Publish date:

11 STANFORD

Author:

OPPOSING COACH'S TAKE

"People try to make a big deal about them breaking in a new quarterback, but even with the new guy, likely Keller Chryst, they're going to be damn good. With young QBs you don't know what you're going to get until they start playing—but you could have also said that before Andrew Luck took over. Chryst has such a big, strong arm, and he's really athletic, too. They've got a great offensive line and a great back in Christian McCaffrey, so they're not going to have to rely on Chryst to sling it. He'll have time to get adjusted.

McCaffrey, he's just awesome. He has everything: really good change of direction, good speed; he's a complete football player. It doesn't matter that everyone knows he's going to get the ball. Really, it makes the play-action game so much scarier because if they can run, that's when you see those big throws go over the top. And as a returner he solves a lot of problems. You can pretty much count on him bringing back a kick for a touchdown every few tries, and it's like, Oh, crap, can we at least try to not kick it toward him?

Defensively, it's wrong to say that they don't have talent. Those dudes play so, so hard, and they're so well-coached. They've been outstanding over the last four to five years because they're so big and physical. Really, they're the only ones who have solved the Oregon riddle consistently. They're a nightmare because they're not going to beat themselves."

FAST FACTS

9

Passes thrown by now sophomore quarterback Keller Chryst, who's the favorite to start. Five were completions.

34.0

The Cardinal's average time of possession (in minutes) last season, tops in the country.

323

Difference in yards between Rocket Ismail's three-season total at Notre Dame (4,187) and Christian McCaffrey's total as a sophomore in '15 (3,864).

10

Starts for junior tight end Dalton Schultz, who has already been named to the John Mackey Award watch list.

36.3%

Third-down conversion rate of Stanford opponents last year, 45th best in the FBS.

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

5 YEAR TREND

WINS

15

12

9

6

3

11--1

10--1 (PAC-12 CHAMPS)

11--3 (PAC-12 CHAMPS)

8--5

12--2 (PAC-12 CHAMPS)

YEAR

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

FREAKIEST ATHLETE

Most human beings who check in at 6'3" and 273 pounds cannot broad-jump 10'2", run a 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds and record a vertical of 34 inches. SOLOMON THOMAS, a senior defensive lineman, can. He also boasts just 8.1% body fat and does 30 reps bench-pressing 225 pounds. He had 10½ tackles for loss last year (with 3½ sacks). You don't want him chasing you in the backfield. It will not end well.

2016 SCHEDULE

FRIDAY 9/2

KANSAS STATE

BYE

SATURDAY 9/17

USC

SATURDAY 9/24

AT UCLA

FRIDAY 9/30

AT WASHINGTON [KEY MATCHUP]

SATURDAY 10/8

WASHINGTON STATE

SATURDAY 10/15

AT NOTRE DAME [KEY MATCHUP]

SATURDAY 10/22

COLORADO

SATURDAY 10/29

AT ARIZONA

SATURDAY 11/5

OREGON STATE

SATURDAY 11/12

AT OREGON [BIGGEST GAME]

SATURDAY 11/19

AT CAL

SATURDAY 11/26

RICE

KEY MATCHUP

BIGGEST GAME