On Saturday, the Cardinal and the Trojans will play the first Pac-12 Conference game for the sixth-straight year, with five of those games played in the season’s second week.
No. 3 Stanford (4-0, 0-0 Pac-12) took care of business against San José State (1-1-2, 0-0 MW) for a 7-0 win, head coach Paul Ratcliffe’s 300th on the Farm.
With 30 second left in the game and down by three points, the Wildcats took over possession, but quarterback Hunter Johnson was strip sacked by fifth-year outside linebacker Casey Toohill, and the ball was recovered by sophomore outside linebacker Jordan Fox in the end zone to ice the game.
Coming off a 9-4 season capped by a sloppy Sun Bowl victory, expectations are all over the place for No. 25 Stanford in 2019. Senior quarterback KJ Costello returns to lead the offense but without the receiving weapons he had a year ago. Junior cornerback and All-American Paulson Adebo headlines the defense, but run-stopping ability is still in question. A well-coached, disciplined Northwestern team heads into Stanford Stadium on Saturday to kickoff the season. The Daily’s King Jemison, Daniel Martinez-Krams and Gregory Block discuss expectations, breakout candidates and the trenches.
The Cardinal outshot the Quakers 35-5 and 18-3 on goal in the first-ever meeting between the two programs. After conceding only five goals all of last season, Penn was beat for that amount in their 2019 season opener.
No. 3 Stanford will look to extend a 29-game home unbeaten streak and secure Paul Ratcliffe’s 300th victory as head coach — he is two short.
No. 25 Stanford opens its 125th season with a home matchup against Northwestern, the defending Big Ten West champion. The Cardinal have won 11 consecutive home openers and are ranked in the AP preseason poll for the ninth-straight year.
Last season, the Stanford football team ranked 114 out of 129 FBS teams in passing yards per game allowed. Improving on that number will be crucial to the success of this year’s team, and fair or not, the onus falls on the defensive backfield.