Stanford: What we learned
September, 18, 2011
By Kevin Gemmell | ESPN.com
- This team can win on the road: It's done it in consecutive weeks, across the country, in inclement weather and against, well, one decent team. As Stanford coach David Shaw said following last night’s 37-10 victory over Arizona, “Don’t let the scores fool you, they are a very good team.” I wouldn’t go as far as to say very good, but Arizona is good enough that the Cardinal proved a point to themselves and a lot of naysayers.
- The secondary can be good: I will use the word “very” when describing Nick Foles -- as in he’s a very good quarterback. But the Cardinal secondary, which had been hit-and-miss, or just plain missing hits through the first two weeks, stepped up and played a very solid game. It only got beat on a couple of one-on-one plays, and there were a few holes in the coverage -- which is to be expected when playing against a spread team. But Stanford tackled much better than it had in previous weeks. And, more importantly it held its coverage for an extra second, which allowed the front seven to generate five sacks.
- This team can deal with some adversity: First it was tight end Coby Fleener, who was lost for the game after suffering a big hit in the first quarter. He was showing concussion-like symptoms so he was kept out. Then it was linebacker Shayne Skov, who suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury in the second quarter. His status isn’t known, but he was carted off the sideline -- never a good sign. But the Cardinal showed their depth at tight end with Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo both nabbing touchdowns. And the defense buckled down to blank Arizona in the second half. If Skov’s injury is serious, there will be more adversity to come.
- The O-line keeps getting better: It was fantastic in the run game. It exploded off the ball, held blocks and kept its feet moving. The end result was 242 yards on the ground and an impressive average of 6.2 yards per carry collectively for the running backs. Pass protection was better than last week, though quarterback Andrew Luck still took a couple of shots. But he wasn’t sacked. And whenever that happens, it’s a good day for the boys up front.
- Jordan Williamson’s got game: Nice game for the kicker. Three field goals -- 20, 45 (career long) and 33 yards -- plus two touchbacks and two more that were run out of the end zone. From Week 1 to Week 3, he has showed splendid improvement.
Shaw Plans To Remain At Stanford
8:00 4th Qtr Illinois 18 Louisiana Tech 21 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State