Still More Notes & Quotes: Stanford @ Arizona

The Bootleg's Scott Cooley provides additional material from Tuesday's weekly press conference. The Cardinal is chomping at the bit to right the wrong of last Saturday's disappointing outing against the Beavs and is eager to get back to dominating, smash-mouth Cardinal Football. Most definitely, it will be decided in the desert as LSJU's boys head down for a titanic tussle in Tucson!

More Notes and Quotes: Stanford @ Arizona


Line-Up Changes

 

After a loss, questions regarding possible personnel shifts typically begin to surface. Underachieving play in a few areas in the loss toOregon State have the Cardinal coaching staff mulling over a few changes. Head coach Jim Harbaugh said that there could possibly be some new faces in the starting lineup against Arizona.

 

"There are certain guys in our lineup that are rubber-stamped every week - Gerhart, Marecic, Snyder, Luck - but there are also positions that are being evaluated every week and we want to get the best guys on the field. You want to get your best 11 out there that play physical (football), tackle and get to the ball," he said.

 

Harbaugh was also asked what he thought of Kris Evans performance in the game. Evans saw much playing time in place of the veteran Corey Gatewood. "I don't think he played as well as he did the week before."

 

The Cardinal's two punters have also been battling in competition. Both David Green and Daniel Zychlinski saw action in Saturday's game. They each booted a trio of balls, with Green totaling 20 more yards than his counterpart.

 

"It's been an open competition there between Dave (Green) and Zychlinski going into [last week]," Harbaugh said. "Neither one of them is really seizing the job right now. We would like to see one of them rise and take the job." Harbaugh hinted that both would be used this week in the Arizona game.

 

Harbaugh also mentioned the punt-return job was up for grabs with Richard Sherman having trouble securing the ball. While Sherman is the incumbent, candidates to take the special teams spot are Drew Terrell, Doug Baldwin and Griff Whalen.

 

"WildCardinal"

 

The Wildcat formation has stampeded onto a playing field near you. If you haven't seen the Miami Dolphins play in the last two seasons, please watch a game because the single-wing formation that lines up a running back at quarterback is exciting.

 

The primary advantage of utilizing this formation is that instead of playing with 10 offensive players versus 11 defensive players when the quarterback is on the field, the offense can operate on an even level, with 11 on 11 in personnel terms. The element of surprise is also an edge as the defense has to be on its toes whenever this formation is presented.

 

Stanford received its first dose of the Wildcat formation last week when Jacquizz Rogers took a direct snap on first series of game and scampered 61 yards. The defense looked unprepared and confused.

 

So what about the "WildCardinal", will we ever see it? Coach Harbaugh was keeping his playbook close to his chest.

 

"No. What if we did? Who knows?" he said.

 

Toby Gerhart joked that he would lobby to install it in the offense. "Coach Taggert and I talked about that a little bit and that would be fun. It would add a different dimension to the offense and would be fun."

 

Gerhart said they have never practiced it before (with him) and his concern would be calling out the plays in the shotgun formation. "It would probably have to be a little more of a home stand where it's quiet for us on offense. Maybe we just go silent count."

 

Inclement Weather

 

Torrential rain has poured over Palo Alto the past day and is expected to continue throughout the week. Stanford will be practicing in the rain, which will be much different than the hot desert weather projected at kickoff in Tucson on Saturday – a scorching 90 degrees.

 

Toby Gerhart says he was not looking forward to getting wet all week. "I've got to bike 15 minutes in the rain each way, so I am kind of tired of the rain," he said.

 

Gerhart maintains that he makes a few trips per day around campus on bike. He resides on the other side of campus near the driving range and has to ride in for treatment, class and practice.

 

The legs on Gerhart seem to be logging some extra work, and maybe that's why they look like tree trunks. But instead of a wearing down those legs, maybe the school should pool together and buy a golf cart for Gerhart to cruise around in. (Several AD compliance folks just choked on their coffees while reading The Bootleg! Ha!)

 

One member of the media joked that USC has limos pick up their players to go places (obviously not to class).

 

Odds N' Ends

 

Despite a sub-100-yard outing by Cardinal running back Toby Gerhart, he is still in the Heisman hunt. Of course, he needs wins from his team, but Gerhart still ranks No. 4 in the nation in rushing with a 124.3 yards per game average and No. 3 with 10 rushing touchdowns.

 

The loss to Oregon State caused Gerhart to slip from his Heisman odds of +2000 last week to a +5000 number this week. He now has the same odds as the Beavers' Jacquizz Rogers and the other Bay Area back, Jahvid Best, is posted at +3000.

 

But it's probably safe not to splurge for a Broadway billboard because the race will most likely come down to Florida's Tim Tebow and Texas' Colt McCoy...unless Toby managed to roll for 400-500 this week.

 

Stanford is also on the board as one of the 22 teams that have odds to win the BCS championship. The Card have the highest digit of the teams, tied with Missouri at +10000 odds.

 

It is strange that the two favorites to win the BCS are Florida (+200) and Alabama (+300) because one will lose in SEC championship and will not be playing in title game. The oddsmakers are assuming that whoever comes out on top of the country's premier conference will win the national championship.

 

Cardinal Injury Report

 

Senior defensive end Erik Lorig missed the game in Corvallis after sustaining a groin injury prior to the UCLA contest. The Cardinal defensive line has been decimated by injuries this season and the suffering has been compounded by Lorig's unfortunate absence.

 

"The big one is Lorig," said Harbaugh. "When you lose a player like Erik Lorig, that means everybody on the team has to step up. Not only (play) better than they are capable, but better than they thought they could play."

 

Harbaugh provided his proverbial "We'll see" update regarding Lorig's chances to play at Arizona.

 

Harbaugh did note that defensive tackle Matthew Masifilo was progressing in his return. But there is still no timetable for when he could come back. "He and the doctors say he is ahead of schedule so I said to him, ‘I heard you were 10 days ahead of schedule,' and he said, ‘no, it's about a week and a half."

 

Not-So Top 25

 

Stanford received one vote in the AP poll this week. It is rumored that a writer who didn't vote for Stanford last week voted them in this week, but not Oregon State. Speculation has it that it was a mistake. Oh, how much one game in college football can hurt you because 49 writers from across the country were not impressed with the showing in Corvallis.

 

The Cardinal also took a hit in the Coaches' poll. Last week 43 Division I-A head men tossed in a vote for Stanford while this week only eight still thought Harbaugh and his men still deserved to be ranked.

 

The always-confusing BCS calculations will be released after this week.



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