October 23, 2010

Quick Reads: Stanford-Washington State (2010)

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By The Daily Axe Staff
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Let’s start with this: our editor spent the day writing for our friends at The Unofficial Stanford Blog, which is one of the best student-run websites in the country. If you don’t already read it, you should make TUSB a part of your daily web reading. You can read Willys’s article on this afternoon’s Washington State game here. That said, here are our initial bullet-point impressions of Stanford’s day on the gridiron:

  • Washington State’s Jeff Tuel is a good quarterback. No matter how poorly nearly everyone thinks Stanford’s defense played in the 4th quarter (and come on: 21 points allowed in 15 minutes is pretty bad) Tuel makes really good throws and doesn’t get flustered by an aggressive pass rush. Plus, he’s an underclassman. Imagine how good he’ll be as a senior in two years.
  • Stanford has two very good options at running back. Stepfan Taylor had a breakout game (142 yards and 2 touchdowns) but true freshman Anthony Wilkerson is the real deal. He looked great on a number of carries, and could very well see more touches in future games.
  • Who knows how, but Ryan Whalen is playing great football despite his enormous arm brace. The senior wideout hauled in 6 catches for 71 yards, but the most impressive was his leaping grab in which he jumped over the defender after being shoved out of the play, caught the ball, and got a foot down in bounds before falling out on the 5 yard line. This guy is wearing a 2.5-foot-long brace on his arm.
  • Chris Owusu did not play because of an undisclosed injury, although we’re sticking with our hand/finger hypothesis from a couple of weeks ago. He may also be suffering from symptoms of the head injury he suffered in Eugene.
  • The margin of victory, small as it may be, is largely irrelevant here. Stanford had this game locked up by halftime.
  • Penalties, penalties, penalties. Stanford committed 8 penalties for 80 yards, including multiple holding and false start calls.
  • In other sloppy play news: the Card had two botched snaps in the first quarter. That’s the third game in a row in which quarterback Andrew Luck and center Chase Beeler have had at least one fumbled snap.
  • Jim Harbaugh likes his one tricky play per game. Today’s was a double reverse from Luck to running back Stepfan Taylor to wideout Doug Baldwin that went for 31 yards in the first quarter.
  • The weather was mildly unpleasant, but come on, Stanford fans. Show up to the games. At 6-1, Stanford is off to its best start since 1970 and probably will not be this good again for a number of years. A reported attendance of 36,670–which is almost surely inflated, considering that Stanford Stadium never looked even half full–for Homecoming is pathetic.
  • Washington State punter Reid Forrest is a monster. He punted three times for 172 combined yards. That’s 57.3 yards per punt, and they all had great hang time. Look for him to be punting in the NFL at some point.
  • Only at Stanford is the end-of-the-1st-quarter interviewee the first female Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Look for our Report Card and Weekend Reflections articles in the coming days to read more about the Washington State game.

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The Daily Axe Staff
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