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Adjusting to the absence of Ben Gardner

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.”

A comparison of tough roads to the NFL

Ben Gardner and Rolando McClain are two very good football players. I don’t know if they know each other and I won’t pretend that they do. One of them is in his fifth year at Stanford, will have a college degree when he leaves and is out for the rest of the season and an NFL combine with a torn pectoral muscle. The other started day one as a true freshman at Alabama, was a unanimous All-American and left college in his junior year for the NFL Draft.

Instant replay: smart blitzing

Last Saturday night in Corvallis, Oregon State fielded the nation’s finest pitch-and-catch duo, the explosive combination of junior quarterback Sean Mannion and junior receiver Brandin Cooks. The Cardinal promptly held the Beavers passing attack to a decidedly anemic 3.25 yards per play (counting sacks). The Cardinal defense triumphed because Stanford absolutely annihilated Oregon State’s offensive…