Nerd Nation remembers when Notre Dame stopped running back Stepfan Taylor ’13 inches short of the goal line to hand Stanford a heartbreaking 20-13 overtime loss in rainy South Bend. Nerd Nation remembers Irish fans rushing the field after the officials announced — in what was one of the most controversial rulings of the 2012 college football season — that the call stood. Outside linebacker Chase Thomas ’12 called it one of the toughest losses of his career, on par with the Fiesta Bowl loss.
A loss to a bitter rival, coupled with the gloomy, wet weather at Tuesday’s practice, could easily put a damper on a team’s overall spirit. For the Stanford Cardinal, however, intensity at practice remains as high as ever due in large part to the example set by the team’s senior leadership.
In one of the most electric atmospheres at Stanford Stadium in recent memory, No. 5 Stanford (8-1, 6-1 Pac-12) shocked the college football world for the second year in a row by upending mighty No. 3 Oregon (8-1, 5-1) 26-20. The deceivingly close score didn’t do justice to the fact that the Cardinal utterly dominated in all three phases of the game for over three-and-half quarters, before the Ducks stormed back in the last five minutes of the game — thanks to a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown and a quick score following an onside kick recovery — to cap the night off in dramatic fashion.
In advance of Saturday’s football game between Stanford and Oregon State, The Daily’s Winston Shi chatted with Andrew Kilstrom of The Daily Barometer, Oregon State’s student newspaper, to get perspective from both camps. Below is a partial transcript of their conversation.
If you’re a Pac-12 offensive coordinator, you’ve got to pick your battles when going up against Stanford. It’s probably not wise to attack the Cardinal’s vaunted front seven — thus, only 15 Division I teams have faced fewer carries per game than Stanford has — or its ballhawking safeties — thus, only eight of the 184 completions against the Cardinal have gone for 30 yards or more.
Stanford football head coach David Shaw’s first remarks following Tuesday’s practice reiterated his comments earlier in the day when he expressed his admiration for Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who wears the No. 7 for the Beavers.
“Practice was good today,” Shaw said. “The defense was flying around trying to recognize where No. 7 is.”