Introduction to ASU’s football opponent: Stanford Cardinal

ASU 2022 Football Schedule

September 1: against NAU

10/9: @ #12 Oklahoma State

9/17: vs. Eastern Michigan

9/24: vs. #7 Utah

10/1: @ #14 USC

10/8: vs. Washington

10/15 GOODBYE

10/22: @ Stanford

10/29: @Colorado

5/11: vs. UCLA

11/12: @ Washington State

11/19: Against the State of Oregon

11/25: @Arizona

Congratulations! You’ve reached the eighth week of the college football season and you’re still interested in this ASU football team! There may have been some close games against Oklahoma State, Utah and USC, but after playing in Washington you’re wondering; “What’s the word on Stanford?”

Well, you came to the right place. The answers you seek from this opponents handbook may be a bit confusing, because that’s exactly what the Stanford Cardinals are in 2022. The jury is still out on what exactly this team is capable of after going 3-9 in 2021. , but here is everything you need. I need to know about the Sun Devils week eight matchup.

Stanford head coach David Shaw has seen his team go from being the cream of the crop in the Pac-12 to one that has so many question marks on both sides of the ball. Both their offense and defense have the talent to make noise in the conference, but they have no concrete evidence that their stars can rise to the occasion at the same time.

The offense:

Stanford has a lush history of great starting quarterbacks over the years with studs like Andrew Luck, KJ Costello and Davis Mills, the most recent of the bunch. There is optimism that junior starter Tanner McKee could be one of those elite Stanford guys.

McKee appears to have been created in a quarterback lab, standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 230 pounds. The man is a unit and can throw the stone effectively when he has help around him. McKee threw for more than 2,300 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging just over 230 passing yards in his 10 games. He threw 7 interceptions, but his 138 quarterback rating in his first full season is a good springboard for his second year.

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The receivers are possibly the strongest part of the offense. With big, strong guys like tight end Benjamin Yurosek and Elijah Higgins lining up on the outside, there will be matchup issues for opposing defensive backs. Stanford has four 6-foot-3-plus wideouts, including 6-foot-5 junior John Humphreys who can really step up and get it.

With McKee ready to make a jump, the receiving core Stanford has assembled may be able to carry the load in this offense, because it’s been tough on the field.

Stanford’s running game has been anything but dominant since prodigal son Christian McCaffrey was drafted in 2017. Unfortunately, it also looks shaky for 2022.

Although the offensive line is filled with the experience of four returns, such as Myles Hinton and Walter Rouse at tackle, there’s no telling what the RBs Stanford brings in can do with the ball. The top two running backs of 2021, Nathaniel Peat and Austin Jones, transferred to Missouri and USC, respectively. Even though Stanford averaged just under 90 rushing yards in 2021, they have junior EJ Smith poised to take most of the handballs, hoping he can be more than just a goal-line threat. .

The defense:

This is where ASU, along with the rest of the schools Stanford will play for, can really do some damage. Stanford’s defense last season was, for lack of a better term, nonexistent. According to NCAA.com, the Cardinals ranked 114th in the country in total defense, allowing 451 yards per game in 2021.

Shaw’s defensive lineup will almost completely reset after losing a bunch of seniors. But they will have their main tackler and team captain, Levani Damuni, back. Quarterback pressure in 2021 was bad, with their sack leader Stephen Herron collecting just three all season.

They have freshman running back David Bailey ready to make more plays in the backfield and pressure opposing quarterbacks, but other than that, struggles against the running game will remain if they can’t win their battles in the trenches. .

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The best chance they have for success on defense is in the secondary. Kyu Blu Kelly is the NFL’s highest-caliber defender on the list with 2 interceptions and 10 interrupted passes last year, and Kendall Williamson was one of the team’s top tacklers at strong safety. Along with those two, Stanford brought in Oklahoma transfer Patrick Fields to strengthen their core defense.

Conclusion:

The common denominator on both sides of the ball for the Cardinal is the running game. They need to be able to set up the offensive run to open up the passing game for a talented quarterback and receivers. But, 90 rushing yards per game is not enough, especially when you give 230 rushing yards per game on the other side. On defense, they’re similarly set up with talent in the secondary and up top, but if they can’t stop the run at 1, 2, or 3, it leaves them vulnerable to more of the same results they’ve gotten. seen in recent years.

How to win:

In this situation, it is important not to beat yourself up. Staying inside the offense, running the ball effectively in early situations, and taking time off the clock will be the keys to the offense. It is Herm’s style.

On defense, if you can stop their attack on the run, it will put them in situations to force the ball downfield, opening up the possibility of an interception or a big sack.

If ASU can dominate the running game on both sides of the ball, it could add up to a win for the Sun Devils in October.

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The remaining opponent cards will be released closer to their matchup dates after the bye week.

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