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.
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.”
Coming into the 2013 season, most people figured that with Kevin Hogan’s increased experience and the emergence of young wide receivers, Stanford’s offense was going to improve dramatically. After showing signs of improvement early in the season, the Cardinal offense has sputtered over its past few games. We asked football writers Do-Hyoung Park, David Cohn and Winston Shi: Is Stanford’s offense better now than it was going into the Oregon game last season?
Few college football players will ever have a touchdown catch as spectacular as sophomore Kodi Whitfield’s grab this past Saturday. Even fewer, if any at all, will have as amazing of a catch for their first career touchdown as Whitfield did.
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?
Late in the fourth quarter with his team up by seven, Tyler Gaffney looked at David Shaw and said, “Coach, I ain’t tired.”