Pac-10 Week 6 Notes and Observations: Stanford Cardinal
Stanford Cardinal 4-2 Overall (3-1 Conference)
This Week’s Score: Oregon State 38 – Stanford 28
Next Week’s Opponent: @Arizona
Funny how a single game can put an entire season into perspective isn’t it?
Stanford had passed the eyeball test with flying colors, and were looking like one of the teams to beat in the Pac-10 this year. I’m not saying that has changed just because of a loss on the road to a good Oregon State team; but all of a sudden you do have to take another look.
What have the Cardinal accomplished to this point? All three conference wins came against teams that appear to be in the bottom half of the conference (if there is such a thing in this crazy conference); Washington State, UCLA, and Washington. UCLA and Washington were both at home, too. The only other win came to lowly San Jose State.
Again, I’m not saying this team isn’t a very good one; Andrew Luck looks rock solid at quarterback, Toby Gerhart is one of the elite rushers in the country, the wide receiving corps with Ryan Whalen and Chris Owusu (both with 80+ yards receiving last week) are strong, and one off game against a strong offense doesn’t discredit the defense. I’m just saying we need to see some quality wins before we keep talking about how far this team has come.
On the plus side, there were no turnovers by the offense last week; of course the defense didn’t force any, either. The team was just on the wrong side of a 21-0 score early, and Harbaugh’s unit is built to jump out to an early lead and hold on to it, not play comeback ball.
The two Arizona schools stand between Stanford and a brutal four game stretch to end the season (Oregon, @USC, California, Notre Dame). A win over Arizona could help the Cardinal pick some momentum back up before they head home to take on ASU; a loss will lead to a whole lot more head scratching.