by Jerry Feitelberg
The Stanford Cardinal opens the 2014 football season Saturday August 30th. Their opponent will be the UC Davis Aggies. The game will be played at Stanford Stadium and game time is at 1:00 PDT.
This will be the 120th season for Stanford and the game is designated as the Bill Walsh Legacy Game
in honor of the late Stanford coach whose impact continues to felt at all levels of football.
Stanford hopes to have its sixth consecutive winning season, the last three under the tutelage of coach David Shaw. Stanford is 11-3 in its last 14 season openers, with six consecutive victories dating back to 20o8. Shaw could be the first Stanford head coach to win his first four season openers since the legendary Glenn “Pop”Warner from 1929-32.
The Cardinal has a wonderful 37-5 record at Stanford Stadium since the final home game of 2007 and is 10-0 against non-conference opponents since losing to Notre Dame in 2007.
Stanford has quarterback Kevin Hogan returning as well as wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Montgomery,who had shoulder surgery in February, has been cleared to play and will start on Saturday.
Junior running back, Kelsey Young is listed as the starting running back but Barry Sanders,Rickey Seale and Remound Wright are all listed as number 2 and they all should see considerable playing time.
Coach Shaw has had to rebuild some holes on both offense and defense and hopes the player will gel sooner rather than later. Blake Martinez replaces the departed Shayne Skov at inside linebacker.
A.J.Tarpley returns as a fifth year senior and can’t wait to get the season going. Blake Lueders and Aziz Shittu are listed as co-starters at one defensive end slot. Ronnie Harris and Alex Carter will share duties at left cornerback.
This will be the third meeting between Stanford and UC Davis. The series is tied at 1-1. The Aggies shocked the Cardinal in 2005 scoring twenty unanswered points to upset Stanford 20-17.
The Aggies are coached by Ron Gould. Gould is in his second year at the helm. Before coming to Davis, Gould coached at Cal where he helped develop several top flight running backs. The list includes Marshawn Lynch, Jahvid Best, Shane Vereen, Justin Forsett and Will Ta’ufo’ou.
The Aggies have eight starters returning on offense,six on defense and four on special teams.
The Aggies tied for fourth place in the Big Sky Conference but are unrated in the national polls.
Stanford is listed as number 11 in the nation in the pre-season poll.
Stanford will be favored but anything can happen and the Cardinal should not take the Aggies lightly.
The Cardinal begin Pac-12 play the following week as they entertain the USC Trojans at Stanford Stadium. Steve Sarkissian is the new head coach for USC.