Stanford (1-2, 0-1 Pac-12) could not compete with No. 17 UCF (3-0, 0-0 AAC) and lost 45-27 on the road. Despite the Cardinal receiving the kickoff, the Knights scored twice in the first five minutes of the game, and Stanford never recovered.
The Cardinal must hit the road again to take on a quality opponent. But with the pressure off and expectations gone, perhaps Stanford can find redemption against the 17th-ranked UCF Knights.
Both Stanford and USC desperately need a win in their Pac-12 opener because they have brutal schedules coming up. Here’s three keys to a major rivalry victory for Stanford in the Back-up Bowl.
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.
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.
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.
It’s been eight months since No. 25 Stanford football’s last game, an ugly 14-13 Sun Bowl victory over Pitt. The long offseason was full of questions for the Cardinal: How would they replace Heisman runner-up Bryce Love ‘19, or All-Pac-12 receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside ‘19, or leading tackler Bobby Okereke ‘18?
Anticipation for the upcoming 2019 college football season continues to build as Pac-12 and national sports news media released their annual preseason watchlists and All-American teams last week.