Opponent Attack Preview: Stanford Cardinal

As Stanford’s offensive manufacturing has declined, particularly within the working recreation, in recent times David Shaw and offensive coordinator Tavita Pritchard have introduced up the “gradual internet” idea that has turn into common in Wake Forest. It’s as if in each low season Shaw says he’ll look at this system from the bottom up and assess how it may be improved after a season of poor manufacturing with proficient gamers.

On condition that they have been one of many 5 FBS colleges that did not make a single coaching change this off season, it is higher if his new type is nice. Early returns are constructive, with 221 speeding yards towards USC—probably the most since 2018 towards Oregon!

Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at the gamers and the scheme that makes them work.


Stanford obtained some unhealthy information this week once they discovered Stead RPEJ Smith can be out this weekend towards Washington. Together with QB Tanner McKee, Smith is a crucial a part of this offense and a horrible loss to them. He can be changed by RB Casey Filkins, a fast, crafty and quick participant. The way in which he retains his shoulders sq. and makes fast cuts means he all the time will get the yards out there.

Tanner Mackie is the standard Stanford quarterback that you simply would possibly acknowledge from current seasons. Weighing in at 6-6 and 230 kilos, it stands tall within the pocket, and delivers hits in any respect ranges. He has the arm energy you’ll count on for a physique of this dimension, too. He could make middle throws in slim home windows between the world defenders, earlier than the receiver is open. He can enhance his contact a bit, however he is the basic “professional” quarterback constructed for the West Coast, and he is form of a quick-attack.

WR Michael Wilson is one among McKee’s favourite targets and is a constant veteran outdoors. He is in his fifth season scoring catching Stanford, a really easy athlete with severe leaps within the mildew of Galen Macmillan. Becoming a member of Wilson, in basic Stanford trend, is a military of giants. Wilson is the group’s relative dwarf at 6-2, whereas second main receiver Jon Humphreys is 6-5 Junior who excels at catching the ball 50-50. Subsequent is Brycen Tremayne, a giant 6-4 with sufficient velocity to be a menace on the sphere. Elijah Higgins makes a slower begin to the season with simply 66 yards on 5 catches, however has traditionally been the person McKee has persistently seemed as much as. In 2021 as a full-time starter, he had almost double the next WR targets. On the age of 6-3235, he’s solidly constructed and might play each inside and outside the opening. If these large receivers sound acquainted, it is as a result of they’re all fourth- or fifth-year gamers who’ve performed a whole lot of soccer and frightened some good defenders within the UW over the previous few years.

NCAA Football: Colgate at Stanford

Stan Szito – USA TODAY Sports activities

Lastly, there’s TE Ben Yurosek, the 6-4 goal who has the third longest play for Stanford this season – a 50-yard sprint on the finish round USC. Not solely is he Till now else He has a big physique that may safe contested hits, and has sufficient velocity and dribbling to get round a nook and rush down the sphere if the protection is not prepared. It is extra turning than most 6-4 tight ends and might make defenders make errors.


Whereas the gradual community is the large information from Palo Alto, that is nonetheless Stanford. That means, since most school soccer makes offenses easier for quarterbacks, Stanford nonetheless places rather a lot on the Tanner Mackie board. There are calls and selections the QB has to make each time they get into the road of melee that almost all crimes do not ask the QB to make (Kent State, for instance).

After they’re not doing one thing very advanced at Stanford, they are going to make a gradual community, figuring out it by identify. When you think about the second QB places the ball within the again field – the web level – he reads the protection, deciding whether or not to ship the ball, run by himself, or pull and go the ball. Whereas in most RPOs this occurs immediately, the gradual community makes QB and RB wait an uncomfortable period of time to see how the protection reacts. After they’re on the tangle, QB and RB will slowly take strides towards the road of scrimmage as QB reads the protection – “a disturbing back-to-back trade between the quarterback and back-to-back,” SI wrote throughout Wake Forest’s 2019 dream season.

Here is a group of gradual community performs from Wake Forest:

One other typical ingredient of Stanford’s previous offenses is the insanely efficient objective line fading. No less than towards USC, they’ve tried to run their singles leap ball ultimately zone a couple of instances and you may count on to see it extra this weekend.

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Stanford turned the ball 4 instances towards USC final week, together with twice contained in the 5-yard line. It is silly to level out that had it not been for these turnovers, Stanford would have received the sport, however they have been capable of drive down the sphere on a number of events solely to cough soccer earlier than they may hit it ultimately zone. A day of 441 yards with 33 first touchdowns is an effective output, and whereas USC is hardly a defensive juggernaut, Stanford has roughly moved the ball towards them.

By way of stopping a gradual community, defenses take the identical strategy as offenses. Simply as Stanford College will use the gradual internet to confuse the protection between working and passing protection, the protection has to make use of disguised schemes to trick the offensive line into considering they will not assault. If Washington needs to cease the gradual community, it wants to search out progressive methods to get into the backspace. 5 sacks and 12 shedding tackles by USC ought to present hope that high UW gamers – who’ve proven an affinity for stepping into the backfield – can get the job performed.

We’ll see how nicely Stanford sticks to the gradual internet – it could actually trigger a whole lot of hassle for unprepared defences – as we have seen Wake Forest benefit from many groups on this means. However I think about David Shaw trying on the Washington highschool recreation licking his lips as he imagines Tanner Mackie and his forest of bushes bullying the UW highschool recreation.

A lot of followers expect a UW blast, however I see this competitors getting tighter with the Stanford go recreation that retains them in it. Go burly.


What number of factors will Stanford rating?