The 2013 Stanford Radio Preview: Linebackers

Murphy led Stanford in sacks and TFL in 2012

Stanford's linebackers may comprise its deepest and most talented position group. Many will be focused on Shayne Skov in the middle, but Trent Murphy led the "Party in the Backfield" statistically from the outside last year. Listen to Part 5 of our extensive radio preview.



Stanford Defense: Tackling Teamwork
Year
Tackle Leader
Solo Tackles
Assisted Tackles
Total
Tackles Per Gm
% of Team Total
PPG
2007
Bo McNally (Safety)
72
42
114
9.5
12.8%
28.3
2008
Bo McNally (Safety)
53
23
76
6.33
9.2%
27.4
2009
Bo McNally (Safety)
55
28
83
6.38
9.3%
26.5
2010
Shayne Skov (LB)
50
33
83
6.92
10.7%
17.4
2011
Jarek Lancaster (LB)
44
26
70
5.38
8.8%
21.9
2012
Shayne Skov (LB)
42
38
80
6.15
8.6%
17.2

For obvious reasons, a football team would rather have a linebacker lead its squad in tackles than a defensive back: If ballcarriers and receivers are reaching the secondary frequently enough for a safety to rack up the team lead in stops, the scoreboard is likely taking a beating.

As the table above illustrates, Stanford's linebacker corps has emerged over the course of the Jim Harbaugh-David Shaw era, and that has been an integral factor in the resurgence of the Cardinal's defense. Early in the renaissance, a massive defensive burden rested on safety Bo McNally's shoulders; now, Stanford's linebackers have taken charge in the tackling department. Shayne Skov has been the leader of the charge, and the negative effect of his 2011 knee injury is apparent in the statistics.

David Shaw says that Skov is back to his original level of explosiveness heading into the 2013. The Stanford training staff envisions him becoming even quicker than his pre-injury self. If that happens, Skov will team with Trent Murphy, A.J. Tarpley, Blake Lueders, James Vaughters, and Jarek Lancaster to form a unit that has the potential to be one of the best in conference history.



Previous Bootleg Radio Preview Segments/Stat Tables:
Quarterbacks/Offensive Line
Offensive Backfield (RB/FB)
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Defensive Line




David Lombardi is the Stanford Insider for The Bootleg. Check him out at www.davidlombardisports.com and follow him on Twitter @DavidMLombardi.

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