One thing was clear: The road to the Pac-12 Championship went through Oregon.
No team understood that fact better than Stanford. For two consecutive seasons, the Ducks had denied the Cardinal the conference title and a national championship bid; Andrew Luck ‘12, who only beat the Ducks once in his three-year playing career, had even admitted that Stanford was suffering from an “Oregon problem.” With Luck gone, the Cardinal arrived at Autzen as a 21-point underdog.
The game of the year has finally arrived. Unfortunately, only one of the two teams held up its end of the bargain in going undefeated up to this point, and that has pretty seriously detracted from the hype around this matchup.
Stanford football has played four ranked opponents in its last six games, but it will face by far its biggest test yet on Thursday against… Continue Reading »
It’s always hard to swallow the ups and downs of a football season until it’s over. It took until after the 2011 Orange Bowl for us to understand just how good Stanford was; it took until after the 2012 Fiesta Bowl for us to realize just how much we would miss Andrew Luck and the rest of his class.
The tremors from fifth-year senior and defensive captain Ben Gardner’s season-ending injury reverberated around the practice field this week as a banged-up team and defensive line attempted to move forward without Gardner.
“Ben’s going to be out at every practice,” said head coach David Shaw. “He’s still a team captain and still wants to be a leader, so he’s going to be around and helping the guys.”
Ben Gardner and Rolando McClain are two very good football players. I don’t know if they know each other and I won’t pretend that they do. One of them is in his fifth year at Stanford, will have a college degree when he leaves and is out for the rest of the season and an NFL combine with a torn pectoral muscle. The other started day one as a true freshman at Alabama, was a unanimous All-American and left college in his junior year for the NFL Draft.