2012-13 Football Previews – (Pac 12) – Stanford Cardinal
Stanford football fans hoped this day would never come, but this is the year where they must go on without Andrew Luck under center. The prosperity of the last couple seasons wasn’t based on only one player, but losing him will hurt a great deal.
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PAC 12 Conference 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Stanford Cardinal
Head Coach: David Shaw
2011 Record: 11-2
Stanford Gambling Odds from BetOnline to win BCS Championship: +10,000
Stanford Gambling Odds from BetOnline to win PAC 12 Conference: +2,000
Stanford Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2012 Schedule –>
The 2012 season will be an interesting test of how improved Stanford’s team depth is from a few years ago.
David Shaw said in his preseason teleconference that “there is still a little bit of Andrew Luck hangover going on in Palo Alto.” He then went on to point out that Stanford believes their power running game and depth will allow them to continue to be successful. Expectations aren’t changing within the program. Can the team keep up its winning ways?
Stanford has a great stable of running backs. Stepfan Taylor is coming off consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons. Taylor averaged 5.5 yards per carry in 2011, and the team will lean on him even more heavily this season. Tyler Gaffney, Anthony Wilkerson, and Ricky Seale are all solid backups at the tailback spot.
The entire front seven of the Stanford defense is a major strength for this team. The defensive line remains largely intact from last year, and last year’s team only allowed 84.4 yards per game on the ground. Chase Thomas is a star at the linebacker spot, and he has tons of experience in this system. Trent Murphy is a terrific outside linebacker who has a chance to shine this year.
Stanford did lose a couple key offensive linemen, but this unit should still be very strong. Three starters remain from last year’s team, and the Cardinal brought in a terrific recruiting class along the front line. This should allow Stanford’s offense to continue to pound the football on the ground.
The obvious weakness this year is at the quarterback spot. Which direction will this team go? It will be a tough job following up Andrew Luck, but the team needs someone to take care of the ball and manage the game. Josh Nunes and Brett Nottingham will likely battle it out for this position.
Stanford must replace some key contributors in the secondary. Delano Howell was a first-team all PAC 12 safety, and the team will miss him in a big way. Since this team is so strong up front, opposing offenses will likely look to throw against them. The Cardinal will need a couple youngsters to step up in this unit.
2012-2013 Stanford Cardinal Football Prediction: 9-4
Stanford will badly miss one of the best quarterbacks college football has seen in the last decade, but this team still has a lot of talent. The power running game should be successful, and the defense will be strong. Opposing teams may move the ball through the air, but the front seven should pressure the quarterback well. The September 27 game at Washington is a big one for this team. Look for another solid season from Stanford, but I don’t think they’ll reach double digit victories this time around.
9/1/12 TBD SJST
9/8/12 TBD DUKE
9/15/12 TBD USC
9/27/12 9:00 PM ET @WASH
10/6/12 TBD ARZ
10/13/12 TBD @NOTRE
10/20/12 TBD @CAL
10/27/12 TBD WSHST
11/3/12 TBD @COL
11/10/12 TBD OREST
11/17/12 TBD @ORE
11/24/12 TBD @UCLA