Saturday, September 3, 2011
Stanford, SJSU halftime
By Kevin Gemmell
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Halfway through, Stanford leads San Jose State 27-3. Here's a quick recap of the action so far at Stanford Stadium:
Best player of the half: One guess. It's Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. He looked a little rusty on the opening drive -- missing a pair of fades in the end zone. But he's still 10-of-15 for 95 yards and has accounted for all three of Stanford touchdowns -- a 1-yard run (a good decision to tuck and run rather than force a pass) and a couple of passing touchdowns.
Best play of the half: I'm a sucker for hustle plays -- and this one goes to San Jose State's Chandler Jones. After Stanford's Chase Thomas forced a fumble and defensive end Henry Anderson picked up it and went rumbling toward the end zone. Jones (174 pounds), came from across the field and dove at the legs of Anderson (275 pounds), and stopped him at the 1-yard line. Granted, Stanford scored on a 2-yard pass from Luck to Ryan Hewitt two plays later. But still, nice hustle.
What San Jose State has to do: On defense, well, if I knew how to stop Luck I'd be an NFL defensive coordinator. On offense, stop wasting opportunities. The Spartans finally put together a good drive midway through the second quarter, moving 62 yards on 11 plays. But kicker Harrison Waid went wide right on a 23-yard field goal. He recovered, however, with an 18-yard field goal with :49 seconds left in the first half for the Spartans first points of the game.
What Stanford has to do: Defensively, tighten up the zone coverage in the secondary. SJSU quarterback Matt Faulkner started to find some gaps in the second quarter. Run defense has been great. Negative rushing yards in the first half for SJSU. Offensively, the Cardinal haven't really taken any shots down field -- not that they need to with a 27-3 lead. Haven't been impressed with the running game so far (64 yards total) -- particularly in the red zone.