November 13, 2010

Quick Reads: Stanford-Arizona State (2010)

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By The Daily Axe Staff
Chuck Taylor's plaque at the San Jose Sports H...
Chuck Taylor was Stanford’s head coach the last time the Card were 9-1. (Image via Wikipedia)

That was a close one. During a game in which Stanford struggled to establish the running game and relied upon its defense to keep the Card in the game, Andrew Luck proved once again that his presence alone accounts for several of Stanford’s wins this season. The redshirt sophomore and subject of every NFL scout’s dreams led Stanford down the field to set up the game-winning touchdown by FB/MLB Owen Marecic. Here are this week’s Quick Reads.

  • Stanford wideout Doug Baldwin stepped up to compensate for the absence of Chris Owusu. Baldwin reeled in 10 catches for 122 yards, while serving as Luck’s go-to receiver throughout the game.
  • Luck’s stat line continues to dramatically under-represent the quality of his play. Luck completed 80% of his pass attempts for 292 yards, but threw no touchdowns and 1 interception. Nonetheless, his poise in the game-winning drive propelled the Cardinal to the win.
  • Only 4 points differentiated Stanford from Arizona State, while the Card’s edge in offensive production was 152 yards (134 of which came in the passing game).
  • The Cardinal also dominated time of possession. Stanford held the ball for 42:25, compared to Arizona State’s 17:35.
  • True freshman Anthony Wilkerson led the team in rushing for the first team this season. Wilkerson took 10 carries for 65 yards, while starter Stepfan Taylor needed 16 carries to compile 39 yards. Wilkerson also sat down instead of scoring a touchdown in the game’s final minutes, which showed both his selflessness and football savvy in keeping the clock running while keeping the ball in Stanford’s hands. Some Cardinal fans have begun calling for Wilkerson to get the ball more, and perhaps start.
  • 2010 marks Stanford football’s best start since the 1951 season, when the Chuck Taylor-coached crew also went 9-1.
  • Arizona State running back Cameron Marshall had perhaps his best game of the year. The sophomore from San Jose rushed for 92 yards on 12 carries and contributed another 33 yards receiving on 2 catches. Marshall led the Sun Devils in both rushing and receiving.
  • Nate Whitaker’s missed field goal just before half time was simply a fluke. How many times have you seen a field goal miss because it was too high and the referees had a difficult time deciding whether or not it went through the uprights?
  • Stanford’s Rose Bowl hopes remain alive, but they still don’t look promising. Oregon did beat Cal tonight, which works to Stanford’s advantage in two ways. But with Auburn’s comeback victory over Georgia, the Ducks and Tigers figure to stay in the BCS’s top two spots, and Boise State will assume the PAC-10’s vacated slot in Pasadena.
  • Poor Arizona State. The Sun Devils have played several great teams (including Oregon, Wisconsin, and Stanford) and have been in each game. Next season, ASU could threaten to win the conference. The talent, potential, and coaching all appear to be present in Tempe.

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The Daily Axe Staff
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