With three official practices complete, No. 23 Stanford football has opened its fall camp. Ahead of the Aug. 31 season opener against Northwestern, preparation is paramount to success for the Cardinal, a team widely considered to have the toughest schedule in the nation.
21st-ranked Stanford (9-3, 7-2 Pac-12) turned a close game into a dominant 38-20 home victory over ninth-ranked Notre Dame (9-3) with a wave of fourth quarter momentum, outscoring the Irish 21-0 in the final period of play. The Cardinal defense came up with three turnovers in the final quarter alone. Sophomore quarterback KJ Costello led the Stanford offense with four touchdown passes.
Moving up to No. 22 in the AP Top 25 Poll, Stanford football (5-2, 4-1 Pac-12) ran over Oregon (4-3, 1-3) in a 49-7 victory on Saturday night. Although junior running back Bryce Love broke 100 yards of rushing within the first five minutes — making this the ninth-straight game that he’s done so. But senior quarterback Keller Chryst had the best performance of the night.
Coming off the road victory at Utah where Stanford used two quarterbacks with relative success, head coach David Shaw seems prepared to play both senior Keller Chryst and redshirt freshman KJ Costello for the second straight game this Saturday vs. Oregon.
Last year, Stanford’s defense seemed to lack that one star in its linebacker core. Coming off the departures of Martinez and Anderson, the Cardinal’s lack of experience occasionally reared its ugly head. And when thinking about the brutal losses to Washington and Washington State last year, although there was trouble for Stanford all over the field, an overwhelmed linebacker unit carried a share of the blame for the Cardinal’s inability to come up with stops.
Despite missing starting quarterback Keller Chryst and running back Bryce Love to rehabilitation, the annual spring football game featured a display of young talent for the Cardinal (offense) on the running game in their 37-30 victory over the White (defense) while senior QB Ryan Burns strengthened his case for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart with 10-15, including a 38-yard seam TD pass to sophomore Donald Stewart.
Heading into Stanford’s season opener against the visiting Kansas State Wildcats, it had been almost exactly nine months since the nation last saw Christian McCaffrey razzle and dazzle on the football field. Then, almost exactly nine minutes into the game, the Cardinal’s most electrifying player went back into high-voltage mode to deliver a play for…
Compared to other positions, there are perhaps the most question marks surrounding the Cardinal’s linebacker unit going into the 2016 season. That being said, the linebackers have the potential to be a solid crew that helps this year’s Cardinal defense become one of the best in recent memory.