinal suffered through seven straight losing seasons, compiling a 25-55 record from 2002-08.
Captains to Lead the Cardinal
Fifth-year senior center Sam Schwartzstein, senior running back Stepfan Taylor and fifth-year senior outside linebacker Chase Thomas have been named tri-captains for the 2012 season, as voted by their teammates. A fourth game captain each week represents the special teams: fifth-year senior outside linebacker Alex Debniak (San Jose State) and junior placekicker Jordan Williamson (Duke) to date.
Stanford welcomes back 28 letterwinners, including six starters, to an offensive unit that scored a school-record 561 points and averaged 43.2 points a game a year ago, which ranked seventh in the nation. Stanford ranked eighth nationally in total offense (489.3), 18th in rushing offense (210.6), 22nd in passing offense (278.6), fifth in passing efficiency (169.46) and 10th in first downs per game (25.0) in 2011.
The returning starters include senior running back Stepfan Taylor (242 rushes; 1,330 yards; 10 TDs), fullback Ryan Hewitt (10 rushes; 35 yards; 0 TDs), tight end Levine Toilolo (25-343; 6 TDs), right tackle Cameron Fleming (honorable mention All-Pac-12), left guard David Yankey (honorable mention All-Pac-12) and center Sam Schwartzstein.
Other key offensive personnel returning to the fold include running back Anthony Wilkerson (56-282; 3 TDs), tight end Zach Ertz (27-346; 4 TDs) and wide receiver Ty Montgomery (24-350; 2 TDs).
Key losses include quarterback Heisman runner-up Andrew Luck (Walter Camp Football Foundation and Maxwell Award National Player of the Year), right guard David DeCastro (unanimous All-American), left tackle Jonathan Martin (AFCA and Walter Camp All-American), tight end Coby Fleener (Sporting News All-American; 34-667; 10 TDs), wide receivers Griff Whalen (56-749; 4 TDs) and Chris Owusu (35-376; 2 TDs) and running backs Jeremy Stewart (55-257; 9 TDs) and Tyler Gaffney (74-449; 7 TDs).
Stanford returns 27 letterwinners, including seven starters, to a defensive unit that ranked in the top two of six conference defensive categories, including rushing defense (1st; 84.4), third-down conversion defense (1st; 31.1), scoring defense (2nd; 21.9), total defense (2nd; 337.6), sacks-per-game (2nd; 3.00) and opponent first downs (2nd; 17.5).
Stanford finished third nationally in rushing defense, sixth in third down conversion defense (31.0; 51-164) and 11th in sacks per game (3.00).
The Cardinal returns three of its top five tacklers from a year ago including senior outside linebacker Chase Thomas, who earned Sporting News All-America honors after totaling 52 tackles and 8.5 sacks among his 17.5 tackles for loss, inside linebackers Jarek Lancaster (team-high 70 tackles) and A.J. Tarpley (57 tackles; 2 forced fumbles).
Outside linebacker Trent Murphy (25-15-40) also returns to a deep linebacker unit that includes inside linebacker Shayne Skov, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the third game of the season at Arizona.
Senior defensive end Ben Gardner (second team All-Pac-12; 23-12-35; 4.5 sacks) and senior defensive tackle Terrence Stephens (6-5-11) return to a defensive line that loses three-year starter Matt Masifilo (12-22-34).
The secondary returns only left cornerback Terrence Brown (32-11-43; 1 interception) to its starting fold following the graduations of free safety Michael Thomas (All-Pac-12 honorable mention; 41-25-66; 3 interceptions), strong safety Delano Howell (first team All-Pac-12; 38-14-52) and right cornerback Johnson Bademosi (36-12-48).
Special Teams Personnel
Stanford looks to offset the loss of punter David Green (41.7 in 2011) with fifth-year senior Daniel Zychlinski, who started the first 10 games of the 2010 season at punter. Zychlinski has 34 career punts for an average of 40.5 yards per punt.
Junior Jordan Williamson returns to handle the placekicking duties, after making 13 of 19 of his attempts as a Lou Groza Award semifinalist last season.
Stanford returns its top two return specialists from last year in senior Drew Terrell (18-216; 12.0 PR), an honorable mention All-Pac-12 performer in 2012, and sophomore Ty Montgomery (27-680; 25.2 KOR).
Stanford will also look to replace the services of long snapper Andrew Fowler and backup place kicker Eric Whitaker, who made 4 of 5 field goal attempts last season.
Stanford has five fifth-year seniors on its 2012 roster, including SS Harold Bernard, OLB Alex Debniak, C Sam Schwartzstein, OLB Chase Thomas and P Daniel Zychlinski.
One of the top running backs in the Pac-12 Conference and a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award, Stepfan Taylor figures prominently on many of Stanford's career lists in his senior season. He ranks third on Stanford's all-time career rushing list with 2,995 yards, last week passing Brad Muster (2,940). Taylor needs 527 yards to catch Toby Gerhart and 1,038 more to tie Darrin Nelson for first place. His 29 career rushing touchdowns are third all-time on the Farm, and Taylor needs eight more to tie Tommy Vardell for second all-time.
Taylor's 2,995 yards career rushing currently ranks sixth among active rushers in the NCAA. His 561 career carries ranks fourth.
Taylor's 14 100-yard games rank third on Stanford's all-time career list behind only Toby Gerhart (20) and Nelson (16).
Taylor possesses the second and third best single-season rushing marks in school history. His sophomore (1,137) and junior (1,330) seasons rank ahead of Gerhart's junior season (1,136) and behind Gerhart's senior season (1,871).
Taylor finished last season with 1,330 yards on 242 carries (5.5) and averaged 102.3 yards per game, which ranked fourth in the Pac-12 and 21st nationally. He is one of six Stanford backs to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season and just the third back to accomplish the feat in consecutive seasons, joining Nelson (1977-78) and Gerhart (2008-09).
Stanford has recorded four of the school's top five single-season rushing marks over the last four seasons. In 2009, the Cardinal ran for a school-record 2,837 yards behind Heisman Trophy finalist Toby Gerhart. In 2010, the Cardinal finished with 2,779 yards on the ground, which ranks as the second best mark in school history.
Last season, Stanford finished with 2,738 yards -- good for third all-time. The Cardinal rushed for a school-record 446 yards in the Oct. 22 contest versus Washington.
Of Stanford's 935 plays from scrimmage last season, 55.4 percent (518) were rushing plays while 44.6 (417) were pass attempts. Since 2009, Stanford has rushed the ball on 59.8 percent of its offensive plays (1,589-2,657).
Behind Enemy Lines
Stanford's defense finished 11th in the nation in sacks (3.0) last season and 28th in tackles for loss (6.85). In the season opener versus San Jose State, the Cardinal notched 10 tackles for loss - best in the Pac-12 and 11th in the nation. Stanford was led by senior nickel back Usua Amanam (4.0) and fifth-year senior outside linebacker Chase Thomas (2.0). Six different Cardinal players recorded tackles for loss in the game. Stanford stacked on six more tackles for loss against Duke.
The Stanford Trees
Stanford's tight end tandem of Zach Ertz (27-346-4) and Levine Toilolo (25-343-6) combined to catch 52 passes for 689 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. The duo has combined for 10 receptions, 147 yards and one touchdown in the opening two games of 2012.
Last season, tight ends accounted for more than half (20 of 38) of Stanford's touchdown receptions, with Coby Fleener leading the team with 10 TD grabs.
Six tight ends currently on NFL rosters were grown on "The Farm" - Jim Dray (Arizona Cardinals), Coby Fleener (Indianapolis Colts), Erik Lorig (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Evan Moore (Seattle Seahawks), Konrad Reuland (New York Jets) and Alex Smith (Cleveland Browns).
Stanford's special teams are getting started on the right foot, including the Pac-12's top punt return average of 22.3 yards led by senior Drew Terrell. The Cardinal's coverage teams have cast a tight web, with a net of 47.4 yards per kickoff (second in Pac-12) and 40.7 yards per punt (fourth).
Of Stanford's last 16 wins dating back to the 2010 season, 12 have been by 25 points or more while its average margin of victory in its last 16 wins has been 27.7 points (406 total).
Stanford's last 33 victories dating back to the 2009 season have come by a margin of 24.5 points (810 total) while its seven losses have come by a margin of 8.0 points (56 total).
The Cardinal is 10-9 in its last 19 games decided by a touchdown or less.
The Home Record
Stanford is 25-3 (.893) in its last 28 home games dating back to the final home contest of the 2007 season, with its only home losses coming against No. 6 USC (2008), California (2009) and No. 6 Oregon (2011) during that stretch.
The Cardinal had won 11 straight home games at Stanford Stadium prior to its 53-30 loss to Oregon on Nov. 12 of last season.
Stanford is averaging 39.6 points a game (1,070 total) over its last 27 home games while allowing just 21.3 (574 total).
Stanford welcomes two new coaches to its staff in 2012, with Pete Alamar taking over the role as special teams coordinator and David Kotulski assuming the duties of inside linebackers coach.
Alamar served as special teams coordinator for the past two seasons at Fresno State and also spent seven seasons (2003-09) in the same capacity at California.
Running backs coach Mike Sanford has taken on additional responsibilities as recruiting coordinator.
Jason Tarver, who served as co-defensive coordinator with Derek Mason last season, was named defensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders while Brian Polian, who had served as special teams coordinator for two seasons, was named special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Texas A&M.
In the Classroom
Stanford's football program received an Academic Progress Rating (APR) of 977 last spring, which was the highest rating in the Pac-12 Conference and a figure that ranked 13th nationally among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions.
Stanford had 65 players card a grade point average of 3.0 or better last spring quarter.
Stanford University requires its students to declare an undergraduate major before starting their junior year. Among the team's juniors and seniors, 18 different majors are represented. Fifteen Cardinal upperclassmen are engineering majors. Majors with three or more Cardinal scholar-athletes: biomechanical engineering, economics, management science & engineering, political science, psychology, and science, technology & society.
Cardinal Playbooks Go Digital
Stanford ushered in a new era with iPad playbooks for the 2012 season. With the start of the Cardinal's fall training camp, each Stanford player and coach received an iPad outfitted with a digital playbook powered by Denver-based partner PlayerLync.
Five professional teams in the NFL are currently equipped through the same partnership, and Stanford is proud to be the first in college football to take this leap forward in operational efficiency, cost reduction and environmental responsibility.
The voluminous paper playbooks which consumed trees, money and countless man-hours of production are now a thing of the past for Stanford. The training camp playbook, weekly game playbooks and daily notes are now all immediately published from the coaching staff to the players via unattended content synchronization, ensuring that Stanford's players have all the right information as soon as it is available. Documents and video are automatically pushed to each team member's iPad without their involvement.
How We Do It
The Cardinal Channel and Stanford Football this fall are producing a novel 15-episode video series running weekly throughout the season. "How We Do It" brings viewers inside the program, into the personal stories and immersed in the experiences of Stanford Football throughout the 2012 season.
Each episode of "How We Do It" is available online at youtube.com/StanfordAthletics.
Fresh Faces Time to Shine
The 2012 Stanford signing class that was ranked fifth nationally by Rivals.com and sixth-best by Scout.com has arrived on the Farm as freshmen. The offensive line class was hailed by some as the greatest in the history of college football. As a whole, the talent level of the class has lived up to expectations this fall. Ten true freshmen debuted against San Jose State, encompassing all three phases of the game on offense, defense and special teams: Alex Carter, Joshua Garnett, Zach Hoffpauir, Luke Kaumatule, Drew Madhu, Blake Martinez, Reed Miller, Kyle Murphy, Andrus Peat and Kodi Whitfield. The defensive backs (Carter, Hoffpauir, Madhu) and offensive linemen (Garnett, Murphy, Peat) lead the way in this talented freshman class.
Four true freshmen saw the field for the Cardinal in 2011. Six played in each of 2010 and 2009. Eight freshmen played right away in 2008.
Fourteen additional Stanford players have made their collegiate debut in the first two games of 2012: sophomores Kevin Anderson, Brendon Austin, Lance Callihan, Ronnie Harris, Anthony Hayes, Charlie Hopkins, Ra'Chard Pippens, Torsten Rotto, J.B. Salem, Patrick Skov, Remound Wright and Kelsey Young, plus juniors Dillon Bonnell and Conor McFadden.
Stanford and the NFL
The Cardinal coaching staff from top to bottom was molded in the National Football League:
David Shaw Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football / Head Coach (9 years) Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens
Derek Mason Associate Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Backs (3 years) Minnesota Vikings
Pep Hamilton Andrew Luck Director of Offense / Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks (10 years) Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears
Mike Bloomgren Running Game Coordinator / Offensive Line (4 years): New York Jets
Aaron Moorehead Offensive Assistant (5 years playing) Indianapolis Colts (Super Bowl XLI Champion)
Ron Lynn Director of Player Development (19 years) San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers
Mike Gleeson Video Director (8 years) New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan Devlin Assistant Director of Operations & Recruiting (2 years) Arizona Cardinals
Defensive Assistant Vavae Tata and Volunteer Assistant Harry Alderson participated in the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship for a summer with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, respectively.
Numerous current Cardinal players have NFL bloodlines:
Freshman CB Alex Carter's father Tom Carter played for the Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals (1993-2001).
Freshman OT Nick Davidson's father Jeff Davidson played for the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints (1990-94) and grandfather Jim Davidson played for the Miami Dolphins (1966-67).
Freshman OLB Noor Davis' father Chris Davis played for the New York Giants (1987), and his uncle Andre Tippet played for the New England Patriots (1982-93) and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Junior WR John Flacco's brother Joe Flacco is the Baltimore Ravens' starting QB.
Freshman OG Joshua Garnett's father Scott Garnett played for the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills (1984-85, '87).
Freshman WR Dontonio Jordan's uncle James Rouse played for the Chicago Bears (1990-91).
Sophomore CB Wayne Lyons' cousin Frank Sanders played for the Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens (1995-2003).
Sophomore OT/OG Brian Moran's father Matt Moran played for the Kansas City Chiefs (1986).
Freshman FS Josiah Paye's brother John Paye played for the San Francisco 49ers (1987-88).
Freshman OT Andrus Peat's father Todd Peat played for the St. Louis / Phoenix Cardinals and Los Angeles Raiders (1987-90, '92-'93).
Sophomore C Kevin Reihner's father George Reihner played for the Houston Oilers (1977-79, '82).
Junior FS Ed Reynolds' father Ed Reynolds played for the New England Patriots and New York Giants (1983-92).
Freshman RB Barry Sanders' father Barry Sanders played for the Detroit Lions (1989-98) and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Junior RB Ricky Seale's father Sam Seale played for the Los Angeles Raiders, San Diego Chargers and Los Angeles Rams (1984-93).
Senior TE Levine Toilolo's three uncles played in the NFL: Dan Saleaumua for the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks (1987-98); Edwin Mulitalo for the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions (1999-2008); and Joe Salave'a for the Tennessee Oilers/Titans, San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins (1998-2001, 2003-06).
Sophomore ILB James Vaughters' cousin Oliver (Jay) Johnson played for the Philadelphia Eagles (1969-70).
Freshman WR Kodi Whitfield's father Bob Whitfield played for the Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants (1992-2006).