November 27, 2010

Quick Reads: Stanford-Oregon State (2010)

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By The Daily Axe Staff
Oregon State

Stanford finished the regular season–perhaps its best in school history–with the team’s most dominant performance since the September 11 win over UCLA in Pasadena. With the 38-0 victory tonight in Stanford Stadium, the Card put a shiny bow on their scheduled 12 games and now await the verdict of the BCS, which will decide the Card’s bowl fate. Here are this week’s Quick Reads.

  • Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has set the Stanford single-season touchdown passes record, with 28 on the year. The rest of Luck’s stat line for the night: 21-30 passing for 317 yards and 4 touchdowns, all without throwing a pick.
  • Stanford didn’t turn the ball over at all. Compared to Oregon State’s 5 turnovers, 3 of which came from the throwing arm of Beaver quarterback Ryan Katz, the Card overwhelming won the battle for ball control. Turnovers posed the greatest problem for the Beavers, who gained nearly as many first downs as Stanford did and only held the ball for 4 fewer minutes than the Card.
  • Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas has emerged as a surprise star this year. Thomas, who has a remaining year of NCAA eligibility after 2010, had 2 sacks tonight and figures to be a key piece of the 2011 Stanford defense, along with current sophomore linebacker Shayne Skov.
  • Stepfan Taylor played a beautiful game at running back, taking only 14 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown.
  • That said, the Oregon State defense did a nice job of stalling the Stanford rushing attack. Remove Taylor’s 65-yard breakaway from the Card’s rushing numbers, and they become pedestrian. Taylor ran for 53 yards on his other 13 carries, and Anthony Wilkerson gained only 30 yards on his 13 attempts. Tyler Gaffney also contributed 27 yards on 8 carries.
  • Wide receiver Doug Baldwin capped off what is by far the most productive season of his career with a gem. The senior from Florida gained 109 yards and 2 touchdowns for Stanford, and did so on only 5 catches.
  • Underclassman tight end Zach Ertz has seen more and more passes come his away in recent weeks. He reeled in 4 catches for 65 yards and a score tonight, to follow up on his 45 yards and touchdown during Big Game last week. Although Ertz will likely back up Levine Toilolo when Toilolo returns from injury next year, Ertz has made the most of his opportunities and appears to be a solid tight end and option in the passing game for the Card.
  • Stanford’s three interceptions were distributed nicely throughout the secondary. Richard Sherman, Delano Howell, and inexperienced freshman Barry Browning each had a pick.
  • Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers was fairly productive with the ball, but he simply didn’t get it enough to make a significant dent in the Stanford lead. Rodgers averaged 4.5 yards per carry on his 17 attempts.
  • Backup quarterback Robbie Picazo, a sophomore, saw action in the game’s final minutes, but he didn’t have the opportunity to throw a pass. Picazo could assume starting quarterback duties next season if Luck decides to declare for the 2011 NFL draft.
  • Tonight marked the Stanford defense’s third shutout of the year, and the first time Stanford has registered that many clean sheets in a single season since the 1969 outing. Stanford also shut out UCLA and Washington in 2010.
  • LSU and Boise State, who were ranked ahead of Stanford in this week’s BCS rankings, both lost. Stanford could move up to the #4 spot in the BCS, which would guarantee the Card an at-large berth in a BCS bowl if they finish the season at fourth or higher. Although Stanford has now completed the regular season, many teams–including two of the presumptive top three BCS teams (Oregon, Auburn, and TCU)–have games left to play.

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The Daily Axe Staff
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