5 Thoughts On The Foster Farms Bowl

Recap, 5 Thoughts and what's next for each team in the Foster Farms Bowl

Dec. 30 Foster Farms Bowl Bowl
Stanford 45, Maryland 21

And You Care Because … In horrible and windy conditions, Stanford got its offense moving from the start cranking out a long opening drive finishing up with the first of three Remound Wright short touchdown runs. Maryland’s Wes Brown tied the game at seven with a one-yard score early in the second, but Stanford scored 35 straight points with Kevin Hogan finding Devon Cajuste for touchdown passes from eight and nine yards out and a one-yard Ricky Seale touchdown run to go along with two Wright scores. William Likely took back a kickoff 100 yards for a score to make things look a bit better for the Terps and C.J. Brown ran for a two-yard touchdown in the final minutes.
What Else? Stanford rushing: 45 for 206 yards, 4 TDs, Maryland rushing: 27 for 17 yards, 2 TDs
- Maryland WR Stefon Diggs caught ten passes for 138 yards
- Time of possession: Stanford 37:07 – Maryland 22:53
- Stanford QB Kevin Hogan completed 14-of-20 passes for 189 yards and two scores, and ran seven times for 50 yards
Game Rating: D+

By Pete Fiutak
1. Now that’s the Stanford we all know and love. With the power running game, the effective passing, the nasty run defense, and the toughness in all areas, the Cardinal blew off the windy conditions and dominated the Terps from the start. It seemed like the attitude was missing all season long in key spots, and it seemed like the same power game on both sides of the ball was lacking. Maryland being bad had something to do with it, but Stanford took the fight to the bowl game and tried from the start. It’s too much to assume that this is some sort of a springboard to something more, but for one bowl game, it was the game the Cardinal needed to show that it could be the old Cardinal again.

By Rich Cirminiello
2. How Stanford got its groove back.

No, 2014 did not go as planned for the Cardinal. Too many misfires on offense. Not enough execution. But say one thing about David Shaw’s kids—they never once quit on this season, even after Pac-12 contention became a mathematical impossibility.

For all the missed opportunities and unfulfilled goals, Stanford will still take a three-game winning streak into the offseason, which will benefit the staff and every returning player in 2015. At 5-5, the Cardinal could have packed it in, coasted to a rare finish line that didn’t include a league crown and a marquee bowl game. Instead, it dug deep and hammered Cal, South Division-leading UCLA and Maryland in succession. In dismantling the overmatched Terps in the Foster Farms Bowl, Stanford might even have a chance to climb into the final Top 25.

It was an unusually challenging year on the Farm. But Stanford’s finish indicates that 2014 might not be so much of an end of the line as a pause until Shaw can get the offense clicking on a more consistent basis.

E-mail Phil Harrison
Follow me @PhilHarrisonCFB
3. Consider this game a wake-up call for Maryland. The matchup against Stanford was in some ways a microcosm of what the Terps faced this season trying to acclimate to the Big Ten. There’s enough talent and athleticism at the skill positions to beat those finesse teams like Indiana, Northwestern and Illinois of the new Big Ten world, but when going up against a brawny opponent like an Ohio State or a Michigan State, Randy Edsall’s team doesn’t have enough fight in them to stop the bully from taking its lunch money.

Stanford – like Ohio State and Michigan State – have more size on both lines than what the current Maryland team has. Those teams play a physical brand of football that may not have been needed on most nights in the ACC, but leaving the hammer out of the toolbox won’t get the Terrapins among the upper crust of the Big Ten. Edsall and his coaching staff have to start shifting the philosophy in recruiting to get a bigger, more physical type of athlete on both lines, yet somehow not sacrifice the needed speed to be invited to the big boy table.

It was a solid year for Maryland, but there’s the potential of so much more with the talent in and around the Beltway. Being a part of the Big ten should provide more resources to get the players and exposure needed to take the next jump. Now it’s up to the decision makers to get the pieces to the puzzle all sorted out.

4. What’s next for Maryland
After a strong first year in the Big Ten, the Terps have to try to get by without receivers Deon Long (a senior) and Stefon Diggs (too good not to be in the NFL) while also working in likely new starting quarterback Perry Hills with C.J. Brown finished. Three starters are gone off the offensive line with guard Andrew Zeller and tackle Michael Dunn returning to help block for the running back tandem of Brandon Ross and Wes Brown.

The defense has to do a ton of work with the entire front seven needing to be replaced. Safety Sean Davis was one of the team’s top tacklers, and William Likely is a do-it-all playmaker as a returner and a cornerback, but too many key parts are gone up front. Corner Jeremiah Johnson is gone, but the other three starters in the secondary are back. The nation’s best kicker, Brad Craddock, is back along with P Nathan Renfro.

5. What’s next for Stanford
The Cardinal have to come up with a starting quarterback with Kevin Hogan gone, but he’s not the only big skill position loss. Top targets Ty Montgomery and Devon Cajuste are finished along with three of the top four leading rushers needing to be replaced – Barry Sanders and Christian McCaffrey will be called on to do more. The recruiting has been strong, and now it should all pay off with a loaded offensive line full of seniors, even if LT Andrus Peat is almost certain to leave early for the NFL.

The defensive front has to undergo an overhaul losing Henry Anderson and the entire front three. Leading tackler Blake Martinez is back in the linebacking corps, but the next five leading tacklers are gone. Even with the loss of SS Jordan Richards and CB Wayne Lyons, the secondary should be a strength, and it’s Stanford – it’ll find pass rushers. PK Jordan Williamson and P Ben Rhyme have to be replaced.


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