Stanford: What we learned
September, 11, 2011
- Andrew Luck can take a hit: After going relatively unscathed against San Jose State in Week 1, Luck was bumped around quite a bit in the first half against Duke. He took five hits -- really solid hits -- and bounced right back up. He finished 20-of-28 for 290 yards and four touchdowns.[+] EnlargeAP Photo/Gerry BroomeAndrew Luck is good, but he's hardly the only thing Stanford has going for it.
- Secondary still suspect: Too many big plays. Too many missed tackles. For as deep as Stanford is in the secondary -- and they are extremely deep -- there are still too many holes behind the linebackers and opposing quarterbacks are taking advantage of them. Coach David Shaw said last week that missed tackles in the secondary lose games. One of these days, his team is going to prove him right if they keep it up.
- Wow. These tight ends are good: Shaw said it's pick your poison when trying to figure out which one of the three -- Coby Fleener, Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo -- to defend. Fleener, Ertz and Toilolo should be renamed Hemlock, Cyanide and Carbon Tetracholride. OK, that last one might not fit on the back of a jersey. But you get the point. There is no greater offensive mismatch than a smaller corner back on a tall tight end. Stanford exploits this mismatch better than any team in the country.
- The offensive line is still a work in progress: Better, at times. Worse, at times. So-so in one half. Solid in another. They'll get there. You could see the improvements from Week 1 to Week 2. But you could also see youth and a lack of continuity. Don't think we'll see any changes to the lineup. When this group does click, look out.
- Front seven -- ridiculous: The only aspect of the Cardinal that has been consistent through two games is the run defense -- which has been outstanding. The bulk of SJSU's rushing yards came in the fourth quarter, after they had -2 through three. The bulk of Duke's rushing yards came in the fourth quarter, after they 17 through three. That's 15 rushing yards Stanford's regular front seven has allowed in six quarters. Crazy good.
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