26.Oct.2017 Stanford Blogger Answers / Stanford Pre-game

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These were taken from the questions in the prior thread.

  1. David Shaw has said that Bryce Love’s availability will be a game time decision, which doesn’t sound very positive. At this point I’d be surprised if he plays, which is a shame. I believe he’s the best running back in the country and deserves to win the Heisman Trophy, but he’s going to have to run for well over 2,000 yards to combat the East Coast Bias that’s working in Saquon Barkley’s favor. Tonight would’ve been something of a showcase game, and he’s likely going to miss it. Anyway, you didn’t ask about any of that. Cameron Scarlett would be Love’s replacement. He’s certainly a solid running back, but he’d be a step down from Love. The offense won’t change at all, though. The offensive line has rounded into shape over the past four games, opening huge holes for the running game and not allowing a sack during that stretch. To the surprise of most, Keller Chryst has shown that he deserves to be the starting quarterback, and the offense has expanded. Watch for wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to have a big game. He’s a physical presence on the outside who’s been getting better each week this season and become Chryst’s top target. Also watch for true freshman Connor Wedington, who audaciously wears Christian McCaffrey’s #5 jersey but could have the talent to back it up. He was a last minute flip from Washington, and he’s already been making an impact. So even without Love, the offense will be fine.
  1. Mike Bloomgren has been in this spot for quite a while, and that’s led to a great deal of continuity. I asked Shaw about the importance of having the same two coordinators for more than three years now, and he said he couldn’t begin to explain how huge it has been. From the outside, however, there has also been consistent criticism. The offense is still incredibly conservative, but that’s as much to do with Shaw as Bloomgren. Shaw has always been vague when asked about the division of play calling responsibility between the two of them, but he’s said several times that he takes over in the red zone. In addition to Bloomgren’s duties as offensive coordinator, he’s also the offensive line coach, so whenever that group struggles, typically at the beginning of the season as a new five is coming together, there are voices in the fan base who want to see Bloomgren take a step back to focus on coaching the line, mainly to open up the coordinator position for someone else. But this offense is never going to change, and why would it? Right now it’s rated as one of the top ten offenses in the country by most metrics, and Shaw’s tenure has included three Rose Bowls. Eventually Bloomgren will move on, but we haven’t heard too many rumors lately. Perhaps this will be the year, especially if the offense continues to improve.
  1. I don’t think anyone worries about Shaw’s departure. He’s been the head coach for seven years now, and I think even the NFL has figured out that he loves it at Stanford. He talks often about how much he and his family love being on campus, and he jokingly says that he wants to stay at Stanford long enough to watch all three of his children follow in his footsteps and earn their Stanford degrees. The other factor is that he’s already spent a considerable amount of time coaching in the NFL. He was never a head coach or even a coordinator at that level, but the league doesn’t hold any mystical allure for him. He knows what it is, and he knows it isn’t going anywhere. So I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually takes on that challenge, but I’d be tremendously surprised if it happens any time soon.
  1. Those two early losses look worse and worse all the time. I was at the USC game, and I wasn’t bothered at all by the loss because the Trojans looked phenomenal in all phases. I fully expected that they would run the table and remain in the national championship conversation throughout the season. Sam Darnold also looked amazing, and I expected that he’d win the Heisman. That’s all changed, obviously, and San Diego State’s surprising loss last weekend is also disappointing. And, I suppose, even their recent road win over then-undefeated Utah looks less impressive after the Utes’ recent struggles. But as I alluded to in the first question, the offense is getting better each week. Bryce Love is an amazing talent, just as McCaffrey was before him, but Stanford football will always and forever be defined by the offensive line, and this group has a chance to develop into one of the best in school history. We’ll obviously know a lot more about this team after it plays the two Washington schools, but I don’t think there’s been a drop off. There’s more talent on this roster than there’s been in several years, and we’re beginning to see the results on both sides of the ball.
  1. I’ve said a lot about the strengths of the offense, but in terms of weakness, we should look at Keller Chryst, I suppose. Three weeks ago I think 99.9% of the fan base was ready to cast him aside in favor of sophomore K.J. Costello who took over when Chryst suffered a concussion against UCLA and proceeded to light up the scoreboard for a game and a half. Fans were ready to revolt when Chryst regained his health and his starting position, but he’s responded with two of the best games of his career. Even so, it’s something people are still watching. On the defense, the Cardinal is thin up front. Defensive tackle Harrison Phillips is on his way to an All-Pac-12 season, but he doesn’t have much help there. There are some young guys who are beginning to step up, but the rotation isn’t what it’s been in the past. The clear strength, however, is the secondary, led by safety Justin Reid, younger brother of San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid. This is the greatest collection of defensive backs in the history of Stanford football, and I don’t think anyone would ever argue that. Reid will play in the NFL, as will corner backs Quenton Meeks and Alijah Holder. They’ve been fun to watch this year, racking up big plays and interceptions.
  1. There have been disappointing losses in the David Shaw tenure, but I don’t remember a time when I’ve felt it was because the players were looking past an opponent. I think there will always be an underdog mentality in the Stanford locker room, or a belief that the team or some individual players (Bryce Love) don’t get the national respect that they deserve. This is a feeling that begins with the coaching staff and trickles down to the players. Because of that, they approach every game as an opportunity to prove someone wrong. This obviously doesn’t mean that the team never loses games it shouldn’t, it just means they don’t overlook people.
  1. I don’t see any possibility of an upset. I think this team is gaining confidence each week, and even without Bryce Love, the offense will simply be too much for Oregon State. My prediction is a big win for the Cardinal, 41-17.

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  • DubiousBeav DubiousBeav
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    Did we make sure the VFC Fall 2016 banner is still up and ready to go for ESPN to see?

    • gobeavers92
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      Oh I am sure we will get to see that banner plenty tonight especially when Stanford is driving toward that end-zone. It embarrassing.

  • marcodg marcodg
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    Is there a link to the Stanford blog and Q/A on their/our side?

  • scotty
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    Furd 38, OSU 20

    Hall goes to 2-0 against the spread (whoopie.) Motivational speeches ensue.

    • Nicebeaver Nicebeaver
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      If Hall becomes head coach, he’s going to need a throat lozenge provision in his contract. Guy is pushing his voice to it’s limits in those speeches

  • dwill03 dwill03
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    Beavers keep it close up until halftime as they do every game. Garretson gets injured final drive of the half throwing a pick 6 to go into the locker room down 13 – 21.

    Mason Mo comes in to replace him in the second Half, and the beavers run wild. Tyner throws a touchdown pass to Hodgins on a trick play. Pull off the upset 38-35 good guys.

    Yes I smoked my breakfast.

    • ObjCritic
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      Pass that fat blunt around to the Stanford players Thursday night around 5:30 pm…

    • dwill03 dwill03
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      My post was in jest but just to keep in mind since Luck exited the program we have generally kept it close with Stanford, regardless of how good they are and how shitty we are. We’ve just always been built to do better against pro style then spread teams.

      Thursday night games in Corvallis when the weather is nice always has a special feel to it. With the exception of USC a couple years ago the team generally plays really well in these games.

      Our guys are obviously going to play inspired ball for Hall.

      He is a former NFL defensive player, so he knows how to combat pro style offenses. If 2/3 of our starting secondary weren’t injured I’d actually feel good about a shocker tonight.

      If my 7 year old hadn’t been such a shit head lately and my 16 months twins didn’t have the flu I would snag tickets and head down. I have a weird similar feeling to the day of USC 2008 which I regrettably passed on tickets last minute to work the full day.

      • osu0209
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        I did the same thing that day… family had season tickets but I passed and ended up getting video from my friend via text as he charged the field lol

  • Beav in DE
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    I don’t think we’ll win, but I think we’ll keep it reasonably close. Interesting that Stanford’s defensive front is their weakness. A gameplan similar to what we saw against CU should be able to take advantage of that.

    I’m thinking this will hinge on whether or not Love plays and, if not, how well Chryst plays. An astute OC would see how weak our secondary is and look to exploit that.

    • Beav in DE
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      My morbid curiosity wants to see what the offense would look like if DG gets hurt.

  • ReverendBeav
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    Apologies for a baseball post on game day. It appears OSU baseball will again open the season in Surprise, AZ. University of New Mexico released their schedule and it shows them playing Oregon State on Feb 16th in Surprise. Cal Poly and Gonzaga look to be the other teams that first weekend.

  • ObjCritic
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    1.I actually wish Love were playing, even though its not to OSU’s advantage. One of the (limited) viewing interests in this game is getting to see one of the top RBs in the country. In that theme, I’d also like to see OSU with Nall et al respond with strong performances.

    2.Funny how fans are dissatisfied with relatively high performing offenses. Kind of reminds me of the constant criticism of Jonathan Smith: “I hear UW fans are unhappy with his play calling.” This was after last season in which UW set school records for TDs and points and went to the “playoffs.”

    4.Stanford will have trouble overcoming those low quality losses; more so than would an SEC team who would likely be characterized as “peaking at the right time!” When Love returns in another week or so, and in the post-season when Stanford has prep time to prep for their bowl game, they’ll be formidable even without the passing game being where they want it to be. But a top 20 placement and finish are not unreasonable or anything to be particularly ashamed of. Assuming Love returns and their QB’s improve through experience, they should be pretty well set next year(?).

    5. Inconsistent QB play and an under-manned D line are OSU’s best equalizers in this matchup. It perhaps reduces the chances that an injury depleted OSU secondary gets constantly victimized, and OSU’s run game might benefit.

    6.Shaw has maintained a consistency that I think has surprised many. Not overlooking opponents probably helps that.

    7.I don’t see an upset either. But I see a more competitive game than the visiting blogger. While Garretson and Moran are unlikely to fare well against Stanford’s DBs, maybe some quick throws to the TEs and some shovel passes mixed in can at least help out the OSU running game a little. For an upset, OSU needs to create or hope for multiple TOs and/or some real contributions from its special teams.

    8. The other interest factor in this game for me is seeing of Hall’s results in his first game as HC can be sustained. Can he keep players engaged, motivated, and will the offensive play calling continue to improve. Also, with the bye, did they add some packages with snaps directly under center?!? : )

    • OlyBeav
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      I think the dawgs are just flat pissed off that they have anyone connected with OSU coaching their team….no matter what their record is. U of W, after all, was the big push back in the ’80’s to remove OSU from the PAC 10 – at least we never went 0-12.

  • marcodg marcodg
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    Last night on the “Talkin’ Beavs” show, Lindsey Schnell at the end of a segment intimated that something was up on the reinstatement of Mason Moran at the QB position but that she couldn’t report on it. It is an unanswered question for me on whether his move back to QB was solely a contingent plan in case DG gets hurt to not burn a redshirt on Blount and Willard or if it is an attempt to fix a mistake made by GA in moving him to safety in the first place.

    • Nicebeaver Nicebeaver
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      I didn’t watch, but I think the something might have to do with GA had a deal in place with Blount where he wouldn’t burn Blount’s redshirt unless it was an emergency. So now the team is trying to respect that agreement if possible, but that also means Moran gets jerked around to be the fill in.
      Seems like we could use the depth at safety right now too if Morris is out, along with Hudson

    • ObjCritic
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      Are you having trouble unseeing Schnell’s Talkin Beav? I hope she’s just a good ventriloquist?

  • oneoldbeav oneoldbeav
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    Worth a read, from the San Fran paper. Several interesting quotes from Jim Wilson on GA’s departure as well as a preview of tonights game. Writer expects Love to be held out in preparation for their game vs Cougs.

    http://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Beavers-Gary-Andersen-was-mad-as-hell-and-12306675.php

    • ObjCritic
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      Glad to see Wilson publicly acknowledge Riley left the cupboard bare. I understand it was difficult for him to say this earlier, but at least he’s not saying something like “Riley knew how to do more with less…”

      GA may have left $12M behind, but he’s still a quitter and he made some damn good money while at OSU.

  • cj cj
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    Go Beavs!

  • pettibonehead pettibonehead
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    “Hi Men… I’m recently retired and looking to supplement my income. I received my last pay check today!!! I’m thinking about betting on some games. I hear you boys are all football experts.

    What do you think of Oregon State -18 tonight? I’ll go with a small wager, maybe $2-300,000.00 to get started.

    Thanks for the help. Gary in Corvallis

  • angry angry
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    Stanford blogger has the post up:

    http://www.gomightycard.com/2017/10/blogging-with-the-enemy-oregon-state-beavers.html

    • Beavergopher Beavergopher
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      That’s what he said.

    • Get Beau
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      I agree with most of your poits Angry except about McGiven being freed of shackles. I really think it was McGiven deciding to be so pass happy under GA this year. What changed is that Hall cleatly stated what he wanted and he expected committment to get the run game going and platooning the backs. Left to his own, with only vague input from GA about 60/40 run pass he did not take seriously at all, because he never had any consequences from GA for passing much more, McGiven liked to see Luton try to find receivers and always wandered in that direction. Maybe he didn’t love Luton’s handoffs but he didn’t trust that enough first downs could be made with a focus on the run even when Nall and Pierce were both averaging 5-6 yards per carry.

      Hall made sure McGiven understood what he wanted with firm ecpectations that kinda game would be called. McGiven said screw 60/40 under GA and drifted towards his pass preferred tendancies. He knows if he does that now that he has no chance to remain with OSU. Is only hope which is about 7 or 8 percent odds is the 15 or so percent chance Hall becomes HC next year and perhaps the 50% chance in that scenario that Hall keeps him as OC.

      • angry angry
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        Yeah, I’m not sure on the McGiven comment. I should have clarified that. I wrote it quickly.
        He did suddenly call a good game for whatever reason.

  • Nicebeaver Nicebeaver
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    The Beavers will not need to prepare for love tonight.

  • ReverendBeav
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    I like the helmet

  • bleedorange
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    What a stupid play call

  • bleedorange
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    Welp here we go again.

  • Nicebeaver Nicebeaver
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    Lol, which is worse? The shot of the shank punt going out if bounds? Or the empty stands as the shanked punt heads towards the seats?

  • bleedorange
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    Now run the fuckin rock. Use multiple rbs again.

  • Beavergopher Beavergopher
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    The chainsaw will save us.

  • ReverendBeav
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    Fast quarter

  • Ryan
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    So two missed picks for us. A fumble we should have had on Stanford. So close. Come on Beavs offense needs to step up now.

  • Beav in DE
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    Interesting comment about McGiven feeling like the shackles are off.

    • ReverendBeav
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      There’s a hell of a story in there when the truth finally comes out. I hope somebody tells it once the season is over.

    • Nicebeaver Nicebeaver
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      McGiven suddenly been cured of his stuttering

  • Beav in DE
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    Fantastic drive from the offense there. Just like our best last year. Healthy dose of Nall, a little Pierce, a little DG, some Timmy to keep things honest.

  • Ryan
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    Did anyone else catch the Dani Swinney comment comparisons with Cory Hall.

    • ReverendBeav
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      Yeah, the comparison was to a head coach leaping on the sideline. It’ wasn’t comparison to actual coaching.

  • Beav in DE
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    I haven’t seen us run out of the pistol until this game. And Timmy Hernandez has miraculously reappeared in the last two games.

  • Beav in DE
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    Every time we get conservative the offense stalls.

    We need to actually run jet sweep once to keep the D honest.

  • Beavergopher Beavergopher
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    What a fuck up

  • ReverendBeav
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    The ESPN crew said Gary has a new number and it was given to the players. I’m guessing he didn’t give it to Canzano.

  • Beav in DE
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    This is like the opening of the second half against Colorado. Way more conservative, less presnap motion. The only difference is that Stanford is bailing us out.

  • ReverendBeav
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    So far I like it

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