Stanford Dominates – Stanford won decisively with a 57-3 final score.The team really showcased their talent on both sides of the ball and winning in every statistical category. The Cardinal had a great showing and backed up their national ranking with a strong victory.
Front Seven – The defensive line and linebackers limited San Jose State to only 22 yards in the game. Going into the second half, San Jose State actually had negative yardage. The front seven also put pressure on on Spartan quarterback Matt Faulkner, limiting his time to throw. Senior Chase Thomas and junior Shayne Skov both had sacks, highlighting their pass rushing ability. Junior Ben Gardner also did a nice job filling in for Sione Fua, who is now in the NFL.
Balance on Offense – Coach David Shaw has maintained Stanford’s recent dedication to the running game. Junior Stepfan Taylor was the featured back for most of the game. Though Stanford struggled in some short yardage situations, they still rushed for 141 yards. Quarterback Andrew Luck made plays throwing the ball to wide receivers, tight ends, fullbacks, and running backs. Stanford has many weapons and this offense will be even more dangerous once the team gets in rhythm.
Big Play Vulnerability – San Jose State was still able to throw the ball on the Cardinal defense. Despite having no positive rushing yards in the first half, they still had 169 yards passing. There were a few too many big plays coming off of missed tackles. Some coverages also broke down and there was a pass interference call in the secondary. Most of these faults were masked by the pass rush but the team will need to be careful when they play against a team with elite skill players, like Oregon.
*Arrow is pointing Up – ***Despite putting up 57 points, the Cardinal did not have particularly aggressive play calling. They did not take many shots down field and were often content to run straightforward plays. That aside, the team showed they have considerable talent on both offense and defense. Freshman cornerback Wayne Lyons and freshman linebacker James Vaughters both look like they will be big assets to this defense.