As a whole, the Stanford football team looked much improved against No. 9 UCLA after its disappointing loss at unranked Utah. Not only was the Cardinal’s defense stifling, but its offense also put together several solid drives (though it often failed to capitalize). We asked football writers Do-Hyoung Park, Winston Shi and David Cohn: Which Stanford player made the biggest strides last week?
In advance of Saturday’s football game between Stanford and UCLA, The Daily’s Do-Hyoung Park chatted with Andrew Erickson, a senior sports staffer at The Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student newspaper, to get perspective from both camps. Below is a partial transcript of their conversation.
In college football, teams are expected to be perfect for 14 weeks if they hope to compete for the crystal trophy. That’s why we asked football writers Winston Shi, David Cohn and Do-Hyoung Park: Is this Stanford team just not built to win a national championship?
Stanford was a great fourth-quarter team in 2012, scoring 70 points to its opponents’ 39 in the final frame. That production late in games helped the Cardinal go 8-2 in contests decided by a touchdown or less last season. However, Stanford hasn’t been nearly as invincible in the fourth quarter in 2013. Though the Card has scored 34 points in just five fourth quarters, it has also surrendered 49, 10 more than it did in its 14 games last season. The offensive line hasn’t always gotten the push Stanford needs in late short-yardage situations, and the secondary has given up a lot of yards through the air at the end of the game. Those issues were front-and-center in the team’s close win against Washington, so we asked football writers David Cohn, Winston Shi and Do-Hyoung Park: Has the Cardinal lost its clutch?