Wednesday, August 02, 2006

 

Stanford: this dog is no bitch- my Pac-10 surprise of the year


Go ahead and say it: UC-Davis. Stanford’s infamous loss last year will likely be remembered in Stanford’s history a lot longer that it will in D1-AA UC Davis', which is something that will make the 2006 Cardinal squad even stronger. A lot has been lost on defense, but the O returns 10 starters from a solid unit of a year ago.

His wallet says 'bad mother fucker' on it.
Trent Edwards is one bad mutha-shut yo mouth. In a league where the senior quarterback is king and defense is the serf’s bitch, Edwards is like Arthur, and a bowl berth has been his Holy Grail throughout his career. He may get one this year if the D can hold up it’s end. He has weapons at wideout- Mark Bradford and Evan Moore return along with the entire offensive line, which at time looked promising but lacked consistency over the course of the season. If a tailback can step up (and behind a vet line one better), look out for the trees. It all rests on the right shoulder of Edwards, who is the best Pac signal caller outside of Tempe.
The Meat of last year’s D- has left to be your bosses. The two D-linemen and two linebackers will weaken Walt Harris’ base 3-4, but all hope is not lost. RS freshman and highly touted recruit Ekom Udofia will likely start in the trenches, and veteran linebackers Michael Okwo (senior) and Emmanual Awofadeju (junior) will be expected to step up and contribute. There is only one loss from an adequate secondary (by Pac-10 standards of course). Besides, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you replace 5 starters from a defensive unit that finished 105th in the country, just ask Dirk Koetter.

The Trees will have to win games shootout style, but Pac-10 teams have been able to do that in recent history (UCLA 2005, ASU 2005, 2004, 2002). After probably dropping the opener to Oregon at Autzen, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the ‘Furd rolled into South Bend to face the Irish riding a four-game win streak including San Jose State (look out corners!), Navy, Washington State, and at UCLA. The latter two will be total shootouts and could go either way. After Notre Dame, Stanford returns West to face Arizona (who isn’t as improved as they’ll tell you) and Arizona State who will be looking to exact revenge after last year’s 45-35 loss on the Farm. They’ll lose in the Coliseum as USC should have their backfield sorted out by then, but they can put it on cruise control for Washington followed by interception machine Oregon State. The big game closes out the Cardinal regular season and Cal will be tough, but as we all know crazy things have marked that rivalry. I see 6-8 wins in Palo Alto this year, which is way more than most predict. Just like Walter, these guys are saying “fuck it dude, let’s go bowling.”

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Comments:
Very cool! I signed up just to leave a stupid comment.

I think Stanford could be a surprise team, as well. It will all depend on the defense and E. Udofia's acclimation to the speed of the college game. Not the best depth along the line so a lot will ride on him.

I don't think a loss at Oregon in week one is a for sure thing by any stretch of the imagination. I expect Stanford to give them a good game. That could be a career-defining moment for Edwards as a senior...win that and he can get his guys to rally around him. If you are Stanford there is no reason why you don't prepare your butt off for that game and expect to be in it in the 4th quarter. The Ducks are not THAT tough this early on with a lot of offensive production to replace. It may very well come down to who scores last...that is where Trent Edwards must show up as a senior.
 
Udofia is a SOB because his name includes the letters "u of a." That being said, I tink Stanford is a lot closer to turning the proverbial corner that Arizona is, especially as Harris implements his system. Thanks for coming over and checking things out!
 
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