Last year, USC waltzed into Stanford Stadium as the favored team with national championship hopes and a top-five ranking. This year, the roles have been reversed, as Stanford travels to the Coliseum as the favorite with a top-five ranking and rekindled national championship dreams.
If there’s one position group on the Stanford football team that prides itself on accomplishing its task as a nameless, faceless unit, it’s the Tunnel Workers Union. But if you’re looking for some of the team’s most distinct personalities, that very same offensive line is a good place to start.
It’s the elephant in the film room of Stanford’s opponents — a formation so big and heavy that offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren can almost feel the ground shake when he sends it out onto the field.
Few short-yardage formations in college football are as intimidating as the Cardinal’s 3,200-pound behemoth. As if the seven offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage aren’t enough for a defense to handle, there’s two more 300-pounders in the backfield as well, forming a triangle with the running back.
After Stanford’s second day of practices in preparation for San Jose State, head coach David Shaw passed on the first notable injury news of the season: fifth-year senior fullback Ryan Hewitt was held out of practice on Tuesday and might miss Saturday’s season opener.