Opponent Attack Preview: Stanford Cardinal

As Stanford’s offensive manufacturing has declined, particularly within the working recreation, in recent times David Shaw and offensive coordinator Tavita Pritchard have introduced up the “gradual web” idea that has grow to be standard in Wake Forest. It’s as if in each low season Shaw says he’ll study this system from the bottom up and assess how it may be improved after a season of poor manufacturing with gifted gamers.

Provided that they had been one of many 5 FBS faculties that did not make a single coaching change this off season, it is higher if his new type is nice. Early returns are optimistic, with 221 dashing yards towards USC—probably the most since 2018 towards Oregon!

Let’s take a better take a look at the gamers and the scheme that makes them work.


Stanford obtained some unhealthy information this week once they discovered Stead RPEJ Smith can be out this weekend towards Washington. Together with QB Tanner McKee, Smith is a vital a part of this offense and a horrible loss to them. He can be changed by RB Casey Filkins, a fast, crafty and quick participant. The best way he retains his shoulders sq. and makes fast cuts means he at all times will get the yards accessible.

Tanner Mackie is the standard Stanford quarterback that you simply would possibly acknowledge from current seasons. Weighing in at 6-6 and 230 kilos, it stands tall within the pocket, and delivers hits in any respect ranges. He has the arm power you’d count on for a physique of this measurement, too. He could make heart throws in slim home windows between the world defenders, earlier than the receiver is open. He can enhance his contact a bit, however he is the traditional “professional” quarterback constructed for the West Coast, and he is type of a quick-attack.

WR Michael Wilson is one in all McKee’s favourite targets and is a constant veteran outdoors. He is in his fifth season scoring catching Stanford, a really clean athlete with severe leaps within the mildew of Galen Macmillan. Becoming a member of Wilson, in traditional Stanford vogue, is a military of giants. Wilson is the group’s relative dwarf at 6-2, whereas second main receiver Jon Humphreys is 6-5 Junior who excels at catching the ball 50-50. Subsequent is Brycen Tremayne, a giant 6-4 with sufficient velocity to be a menace on the sphere. Elijah Higgins makes a slower begin to the season with simply 66 yards on 5 catches, however has traditionally been the person McKee has constantly regarded as much as. In 2021 as a full-time starter, he had practically double the next WR objectives. On the age of 6-3235, he’s solidly constructed and may play each inside and outside the opening. If these large receivers sound acquainted, it is as a result of they’re all fourth- or fifth-year gamers who’ve performed a variety of soccer and frightened some good defenders within the UW over the previous few years.

NCAA Football: Colgate at Stanford

Stan Szito – USA TODAY Sports activities

Lastly, there’s TE Ben Yurosek, the 6-4 goal who has the third longest play for Stanford this season – a 50-yard sprint on the finish round USC. Not solely is he Till now else He has a big physique that may safe contested hits, and has sufficient velocity and dribbling to get round a nook and rush down the sphere if the protection is not prepared. It is extra turning than most 6-4 tight ends and may make defenders make errors.


Whereas the gradual community is the large information from Palo Alto, that is nonetheless Stanford. That means, since most faculty soccer makes offenses less complicated for quarterbacks, Stanford nonetheless places lots on the Tanner Mackie board. There are calls and selections the QB has to make each time they get into the road of melee that almost all crimes do not ask the QB to make (Kent State, for instance).

After they’re not doing one thing very complicated at Stanford, they will make a gradual community, figuring out it by title. In the event you think about the second QB places the ball within the again field – the web level – he reads the protection, deciding whether or not to ship the ball, run by himself, or pull and move the ball. Whereas in most RPOs this occurs immediately, the gradual community makes QB and RB wait an uncomfortable period of time to see how the protection reacts. After they’re on the tangle, QB and RB will slowly take strides towards the road of scrimmage as QB reads the protection – “a disturbing back-to-back alternate between the quarterback and back-to-back,” SI wrote throughout Wake Forest’s 2019 dream season.

This is a set of gradual community performs from Wake Forest:

One other typical ingredient of Stanford’s previous offenses is the insanely efficient objective line fading. Not less than towards USC, they’ve tried to run their singles bounce ball ultimately zone just a few instances and you may count on to see it extra this weekend.

the tip

Stanford turned the ball 4 instances towards USC final week, together with twice contained in the 5-yard line. It is silly to level out that had it not been for these turnovers, Stanford would have received the sport, however they had been in a position to drive down the sphere on a number of events solely to cough soccer earlier than they may hit it ultimately zone. A 441-yard day with 33 first touchdowns is an effective output, and whereas USC is hardly a defensive drive, Stanford has kind of moved the ball towards them.

When it comes to stopping a gradual community, defenses take the identical method as offenses. Simply as Stanford College will use the gradual web to confuse the protection between working and passing protection, the protection has to make use of disguised schemes to trick the offensive line into pondering they will not assault. If Washington desires to cease the gradual community, it wants to search out modern methods to get into the backspace. 5 sacks and 12 shedding tackles by USC ought to present hope that prime UW gamers – who’ve proven an affinity for moving into the backfield – can get the job carried out.

We’ll see how properly Stanford sticks to the gradual web – it could possibly actually trigger a variety of hassle for unprepared defences – as we have seen Wake Forest reap the benefits of many groups on this manner. However I think about David Shaw trying on the Washington highschool recreation licking his lips as he imagines Tanner Mackie and his forest of bushes bullying the UW highschool recreation.

A number of followers expect a UW blast, however I see this competitors getting tighter with the Stanford move recreation that retains them in it. Go burly.


What number of factors will Stanford rating?