2008 Stanford Cardinal Football Preview
Stanford 2007 Record: (4-8, 3-6 Pac 10)
2007 Bowl: none
Stanford Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh (4-8 at Stanford, 33-14 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: David Shaw
Defensive Coordinator: Andy Buh and Ron Lynn
Returning Stanford Leaders:
Other Key Returnees: LB Chike Amajoyi, DE Pannel Egboh, CB Kris Evans, C Alex Fletcher, TE Austin Gunder, DE Erik Lorig, FB Owen Marecic, LB Pat Maynor, OT Chris Marinelli, DT Ekom Udofia, S Austin Yancy
Key Losses: K Derek Belch, WR Mark Bradford, G Mikal Brewer, DT Chris Horn, C Tim Mattran, CB Nick Sanchez
Momentum is high for Stanford after the 2007 season ended with a victory over California. And the October victory over USC certainly gives Coach Jim Harbaugh some hope that bigger things are coming soon. If the Cardinal can stay healthy, a problem that plagued them last year, a bowl game is not out of the question.
In order to reach a bowl game the defense will have to be better than ninth in the conference. And with nine starters returning to the unit, that should not be a problem. Linebacker Clinton Snyder is coming off a great year in which he tallied 96 tackles, eight sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. The junior is expected to become even more of a leader on the field now that he is an upperclassman. With Pat Maynor and Chike Amajoyi also back, the linebacker corps will be extremely strong. Safety Bo McNally will lead the secondary. Corner Nick Sanchez needs to be replaced, but Stanford has Kris Evans, Corey Gatewood and Wopamo Osaisai who are more than capable enough to hold down the two spots. The line returns three starters, but inexperience at tackle could cause some problems down the road.
The offense has some retooling to do. Quarterback T.C. Ostrander and wide receivers Evan Moore and Mark Bradford have graduated and that leaves some big questions in the passing game. Tavita Pritchard led the team to the victory over USC, but the quarterback will have some competition from Alex Loukas and Michigan transfer Jason Forcier. So who is the quarterback going to throw to? Bradford and Moore were great receivers when healthy. Junior Richard Sherman led the team with 651 receiving yards and four touchdowns, but the experience behind him is pretty much non-existent. Sophomores Doug Baldwin and Ryan Whalen and incoming freshman Chris Owusu will have to be ready to play big roles for the offense.
The Bottom Line for the Cardinal:
While the passing attack sorts itself out, running back Anthony Kimble will have to carry the offense. He only rushed for 509 yards last season, but Kimble should have a decent season behind an experienced offensive line. The return of Toby Gerhart, who only played in one game last season due to injury, will give the backfield some more weapons.
2007 Stanford Cardinal Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 111.17 (102nd in nation, 9th in conference)
Passing Offense: 211.33 (70, 7)
Total Offense: 322.50 (107, 10)
Scoring Offense: 19.58 (105, 10)
Rushing Defense: 169.33 (77, 9)
Pass Defense: 266.17 (107, 10)
Total Defense: 435.50 (98, 9)
Scoring Defense: 282.25 (65, 8)
Turnover Margin: .25 (36, 2)
Sacks: 3.17 (11, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 4.00 (116, 9)
By Joel Welser
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