Gut Reaction: Stanford 57 - SJSU 3

Stanford demolished San Jose State. What are we saying, and what sayeth the scribes around college football nation? Only one way to find out. Read on!

They'll say it's too early for Heisman hype. They'll say it's too early for national title talk. They'll say it's one game, you shouldn't overreact.

I say live a little.

Whatever Stanford fans had hoped to see in their team's season opener, they witnessed in spades throughout a 57-3 takedown of San Jose State. Stanford answered, resoundingly, whatever questions a tumultuous offseason had raised.

How would the defensive line break in new bodies? Stanford allowed 27 yards on 32 carries, and Ben Gardner added a safety for good measure.

How would Andrew Luck respond to the increased visibility, and resulting pressure? 17-of-26, for 171 yards and two touchdowns. (The backup quarterbacks, another major question, were a collective 5-of-5 with a touchdown.)

How would Stanford replace Nate Whitaker? Jordan Williamson hit both his field goals, and all seven extra points.

Would Chris Owusu be the game-breaker a top team needs? He led the team with seven catches and nearly housed his lone kickoff return. Drew Terrell matched the bar, nearly bringing home a punt.

Would the offensive line dominate like it did last year? Okay, that's the one exception that makes the rule. Stanford did punch in four on the ground, but on only 3.5 yards per carry, or about two less than last year. Still, they're young, and goodness knows the rest of the team can carry them until they reach their potential.

Would David Shaw bring the same fire as Jim Harbaugh? I don't know exactly how you measure that, but if you look at all the coachspeaky stats, Stanford did pretty well there too. Nary a turnover, while forcing three, so they "took care of the ball." 34:30 minutes of possession, so they "controlled the clock." 6-of-14 on third downs offensively, and 3-of-14 defensively, so, for the most part, they "made the big plays." And, most certainly, Stanford "executed in all three phases."

Yeah, it's one game and it doesn't mean everything in the world. Still, it does mean something. National-title contenders, those blue-chip programs like Alabama, Auburn or Florida, Texas or Oklahoma, there's a script as to how they play against their overmatched directional school neighbors. Stanford had the role down pat this afternoon.

Speaking of national titles, Alabama's first game after their 2009 NCAA Championship was against these very San Jose State Spartans.

They did win. It was only 48-3 though. Just saying.


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