Post-WSU Stats, Notes and Quotes

What is Edwards' injury status?

With the game not broadcast on any live TV, a nation of Cardinalmaniacs outside Northern California are looking for more insights and notes on Saturday night's 24-14 loss to #6 Washington State. Read on for more news on the offense, defense and special teams, including injury answers on Trent Edwards and Babatunde Oshinowo. Also the shocking vituperations delivered by former Card Teyo Johnson after the game...

  • Everybody is wondering about the injury status of Trent Edwards, who was later publicly diagnosed with a sprained shoulder.  The good news is that x-rays were negative.  "My AC joint is messed up right now," the redshirt freshman said of his acromioclavicular joint, which sits atop the shoulder.  "I'm day to day right now."  My prediction is that Edwards will be unable to throw at least the early part of this week, and I suspect any quarterback controversy will be avoided purely on the basis of his injury.  Without knowing how this next week of practices will play out, I bet Chris Lewis starts up in Eugene.  The question is whether Edwards will be healthy enough to man the #2 position in reserve...
  • It does not appear that there is any hiccup for the rest of the offense when the quarterback changes.  "It's easy," says Luke Powell.  "Chris and Trent take equal snaps in practice.  Everybody is used to Chris."
  • Neither quarterback did anything special.  Edwards completed just 11-of-28 passes for 122 yards; Lewis hit on just 9-of-22 tosses for 95 yards.  That's 40% completion for each quarterback; both averaged less than five yards per attempt.  But if Lewis is going to be the guy next week at Oregon, Buddy Teevens can point to some positives in this performance.  "Chris demonstrated the benefit of experience," the head man opines.  "When he took a hit, he popped back up and kept playing.  His opportunity to play occurred today and he took full advantage of it."
  • Fans collectively held their breath when star redshirt sophomore nose tackle Babatunde Oshinowo limped off the field in the second half, but he returned to play much of the remainder of the game.  He revealed no substantive concerns about his health afterward in the locker room...
  • How close this game really was depends on your emotional approach these days to Stanford Football.  If you are of the camp that cannot push past the thought that "this offense stinks," then the scoreboard was probably irrelevant to you.  In all likelihood, a one-score differential seemed an insurmountable margin.  But it is worth noting that the Cardinal were within seven points or less for exactly 48:26 in this game...
  • There is some retooling needed for this offense, but I walked back up to the pressbox after the final gun thinking about the 10-point margin of defeat.  If Michael Sgroi hits his field goal and Stanford does not allow a 64-yard punt return that handed WSU a facile touchdown, there are your 10 points.  Special teams was not the sole source of blame in this game - the offense is quite culpable - but it is disheartening to note those two plays were a difference.  I also have to evaluate this as the first game of the year where Stanford disappointed on special teams...
  • One specific failing is the punt return game.  Washington State booted the ball 10 games but Powell only field it three times and picked up a total of two yards.  This offense needs help from special teams in the field position battle, and the punt return is not giving any help...
  • Stanford comfortably covered the spread in their first three games of the year, but the oddsmakers have adjusted awfully well since.  Vegas has called the last two margins almost on the nose.  Stanford lost by 23 at USC against a 22.5-point spread.  The Card dropped this game by 10 against a spread that ranged from 9.5 to 12.5 points during the week...
  • Stanford's 217 yards passing was their most since their last home game, when they tossed 293 yards through the air against San Jose State. The 42 yards rushing, however, was the lowest of the season, marking the fourth straight decline in the ground game since the season opened with 164 yards.  I don't think that is a statistical aberration.  I am seriously concerned about this running game.  Whether blame is placed on the scheme or personnel, that is another debate for another time.  Though J.R. Lemon deserves more work carrying the ball given his 4.6 yards per carry in this game.  I also think the draw play is drawing its last breaths.  Bring back the fullback!...
  • Speaking of Lemon and the fullback position, he took some early snaps there and was released into the WSU backfield for a few pass plays in the first half.  Edwards and Lemon did not connect with much success, but I liked the calls...
  • The 36-yard throw by Trent Edwards to Gerren Crochet was the longest offensive play of the year for Stanford, either on the ground or in the air.  You can take that one of two ways...  While I have to give credit to Crochet for making that big play, he also deserves reprimand for at least two unacceptable drops that could have given a lot of life to this offense.  One of those drops came well downfield on a play in the 4th quarter that could have changed the game, and the ball dropped right into his hands...
  • Crochet had a career-high 48 yards receiving.  Greg Camarillo also had a career-best in both receptions and yards, with six grabs for 64 yards.  Mark Bradford's four receptions and 50 yards were also both the best in his young Stanford career...
  • Washington State may be a very good football team, but it was clear on this day that there is a significant gap in talent between what they possess and that which Stanford faced last weekend at USC.  One manifestation was the Cougars' defensive aggression that did not "get home" as frequently as the rush the Trojans brought.  I do think that the Stanford offensive coaches did a smart job of using more play action and roll-outs for the quarterback, particularly in the first half, but the WSU front seven struck less terror than I expected.  Seems to me that either everybody else in the conference outside of South Central is rather human, or the Stanford offensive line did a better job protecting.  "They have been a 30% blitz team," Teevens noted afterward.  "But they probably blitzed 50% or 60% of the time today."  If that is true, then this game might be an uptick for the OL.  It also makes me believe that screen plays have to be brought back into this offense...
  • One sign that Stanford's defense made a truly remarkable number of stops - WSU punter Kyle Basler was forced to boot a career-high of 10 punts in the game...
  • The Cougars mustered just 70 yards rushing in this game, at a 2.4 per-carry average.  And while most of the time running numbers are understated because of sack yardage that is subtracted from the nominal ground game, remember that there were no sacks in this game against WSU quarterbacks.  Those 70 yards are a straight stat.  That's powerful stuff against the offense that boasted the second best running game in the Pac-10 coming into Saturday...
  • It was a well-advertised fact that Washington State has started off games crimson-hot this year, and that trend continued with their 7-0 shutout in the first half. They have now outstripped opponents by a 109-31 margin in the first halves of play...
  • The last time Stanford was blanked in the first half of play was also a Homecoming game - the Oregon State clash of 1999. The Card however came back on a pair of late Ken Simonton fumbles and seized a gutty and tight win. Washington State unfortunately lost no fumbles on this day, and the one interception they through came on a botched PAT play that did not hand Stanford any new possession...
  • Speaking of turnovers, the one truly constant statistic this year you can find with this Stanford team is interceptions. All five games this year, Cardinal quarterbacks have combined to throw exactly two picks in each contest...
  • There are six more games to be played in the regular season, but it was disturbing to see the scant use of some of the true freshmen this day.  Evan Moore was not employed until the second half, which bucks the trend of his five catches a week ago.  More disturbing was the one-dimensional employment he found, with high passes or fades tossed his way on the sideline.  I would have thought the receptions he delivered on the late-4th quarter scoring drive at USC would have driven home that he can be used in a multitude of spots on the field.   David Marrero did not enter the game until the second-to-last drive of the game.  I do admit that the thought crossed my mind in the 3rd quarter that he could be brought in late and provide a very surprising change of running style to the Cougar defensive coordinator, but I did not envision Marrero would arrive that late.  And by the time he saw the field, time was ticking away with the Stanford offense needing two scores.  That meant the offense needed to pass the ball, which is not the primary reason I would want Marrero in the game.  In a game where Stanford could not stretch the field, save the one 36-yard completion to Crochet, we are left only to wonder if hand-offs to Marrero might have broken something.  It seems unlikely that he would have fared worse than Kenneth Tolon...
  • Current Oakland Raider and former Cardinal receiver Teyo Johnson could not resist sticking his nose into affairs with some rather poignant comments to the press corps, who incidentally didn't ask. While the Stanford press was interviewing Chris Lewis after the game, Johnson leaned into the circle and belted out some strong invectives directed at the current coaching staff. "All I can say is that Chris Lewis should start the remainder of the season. You all saw what happened in the second half when he was out there. Imagine if he had played the whole game. That's the way it should have been," the departed receiver shouted out. "If he doesn't start, it's politics! Plain and simple. It's the same as last year." Johnson of course was described by both players and coaches last year as a "cancer" within the team, and it appears that even after his early bolt to the NFL, the fiery rabble-rouser feels a burning desire to bring further unrest to the team. The biopsy that was his NFL declaration last December apparently did not completely rid the Stanford program of the Teyo Tumor. I would imagine this is the last sideline pass he is afforded by his former school. His venom-spewing is as unwelcome today as it was while he was a member of the team a year ago. At least in 2003 it can be minimized to far fewer incidents.  I would recommend Ted Leland place a phone call to Johnson promptly and inform him in no uncertain terms that either he act as a responsible citizen of the Stanford community and family, or he will find a closed door to him from this Athletic Department.  Were I in Leland's shoes, I would actually declare this character persona non grata and shut that door today.  It may reopen if and when Johnson grows up...
  • Absent Teyo in an everyday role with this team, the morale and spirits are far better than a year ago.  Powell affirmed that belief when asked about the team psyche.  "Guys still believe," he proclaims.  "This is nothing like last year. Last year, we would have broken and fallen apart after that punt return. But guys hung in there and really believed we could still win."
  • Not that this fact will make Stanford a better team or have better prospects in its remaining games, but it continues to amaze me how much surprise is revealed each week in this conference.  Take the final contest Saturday night, when the Huskies visited the Beavers.  Washington was supposedly a horrible team, who incidentally is one Stanford "absolutely had to beat" three weeks ago - a fact that had become more and more irrefutable with each and every passing day since the game in Seattle.  Oregon State was supposed to have the best rushing game in the Pac-10, and the stats backed that up with some 190 yards per game.  But on October 18, the Beavers were pounded in the trenches and mustered 46 yards on 33 carries (sound eerily familiar?).  The Huskies soared to a 38-17 win.  Sweeping characterizations are a hard thing to achieve with just about any team in this conference this year...
  • Maybe its a warped perspective when you sit in the press box, but this was one of the most lopsided attendance gaps between the shady side and sunny side of the Stadium I can remember.  Homecoming (er, "Reunion Weekend") is of course a major contributing factor, but I was sorely disappointed by the showing on the sunny side for this game.  I doubt this will improve in the next two home games.  Big Game and Notre Dame are of course special circumstances...

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