Scouting Report: Stanford Cardinal

The Wildcats and the Cardinal both need a win in the Pac-10. Both clubs are winless in the conference and need a win if they have any chance at a winning season. The Cardinal are still adjusting to new coach Buddy Teevens, while the Wildcats are trying to overcome the injury bug.

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Stanford rolled over the Wildcats, beating the home team 51-37.

Stanford had no answer for Jason Gesser and Washington State as the Cougars beat them 36-11. Arizona lost to Washington 32-28 on a long pass to Reggie Williams with less than 2:00 to play.

Stanford is going through growing pains on offense. Gone is Tyrone Willingham's West Coast offense and in is the Florida "fun ‘n gun". The Cardinal have had difficulty putting up the points, especially the past two weeks.

"It's like a foreign language," said Stanford Coach Buddy Teevens. "Something they called one thing, we call something different. We need to build a comfort level."

The Cardinal have used both Chris Lewis and Kyle Matter at quarterback and neither have set the world on fire. Lewis is averaging less than 150 yards a game and has tossed five more interceptions than touchdowns.

"Our passing game continues to struggle," Teevens confessed. "He's (Lewis) still transitioning from the old offense to the new. He's an intelligent young man who moves well in the pocket."

Mater has been a little better, completing 60% of his passes, but has thrown only three touchdown passes.

The running game has been decent, but no one runner has stepped up. As a team they average 154.6 yards a game, but no one back averages more than 53 yards. Casey Moore, Kenneth Tolon, Kerry Carter and J.R. Lemon divvy up the carries fairly equally. Moore and Tolon both average over six yards a carry.

The wide receiver corps is led by 6-7 Teyo Johnson. The tall, athletic receiver poses a lot of match-up problems for the Wildcats, who feature a number of short defensive backs. Due their youth and inexperience, the Wildcats will not roll over coverages in an attempt to put taller backs on Johnson. Instead, they will try to get help from safeties and linebackers in containing Johnson.

"Teyo is so darnn big," said John Mackovic.

The Cats will most likely continue to use the 3-4 scheme they have been employing the past few weeks. Due to injuries, the Cats are very thin at defensive line and will continue to utilize their deep linebacking corps.

Jarvie Worcester is out with a broken wrist and he'll have surgey Tuesday. The Cats will most likely use true freshman Lamon Means at free safety to go along with another true freshman, Jason Martin, at cornerback.

The bad news is the Wildcats' running game is in shambles. The good news is that the passing game is back on track. Jason Johnson and Bobby Wade are forming one of the most potent duos in the Pac-10. When Andrae Thurman is able to hang onto the ball he gives the Cats another threat.

The bad news is that the running game can't get on track and the injuries are continuing to mount. Clarence Farmer and Gainus Scott are already out and Mike Bell is hobbled with an injured toe. If Bell can't go, true freshman Beau Carr could get the first extended action of the season.

"Beau's done a nice job," Mackovic said. "He learns the plays quickly."

To make maters worse, the line is in bad shape. The Cats had only seven healthy linemen in Seattle and two of those were true freshmen who they were hoping to redshirt. The Wildcats had to use Tanner Bell and would like to preserve Keith Jackson's redshirt if at all possible.

The Cardinal have struggled with their pass pressure, allowing opposing quarterbacks too much time to throw. If Johnson has time to throw he could do a lot of damage to the young Stanford secondary.

"They got a thing going with Johnson," said Teevens. "He throws the ball well. It's a good system for him."

Stanford's defense is very young, but they have a chance to be good. They have just four seniors in their two-deep and have 10 freshmen or sophomores in their rotation.

"They are very young," said Mackovic. "I didn't realize how few veterans they had."

The Cardinal are strong up front with a lot of physical players. Early in the season they blitzed a lot, but as of late Stanford has not sent as many players at the quarterback.

One knock on the Cardinal secondary is their speed, but Mackovic said that it is not as big a  problem as many believed it could be.

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