04.Nov.2016 Blogging with the Enemy: Stanford

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Hey guys, below are the questions you guys asked Hank from the Stanford blog.

  1. Is what happened to Oregon post-Chip starting to happen to Stanford, post-Harbaugh?

The short answer is no; the long (2,000 word) answer is here: http://www.gomightycard.com/2016/10/this-isnt-the-apocalypse.html. Here’s something in between. There are those Stanford fans who still cling to the Myth of Jim Harbaugh, the fire bringer in khaki pants who descended from Mt. Olympus and enlightened the huddled masses. There’s some truth to that. I don’t think any human being — or demigod, for that matter — aside from Harbaugh could’ve wrought such a transformation, but David Shaw was the perfect choice to keep things going. In fact, he’s been better than Harbaugh, in my opinion. Any number of programs have had a good season or two and reached a nice bowl, but few can match the consistency that Stanford has enjoyed under Shaw. This season is a blip. Eight different starters have missed games this season, including the player who should’ve won the Heisman last year, and there’s a new quarterback. Two of them, in fact. I’ve argued that the Cardinal has actually overachieved this season. They sit at 5-3, and they’ll likely be favored in each of their remaining games. A 9-3 regular season isn’t out of the question; a bowl win would mean a double-digit season. Few schools outside of Tuscaloosa would complain about that.

  1. What happened to the offense?

A lot of things happened to the offense, starting with the graduation of Kevin Hogan. Going from a four-year starter to a player who had thrown only a handful of passes in mop-up duty was always going to be difficult, but inconsistencies along the offensive line made things even worse. Three new starters were installed on the line, and they didn’t click immediately. Making things worse, injuries and poor performance forced midseason changes for the first time in recent memory. Because of all this, Christian McCaffrey was struggling, and then he was injured at the end of the Washington State game. He missed Notre Dame, played less at less than a hundred percent in the Colorado loss, and suddenly his Heisman hopes and Stanford’s running game both disappeared. The other problem is that Bryce Love, Robin to McCaffrey’s Batman, was also injured. Last week was the first time both running backs were healthy, and that completely changed the offense. Things are looking up.

  1. Stanford has a couple notable guys banged up (OL Johnny Caspers-questionable this week, FB Daniel Marx-doubtful) how talented are their backups and are there other important players likely to miss the Beavs game? What adjustments are likely in view of the probable absence of these guys?

As mentioned above, injuries have been a huge issue. In addition to Caspers, fellow lineman Dave Bright has also been nicked up. Off the top of my head, at least seven different players have started on the offensive line, including true freshman Nate Herbig (a future star at guard). The loss of fullback Daniel Marx has also been significant. The fullback position is critical to the Cardinal running game, and Marx’s primary backup, Reagan Williams, is considerably smaller and less experienced than Marx. In addition to Williams, you’ll also see Chris Harrell, a converted tight end, leading the way for McCaffrey and Love.

  1. I understand that Chryst has averaged 3.5 yds per passing attempt and his long last week was 18yds; it has been written, “Stanford does not threaten a defense deep at all and makes scheming for their offense incredibly easy as they are still very one dimensional”Does the Stanford blogger agree?

The Stanford blogger does agree, at least with the first part of the statement. Most observers expected Keller Chryst to win the starting job based on his pedigree and status as the number two quarterback last season, so it was a surprise when Ryan Burns won the competition and started the first seven games. After Burns’s poor performance against Colorado, however, it was anything but a surprise when Shaw went to Chryst last week. I can’t say that he was bad, but he certainly wasn’t spectacular. That yards per attempt number that you cite tells you everything you need to know. He did look downfield a few times, but he was never able to connect. Part of the problem was his lack of accuracy, but the greater concern is that Stanford’s receivers just aren’t stretching the field right now. Defenses have nothing to be afraid of. Speed merchant Michael Rector has been disturbingly quiet this season, and the team’s best receiver, Trenton Irwin, has averaged just 11.5 yards per catch. The lack of a running game over the past five weeks has certainly contributed to this, so it’s possible the return to health of McCaffrey and Love will open things up a bit in that regard. We’ll see.

  1. How does this year’s team compare to the last few years as far as being physical? 

The most disconcerting thing about this season was watching the offensive line getting physically beaten by Washington and Washington State. Stanford has obviously lost games over the past four seasons, but at no time during that stretch were they ever physically overmatched. As far as the offensive line goes, much of that has to do with injuries and inexperience. On the other side of the ball, the physicality is right where it’s always been. This is probably the best defensive line Stanford has fielded in at least three years, led by junior defensive end Solomon Thomas, a sure-fire All-Pac-12 selection and a candidate for defensive player of the year in the conference. He’s an absolute force, and you’ll probably hear his name being called frequently on Saturday.

  1. Did they expect such a big drop off in QB play with Hogan graduating? He seemed to be more of a manager vs a playmaker.

If you’re thinking about people like Cam Newton and Marcus Mariota and Andrew Luck when you say playmaker, then you’re right, that’s not Kevin Hogan. He was always under appreciated by those who didn’t watch him on a consist basis because he never did anything spectacular. There are highlight reels full of jaw-dropping plays Andrew Luck made during his time at Stanford — fifty-yard runs, one-handed catches, forty-yard throws from his knees, bone-jarring tackles of opposing linebackers — but Hogan simply did his job and led his team to three Rose Bowls. Quarterbacks in the Stanford system have to be game managers. They have to be able to stand at the line of scrimmage and check from a pass to a run or from a run to a pass, and that makes for a long learning curve. There was no way that Burns or Chryst was going to come in and match Hogan’s production. That being said, I don’t think anyone would’ve predicted such a severe drop.

  1. How much can you bench press?

As everyone knows, Stanford is nothing more than a muscle factory, so you won’t be surprised to know that I can bench at least 75-80 pounds.

  1. How is Scarlett coming along? He’s had some touches this year, is he developing as expected?

McCaffrey made a point of mentioning Cameron Scarlett at Pac-12 Media Day this summer, saying that he had improved tremendously and was ready to contribute, but there hasn’t been much so far. When he was signed people expected him to develop into Stanford’s next power back. At 220 pounds he’s twenty pounds heavier than McCaffrey and almost forty pounds bigger than Love, and he’s gotten some short yardage carries. The problem is that there just aren’t enough carries to go around. Next year will probably be his year.

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  • angry angry says:
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    And here’s the interview I did for his site:
    http://www.gomightycard.com/2016/11/blogging-with-the-enemy-oregon-state-beavers.html

  • wannabeav says:
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    among the gems in the link to GMC site is that Angry’s counterpart calls Angrybeavs.com the most active blog in the Pac -12, by far.

  • Beav in DE says:
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    I also like the comment (which I’m paraphrasing): “pay attention to Seth Collins because he’s competent on short to immediate routes.”

  • angry angry says:
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    GA on ESPN, basically talking about all the stuff we’re seeing:

    http://www.espn.com/blog/pac12/post/_/id/105732/smart-move-no-quit-oregon-state-continues-to-show-statistical-improvement

  • Bill says:
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    A win this weekend could be a breakthrough. Team will need momentum going into the last two games. None of the remaining games are gimmes. I think Beavs are underdogs in every game.

  • marcodg marcodg says:
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    For those that did not know, Cameron Scarlett and Ryan Nall were teammates at Central Catholic High School in Portland. That was quite a backfield.

    • Nicebeaver Nicebeaver says:
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      I remember listening to that year’s state championship game with Central Catholic and kept hearing Ryan Nall’s name, just running all over the competition (was it Jesuit?)
      I feel like Nall wracked up around 200 yards that day and I kept thinking to myself, “we could use a guy like that at OSU”

      • marcodg marcodg says:
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        That was the game. He was a man among boys. Also a first team all-state linebacker IIRC. OSU was his only P5 offer. Recruiting is an inexact science, I guess.

  • BeaverBill BeaverBill says:
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    Angry, thanks for doing this… good reading. Maybe if Goe could learn to do pieces like this I wouldn’t hate his useless articles.

    Sounds like we may have a tougher time with Stanfurd this weekend then we would have in previous weekends. They have once injuried players returning to the line up… and good ones at that.

    Luck of the Beavs.

  • Theboneyard says:
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    Anyone at the basketball exhibition game tonight?

    • orangejulius orangejulius says:
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      Yeah we just got home, it was dead in Gill…of course we didn’t get there til half so maybe there was more energy in the other 20 people or the whole place vacated before we got there.

      • them beavers them beavers says:
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        no it was dead before the half too…My son had fun moved all the way down behind the students.. but what exactly did all the money they spent on Gill go toward?

        • beavergopher beavergopher says:
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          Student safe spaces?

        • orangejulius orangejulius says:
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          Well they did repaint the floor.

          I heard an interview with Tinkle this week he said they still haven’t done the audio system.

          Just to the right of our seats they are currently building, what appears to be, a camera platform. It’s currently just a few 2x4s scabbed together.

          These planned ‘upgrades’ were in the works well before the season, it’s strange that the season has started and they still aren’t finished.

        • orangejulius orangejulius says:
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          Oh and the new seats are in, so there is that.

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    Live stream of the Corbin game? I’m not getting anything as of now.

    Forget it. I have to have a cable provider in order to see the game. FUCK IT!!!!

    • mckalk says:
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      It should be free since it’s being produced by OSU. Beavs up 58-21 at half.

      • Theboneyard says:
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        Big G having a good game

        • mckalk says:
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          Big G looks faster, you can see he has lost some weight. I caught something about Keondre Dew not playing due to a decision by Tinkle, did not sound like it was an injury.

    • Nicebeaver Nicebeaver says:
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      The live stream on the Pac12 site has been choppy as fuh….
      Really hard to watch. Why is the Beaver logo upside down now? Arent they miving the cameras to the oppisite side of the gym? Looks like theyre still on the same side, but the logo got reversed

      • mckalk says:
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        Yeah, I think they were talking about some area not complete yet so the cameras won’t be moved until next week. 96-58 Final.

      • whiskey soaked napkins whiskey soaked napkins says:
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        “The live stream on the Pac12 site has been choppy as fuh”

        Been that way since day 1. Nice to know they’ve listened to their customers complaints. We got our money. Go fuck yourself

        I avoid the Pac-12 and ESPN streams. The Streamendous site works just fine for me. I think tonight you were at the mercy of the Pac-12 website though. I doubt any of the main streaming sites (our Ukrainian friends) were streaming an exhibition college hoops game

        • mckalk says:
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          It wasn’t the best stream, but I think it may have also been student produced camera work which I guess explains why it was free tonight. It wasn’t a P-12 production.

          • Nicebeaver Nicebeaver says:
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            It wasn’t the camera work that caused issues, it was the stream lagging and buffering every 5 seconds or so. Every other site i’m able to stream no problem, but this one sucked

  • Bill says:
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    Good exhibition. Lots to like. Free throws continue to be an issue. Need to be shooting over 70% as a team. New guys look like they are fairly comfortable.

    Rotation might be a little short this year. Maybe only 8 when conference starts.

    • mckalk says:
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      I’m guessing Tanner Sanders will be dropping out of that rotation.

    • Jack Jack says:
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      Whoa!

      FTs were an issue with two guys.

      They were also not a prob for the big man.

    • AKBeaver AKBeaver says:
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      Stacey was 1-4 and McGloughin 3-5. Worried about Stacey as he shot less than 50% at JC. Omitting Muller who won’t play much and was 1-4, The rest of the team was over 80%.

  • oneoldbeav oneoldbeav says:
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    Only nine pickers (‘n grinners?) in on this weeks pick ’em, so far. Get your guesses in.

    As to student produced streams, anyone else remember the open mic during one of the baseball streams last season? Cute, and not too embarrassing.

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    Nike buddy hooked us up with field passes for the game today.

    It will be difficult to be so close to the action and not offer some free coaching advice. Just for old time sake will bust out my game day attire: Cheap mesh hat, goofy glasses, too tight sweater, polyester slacks with matching white patent leather shoes and belt.

    The nice thing will be not having to dodge flying debris and verbal insults from the fans. JB

    • Nicebeaver Nicebeaver says:
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      Speaking of Nike, has anybody here been to the nike employee store? My work has been set up with passes for all employees in the month of November. Is it even worth going? Figured I might buy some OSU gear, but I have no idea if they evem carry much of a selection. I dint tyoically buy Nike products, but there are one or two shirts in the OSU catalog I would consider picking up, if they carried them on discount.

      • Ronix1080 Ronix1080 says:
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        Definitely worth going. They have a huge selection of shoes, clothes etc. They don’t typically have a large section for college football clothing and less so for Oregon State. I wouldn’t expect them to have have the two shirts you saw in the OSU catalog but there is always a chance. The discount will be 50% off whatever price is marked on the tag. At the very least I’m sure you can get some Xmas shopping taken care of.

      • Jack Jack says:
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        You’d probably find better quality and a broader selection of designs at Goodwill.

        Goodwill’s customer service is also 1000% better than Nike’s. So there’s that. But if you insist on buying a Nike product by going to a storefront (even the employee store) in this day and age, you’re already asking the wrong question. You can find anything you want on the interwebs, and they ship it straight from China–no middle man.

  • Wrecking Nall says:
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    Andersen better deliver a W today. Pac-12 record is apalling and been how many years since a road win. Big boy football means playing atleast 1% better and 1 point better than the other guys and coming home as winners. Show OSU what you are bringing GA. Program needs a W today.

  • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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    I was at the basketball game last night. I spent most of the game watching two guys: (1) Jaquori McLaughlin; and (2) Ronnie Stacy. Here is what I saw.

    It seems obvious that JM is the better offensive player, and RS is the better defensive player. Details below.

    JM has a MUCH better outside shot than RS. JM appears to have good range and form, and can shoot off the catch or the dribble. JM also has very good body control, a good handle, good hops, and fluid moves. He changes direction quickly, and can create separation and get his own shot when necessary. On drives to the basket, JM will be somewhat limited this season by his lack of upper body strength — like many true freshmen he needs to spend time in the weight room. JM’s inside game will be more effective next season when JM is stronger. But JM is a natural scorer, and if he stays healthy he will be an important offensive weapon for OSU this season. Next season, when he is physically stronger, and with a year of experience in the PAC-12, he has the potential to be a big-time scorer.

    RS is a different story. Watching RS during warmups and during the game, RS’s shooting form (arm position, wrist position, shooting motion) looks off. He didn’t show much shooting range last night, and I’m guessing he won’t be a 3-point threat this season or next. He is physically stronger than JM (as one would expect, since RS is a Junior and a junior college transfer who has played college ball for a couple of years) and he may be able to finish at the rim (but he didn’t show much last night). My guess is that most of RS’s scoring this season will come on fast breaks or steals, rather than in the half court offense.

    On defense, RS did a better job than JM in staying in front of his man, but neither RS or JM did a great job of that. Partly because he is physically stronger (and perhaps a bit tougher), RS did a better job of dealing with picks set by the opposing team. In contrast, JM seemed to struggle when dealing with picks, rarely fighting through the pick, and sometimes getting lost or knocked around. When JM got beaten by his man, JM tended to reach, leading to cheap fouls. Under the boards, neither JM or RS is going to remind anyone of GP II. JM in particular is not going to win many battles for the ball against the big guys underneath — he just doesn’t have the physical strength to do that — at least not yet. Again, JM ended up getting knocked around under the boards last night — by Corban players who weren’t particularly big or strong.

    As point guards, neither JM nor RS did a great job of taking care of the ball or penetrating and passing to set up shots for their teammates. JM in particular made a number of careless/sloppy passes that resulted in turnovers (leading to Wayne Tinkle rolling his eyes or shaking his head). Unsurprisingly, JM will need to get used to the increased speed and athleticism of college opponents, and that will probably take at least a few games. And again this was only Corban — JM is going to see a LOT more athletic opponents in a few weeks. That being said, JM will probably make the adjustment soon and appreciate the need for more focus and intensity — once he does that, the turnovers will decrease. The question, then, will be whether JM can do a better job of penetrating and setting up shots for his teammates, rather than looking to score himself. JM has the tools to be a full-service all-around point guard — the question will be his mindset. I think Wayne Tinkle will get him there.

    As for RS, I don’t think he has the offensive tools to be much of a scoring threat, and this is going to limit his effectiveness as a point guard for OSU. His defense is good — but not great. I don’t think RS is going to improve a whole lot — he is what he is. My guess is that RS starts at point guard for the first part of the season, but when JM is ready, then JM takes over at point guard, and RS comes off the bench when JM needs a break, or gets in foul trouble.

    • whiskey soaked napkins whiskey soaked napkins says:
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      Ronnie Stacy is basically the equivalent of Lamar Hurd. Not much of a scoring threat but adequate as a passer/facilitator/defender. Role player with more experience that was brought in to run the offense and a calming presence for a youthful team. As long as he fits in, embraces and fills that role? I’m all for it. WT knows what he’s doing

      • mckalk says:
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        That’s a good observation, I was thinking the same thing. Nitpicking, I know, but I did not like his free throw form and it showed in going 1-4. Looked like a good rebounder also.

        Also, interesting article in the fish rag. The Beavs lost a “secret scrimmage” to Grand Canyon in OT 62-54. I haven’t done any research for this season, but GC was a good team last season coached by Dan Majerle. 54 points is not very impressive for an OT game.

        • Nicebeaver Nicebeaver says:
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          GC has “beaten” us for a recruit or 2, but i think part of that has to do with academic eligibility. They do seem to get some talent down there

          • mckalk says:
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            Yeah, I think they went up to D-1 in 2013 and at least play in the WAC now. Nice facility and “Thunder Dan” is building up a following. I watched one of their CIT tourney games last year. They looked solid and well coached. The won a lot of games last year.

        • Jack Jack says:
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          fish rag?

          A scrimmage is just that, a scrimmage. If anyone takes away anything from it in terms of competition, they have to create any lines so they can read between them.

          I guess if it makes anyone feel any better, they still have a good chance of winning the WAC despite losing their best big for the season.

  • whiskey soaked napkins whiskey soaked napkins says:
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    There’s been talk of Oregon and Stanford coaches riding the coattails of their predecessors. However no mention of Michigan State? A team that made the CFP last year is still winless in B1G play. Has nothing to do with a new coaching staff. I wonder why??????

    • Jack Jack says:
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      Because their D-line might be playing for us in the near future.

    • osbeavs says:
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      What change at Michigan State? Dantonio has been there winning for quite some time since Saban.

      • Jack Jack says:
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        I think there was about a decade between the two. He’s talking about Dantonio pulling a Bobby Williams.

        And apparently he doesn’t want Evans or Sweat.

  • scotty says:
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    No way the game coverage will start on time with this Texas Tech game still midway in the 3rd quarter. Air raid is annoying because it makes the games drag on forever.

    • osbeavs says:
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      I was just about to come here to say the same thing. This is likely going to be a 4.5+ hour game. Anyone know if fox sports has a plan to put the osu game on fs2 or similar? Can’t delay kickoff by over an hour.

      • osbeavs says:
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        Also as we talk about reasons for college football to struggle, these 4+ hour games are one of them. Need to go to a pro format where the clock runs a lot more. These games just take way too long. Cable channels always book these games for 3 or 3.5 hours which is silly. It seems rare for a game to end on time anymore.

    • Jack Jack says:
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      I thought the same as soon as I changed the channel.

      • Jack Jack says:
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        5:25 remaining at noon, and it takes 18 minutes to end the third quarter.

        And then UT runs for a score on the first play of the 4th. This game is going to take forever.

  • beavbutter says:
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    Where’s the damn game thread. Trees getting chomped today!

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