- Date: Thursday October 26th
- Time: 6:00 PM PT
- Location: Reser Stadium
- TV Coverage: ESPN
The Cardinal (Yes the color, not the bird... also their mascot is a tree. It doesn’t make sense but whatever they’re all smarter than me) have been a perennial Pac-12 contender in the Harbaugh and Shaw era, so last season felt like a down year for the boys from Palo Alto. A down year for them, of course, still ends up with a double digit win total and a bowl game victory in El Paso. Aside from back to back blowout loses against the Washington schools it was a typical Stanford year with a bunch of wins that look closer on the scoreboard than they did on the field.
I am pretty convinced David Shaw is the MacGyver of college football and could piece together a 10 win season with a couple O-lineman, a roll of duct tape and a paper clip, so I will never count them out to be a Pac- 12 contender. Obviously there will be holes to fill, primarily in the backfield with the all purpose magician that is Christian McCaffery heading to the Carolina Panthers. The QB position will be one to watch as well, as Keller Chryst likely gets the nod if healthy but fellow gunslingers Ryan Burns and K.J. Costello will be waiting in the wings should he falter. The defense and O-line will likely be their strength once again, and while many think they’re a year away from national title contention, 2017 should still see them compete for the Pac-12 north.
Players To Know
The entire offensive line - The past decade of Stanford football has been nothing short of spectacular, and a lot of that success can be credited to superb offensive line play year in and year out. The O-line while good in 2016 was not quite up to normal standards, but the Cardinal bring back 4 out of 5 of last years starters plus a bevy of highly ranked recruits. I would expect the Cardinal O line to dominate once again
Bryce Love, RB - The early favorite to take the bulk of the work out of the backfield. Love got the call in the Sun Bowl last year, with McCaffery sitting out, and gave fans of the Cardinal a glimpse of whats to come rushing for 119 yards. On the season Love put up 783 yard with 2 TD’s while primarily operating in a reserve role to Christian McCaffery
Cameron Scarlett, RB - While Love will get most of the, well, love out of the backfield, expect Scarlett to vulture his way into quite a few TD’s as the short yardage back. The one-time Central Catholic RB tandem mate with Ryan Nall saw the field for the first time last year racking up 117 yards on 38 carries.
Joey Alfieri, LB - The local kid out of Jesuit high will look to lead a talented linebacking core. The outside linebacker picked up 51 tackles a year ago along with 5 sacks. Expect Alfieri to be very active in the Cardinal pass rush this year.
What To Expect
If history has taught us anything there is something a little different about night games in Reser so this one may be a better game than people expect. That being, until the Beavs prove they can hang with the big boys I have to give the edge to David Shaw and the Cardinal.
Prediction: Stanford 21, Oregon State 17
More Opponents Previews?
Day-by-day over the next two weeks, we’ll be taking a look at all over Oregon State football’s upcoming opponents for the 2017 season. Links to all the other teams previews can be found below.
- Game 1: Colorado State Rams
- Game 2: Portland State Vikings
- Game 3: Minnesota Golden Gophers
- Game 4: Washington State Cougars
- Game 5: Washington Huskies
- Game 6: USC Trojans
- Game 7: Colorado Buffaloes
- Game 8: Stanford Cardinal
- Game 9: California Golden Bears
- Game 10: Arizona Wildcats
- Game 11: Arizona State Sun Devils
- Game 12: Oregon Ducks