We got a game so big we talked to TWO Stanford sites! TWO! That's like 150% more than our normal Q+As. If not more! And that's what you all get this week. An extra super sized extreme Q+A. Not one of those lame one site only Q+As.
Rule Of Tree is the SBNation site for Stanford. They are newer to the scene, but continue to grow day in and day out. Scott Allen is the main guy over there, providing information on all things Stanford. Here is our answers to their questions. Mighty Card is another Stanford site that contacted us regarding a Q+A. They bring another great perspective on those damnable Lobsterbacks.
With two times the Stanford sites, you can expect two times the information. Information on Andrew Luck, David Shaw, and all the rest of those cartoonishly evil characters from down South. So, join me after the jump to learn more about our upcoming opponent and maybe, just maybe, boo Tiger Woods a little bit more. GO BEARS! BEAT THE CARDINAL!
1. How good of a coach is David Shaw? It's tough to tell for those of us who do not closely follow the program, as Andrew Luck would probably make Buddy Teevens look decent.
Rule Of Tree: 1. I think David Shaw is a very good coach who may eventually be a great coach. He was outcoached by Chip Kelly on Saturday, but there's no shame in that. One could argue that Kelly outcoached Jim Harbaugh last year. Shaw hasn't had to make many difficult in-game coaching decisions until recently, primarily because the Cardinal coasted in the first half of the season. He took some heat for taking the ball out of Andrew Luck's hands by running the Wildcat formation on a crucial third down in the USC game, but he defended the decision afterward. He made an ill-advised decision to attempt a long field goal with a backup kicker against Oregon. The kick wasn't close and Stanford never seriously threatened again.
Rule Of Tree: 3. I'd say there's a decent chance, especially given Stanford's propensity to come out flat all season. Heading into the Oregon game, I really wasn't nervous in the least about Big Game. I'm a little worried after watching the Cardinal lose on Saturday, not because the Ducks provided a blueprint for beating Stanford -- OK, I guess they did, but Cal doesn't have the personnel to replicate it -- but because there was so much buildup for that game. There's obviously still a lot to play for, and it shouldn't be hard to get up for your biggest rival, but Saturday was a major letdown for a team that had circled Nov. 12 on the calendar since the Pac-12 schedule came out. On the other hand, there's a chance Stanford takes out its frustration from Saturday and puts another beatdown on the Bears.
Rule Of Tree: 4. Yeah, I think injuries have been a big factor the last few weeks. USC is a solid team and a bad matchup for Stanford with all of that speed on offense and it didn't help that the Cardinal was without safety Delano Howell. Stanford lost one of its three tight ends, Zach Ertz, on the opening kickoff against the Trojans, and Luck seemed to really miss him and Chris Owusu against the Ducks. A healthy Skov, Ertz, and Owusu likely wouldn't have changed the outcome of the Oregon game, but they certainly would've given the Cardinal a better chance.
Rule Of Tree: 6. Owusu will not play. Stanford hasn't used him as a deep threat this year, but that doesn't change the fact that defense have to respect his speed. Stanford wasn't able to stretch the field against Oregon and that may have been partly due to Owusu's absence. He's only returned 8 kickoffs this season, so his loss won't be felt as much on special teams.
Rule Of Tree: 7. There will likely be an open competition for the starting job next season, but sophomore Brett Nottingham is one of the favorites to succeed Luck. Shaw has left Luck on the field well into the fourth quarter for most games this season, so Stanford fans haven't had a chance to get a great look at Nottingham. He'll face competition from Josh Nunes and Robbie Picazo among others. Whoever winds up replacing Luck will inherit a solid offensive line and an impressive group of running backs. I wouldn't be surprised if Stanford is even more run-oriented next year, much like it was in 2009, Luck's first season.
Rule Of Tree: 8. Wouldn't that be great? Maybe he wants another shot at Oregon. But no, he's gone.
Rule Of Tree: 9. Chip Kelly. It might be therapeutic.