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Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Midseason report: Stanford

By Kevin Gemmell

Stanford

Record: 4-2, 2-1

Oh, Stanford. What to make of you...

The Cardinal are 4-0 at home, where the defense has looked pretty good and the offense has had bouts of explosiveness. The Cardinal are 0-2 on the road, where the defense has looked very solid but the offense has been non-existent.

Consider:
Much of that falls on new starting quarterback Josh Nunes. It also falls on the offensive line and the wide receivers. In both road games, the Cardinal defense did more than enough for Stanford to win, but the offense didn't produce. Then again, the defense got blown up by Arizona at home, and it was the offense that won the game for them.

You can argue that Stanford should be 5-1 based on the controversial non-touchdown call at Notre Dame. We're not here to debate whether it was a touchdown. But there was so much more the offense could have done in the 60 minutes leading up to overtime that could have made a difference.

The first half of the season had its highlights (see the victory against No. 2 USC) and its lowlights (the aforementioned road woes). Just be aware that teams typically don't change who they are midway through a season. For better or worse, this is who Stanford is; an inconsistent team that will struggle at times, but should also beat the teams it is supposed to beat.

Offensive MVP, Stepfan Taylor: Who else? He's the central figure in the offense and has been the one offensive player week to week who has delivered a consistent performance. He's had more than 100 yards in four of the six games and has 657 yards and five touchdowns.

Defensive MVP, Trent Murphy: Might come as a shock with all of the big names on this defense. And those big names have played very well. But Murphy has 33 tackles and leads the team in sacks, tackles for a loss, quarterback hits, forced fumbles and has a pick-six. Tip of the cap to Ed Reyonlds and Jordan Richards for some pretty good safety play, but Murphy has been Stanford's best defensive player.