College Football Preview: The 2015 Stanford Cardinals
Stanford Cardinals Preview 2014 Record 8-5
Won Fosters Farm Bowl 45-21 vs Maryland Terrapins
Overview: Last season was the first time in four years where Stanford was unable to reach double digit wins. However they did finish 8-5 and finished hot winning their last three games including a blow out victory over Maryland in their bowl game. Stanford fans should be excited this year as they have a very favorable schedule.
Offense: Stanford’s offense averaged 27 points a game last season. They have never been known as a team to put up a lot of points though relying mostly on their defense. Stanford likes to wear out defenses by pounding the ball up the middle and completing low risk passes. This years offense will be heavily relied on Senior quarterback Kevin Hogan. Hogan passed for 2792 yards, 19 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Stanford has a trio of running backs, which will likely rotate in the backing field leaning on whoever is playing better at the time. Barry Sanders or Christian McCaffrey are the two most likely to win the starting job down the stretch. Stanford losses Ty Montgomery, one of their most versatile offensive of players. Senior wide receiver Devon Cajuste will likely step in for him and become the go to man. The success of this offense is going to depend on the leadership and play of Kevin Hogan.
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Defense: Despite the five losses Stanford had one of the best defenses in the country last season. Stanford was second in the nation in points allowed with 16.4 per game. The defense will be lead by senior linebacker Kevin Anderson and junior linebacker Peter Kalambayi. Together these two combined for 84 tackles and 12 sacks last season. Stanford also returns their team leader in tackles Blake Martinez. Stanford relies on their defense to win them games and the Cardinal’s defense plays their best when they are at home and this year all of their biggest games will be at Stanford Stadium.
Special Teams: Stanford will have to replace both their kicker and punter this off-season. Watch out for Barry Sanders and Christian McCaffrey on punt returns and kick returns. Both are very quick and hard to bring down and have the skills to make an impact on special teams.
Overall: I really like this Stanford team this season. I see them as the only shot of taking down Oregon in the Pac-12. They have experience on both sides of the ball especially on defense. I love their schedule with all of their toughest games being played at home, they should have no problem getting back to double-digit wins this year.