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.
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.
Tomorrow, No. 5 Stanford (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) hopes to avoid a similar letdown when it takes on Washington State (3-1, 1-0) in Seattle. Despite a shaky fourth quarter against Arizona State last weekend, the Cardinal is coming off a statement win and looks to keep its momentum heading into the middle segment of the season — a task that it failed to accomplish last year. And once again, the test will come within the hostile confines of CenturyLink Field.
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.
Stanford now has 10 sons of former NFL players on its roster, accounting for a combined 927 games of pro football experience. Both are highest in the Pac-12.