Heisman candidate Andrew Luck had the Cardinal offense humming in the second half of Saturday’s 37-10 win over Arizona, racking up 325 yards through the air with two touchdowns as Stanford (3-0) turned what was a close game into a blowout. Pollsters took notice, bumping the Card up to No. 5 in the national rankings.
But Stanford’s title hopes might have actually been dealt a serious blow. Despite the win, news came out Monday that junior middle linebacker Shane Skov would miss the rest of the season with a serious knee injury sustained in the second quarter of Saturday’s game. Skov went in for a tackle and appeared to have his leg pinned awkwardly beneath him as he fell.
Head coach David Shaw announced the loss of Stanford’s leading tackler of 2010 in a prepared statement, but no coaches or players were available for comment.
“It’s a big loss for our football team,” Shaw said. “But we have great leadership on defense from players such as Michael Thomas, Delano Howell and Chase Thomas. We’ve also recruited very well recently, and now it is time for guys to step up.”
Among the likely candidates to replace Skov are redshirt sophomore Jarek Lancaster (who took the bulk of the snaps after Skov left), sophomore Blake Lueders and highly touted freshman James Vaughters.
Stanford’s coaches will be able to take advantage of the bye week to evaluate the players, and the Cardinal’s depth will be put to the test Oct. 1 when it takes on UCLA at home.