by Jerry Feitelberg
The Stanford Cardinal (5-0, 3-0 Pac-12) meets the University of Utah Utes (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12)
on Saturday October 12th at 3pm PT at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Saturday’s game marks the first time that Stanford will play Utah as a Pac-12 opponent. This will be the sixth meeting of the teams in a series that dates back to 1902. Stanford leads 3-2 so far. The last meeting was in 1996 and Stanford came up on the short end of the score losing 17-10.
The Cardinal is still ranked #5 nationally and has the second best winning streak (13 games) behind Ohio State’s 18 consecutive wins with schools in the FBS program.
Stanford narrowly edged Washington last week while Utah lost to #11 ranked UCLA. UCLA and
Stanford meet next week at Stanford. The Utes are coached by Kyle Whittingham and is in his ninth season as head coach and has a record of 74-43. The Utes offense is led by quarterback Travis Wilson.
Wilson was 22-44 for 228 yards against the Bruins but he was intercepted six times. His main targets are receivers Sean Fitzgerald and Dres Anderson. The running game features Kelvin York, Bubba Pool and Lucky Radley.
The Cardinal will again be led by Kevin Hogan, who is undefeated since taking over as quarterback last
year. Ty Gaffney is the Cardinal’s leading rusher. Wide Receiver, Ty Montgomery, who leads the Cardinal with 23 receptions and five touchdowns has been added to the Maxwell Award Watch list.
Last week Montgomery returned a kick-off for 99 yards. He also had a touchdown and a 68-yard kickoff return in the third period. He amassed 290 all-purpose yards and set a school record with 204 kickoff return yards.
The defense has been strong all year. The linebackers have been led bu Shayne Skov and A.J.Tarpley. Stanford defensive end Josh Mauro has been added to the Chuck Bednarik Award List. The Award
is given by the Maxwell Club on December 12th. Mauro had seven tackles in then Army game. Six of them were solo tackles. Mauro had a sack and an interception against Arizona State. So far this season he has 17 tackles with four for a loss of 29 yards including three sacks.
Utah Leads the Pac-12 in fewest fumbles lost(1) and is tied for the Pac-12 lead with Stanford in red zone offense(.944) and ranks first in the Pac-12 and third in the nation with sacks per game(3.6).
The Utah kicking game is outstanding. Placekicker Andy Phillips is perfect through five game making all nine of his attempts and has not missed an extra point. Punter Tom Hackett is tied for the Pac-12
lead in punt return average(44.0), punts inside the 20(11) and punts of 50+ yards(7).
The Cardinal is favored to win but playing on the road in a new venue is never easy. The Utes
appear able to score once the get into the red zone and Stanford’s defense will be tested.
Hogan and company are battle tested and should be able to break down Utah”s defense.
The Cardinal cannot look ahead to the showdown with UCLA. Stanford coach David Shaw will see to it that his team will be ready.