Normally requiring a subscription, this article is free content. You can take out a BeaverFootball.com Annual Pass for a free 7-day test drive and become a subscriber in one of three ways -- monthly, 6 months or annual. Click on the 7-day free trial button at the top of the page for the various options, with the full-year Total Access Pass the most attractive in terms of price and perks.
2007 Record: (4-8, 3-6)
Coach: Jim Harbaugh (4-8 at Stanford, 33-14 overall)
Oregon State at Stanford
Thursday, Aug. 28, ESPN2, 6 p.m.
* Stanford officially lists players with six or more starts as a starter so the numbers don't add up to 11 on either side of the ball.
Offensive Starters Returning (9):
Jim Dray (TE), Alex Fletcher (OG), Austin Gunder (TE), Anthony Kimble (RB), Owen Marecic (FB), Chris Marinelli (OT), Ben Muth (OT), Tavita Pritchard (QB), Richard Sherman (WR)
Offensive Starters Lost (4):
Mark Bradford (WR), Mikal Brewer (OG), Tim Mattran (C), Evan Moore (WR)
Defensive Starters Returning (11):
Chike Amajoyi (LB), Pannel Egboh (DE), Levirt Griffin (DE), Erik Lorig (DE), Nick Macaluso (LB), Pat Maynor (LB), Bo McNally (S), Wopamo Osaisai (CB), Clinton Snyder (LB), Ekom Udofia (DT), Austin Yancy (S)
Defensive Starters Lost (2):
Chris Horn (DT), Nick Sanchez (CB)
Specialist Starters Returning (0): None
Specialist Starters Lost (3): Derek Belch (PK), Brent Newhouse (LS), Jay Ottovegio (P)
While Pritchard and Alex Loukas are listed as co-starters at quarterback, don't rule out Jason Forcier. Stanford was woeful trying to score points in '07 and left tackle Allen Smith, their best lineman, has a fractured kneecap and might miss the season although Harbaugh has downplayed that possibility. The line allowed 48 sacks last year, the fourth worst in DI-A. The Mercury News opined earlier this year Stanford could be a power offense, with improvement up front and with the RBs, and questions surrounding the QB position.
A pressuring, attack style defense, the Cardinal played better in '07 than the stats would indicate. The defensive line and linebackers are the strength here but depth was an issue this spring and especially at d-tackle. Still, the defensive line has the potential to be the best Stanford has fielded in some time, if they can stay healthy. Big things are being counted upon this year up front from Udofia and Sione Fua and a linebacker corps led by Clinton Snyder (96 tackles, 2nd on team).
Headed into fall camp..
It's difficult to see a huge change in offensive production for Stanford but it's not hard to fathom there could at least be some decent improvement from last year's lackluster O. A long running quarterback controversy, however, could also take away much of those potential gains. The defense, keyed by the line, could be a very good group. There will be a few tweaks with a new defensive coordinator -- and look for them to put more of an emphasis on stopping the run. Stanford will have their share of stops in the backfield and sacks but they will also take more risks to do so. Last year, Stanford gave up a good number of long plays. With Stanford trying to correct that and still bring plenty of heat, the middle of the field, the short to mid-range slant or cross, could end up being a key way teams try to hurt Stanford on passing downs.