65 Teams in 65 Days: Stanford Cardinal

Updated: Jul 16

Head Coach: David Shaw

Offensive Coordinator: Tavita Pritchard Defensive Coordinator: Lance Anderson Conference: PAC-12

2021 Record: 3-9 (2-7)

2022 Non Conference Opponents: Colgate, Notre Dame, BYU

Key Addition: DE David Bailey (High School)

The downfall of Stanford has been extremely disappointing to watch, given how physical and talented they were not too long ago. The days of Bryce Love and Christian Mccafery are over and the Cardinal have been in shambles ever since they left. Leading the Cardinal offense this year is junior quarterback Tanner McKee, who’s college career has been extremely disappointing given how great of a recruit he was. The talent is still there for McKee to succeed as he has a powerful arm and stands at 6’6 while weighing around 230 pounds, a body that has NFL scouts intrigued. The main thing McKee needs to do in 2022 is limit bad decisions, last season, he had 15 turnover worthy passes, while having four games with at least two. If he can limit those bad decisions, McKee has potential for a breakout season. McKee offers little to no production in the rushing department and Stanford’s rushing attack as a whole is very pathetic, led by Austin Jones, who averaged less than 4 yards per carry in 2021. Unlike their running back corps, the Cardinal have some very good options at receiver and tight end. Tight end Ben Yurosek leads the way and is one of the best tight ends in the conference. In 2021, he caught around 70% of his targets despite shaky quarterback play and also averaged 15.6 yards per reception, making him all around threat. As for their actual wide receivers, Elijah Higgins will be McKee’s go to guy. Standing at 6’3 and weighing 235 pounds, Higgins is a huge target and is very versatile as he can play from both the slot and out wide. In 2021 he had 502 receiving yards, but look for him to improve on that in 2022. Senior Michael Wilson has dealt with injuries over the last two seasons but if he can return to his 2019 form where he had over 600 receiving yards and five touchdowns, he could be a problem for opposing defenses as well. Look for the Cardinal to shy away from their traditional run first approach and go bombs away as their quarterback has a great arm and some reliable weapons. On the line, Stanford returns all their 2021 starters, which includes some solid players such as Drake Nugent and Walker Rouse. However, this also means they return arguably the worst right tackle in the nation in Myles Hinton, who allowed 23 pressures in 2021. The negatives outweigh the positives on Stanford’s line, but if Hinton could be just average, the group has potential to have a strong season.

On defense, the Cardinal lost captain and longtime starter defensive end Gabe Reid, who was one of the most productive pass rushers in the conference. Replacing him will be David Bailey, a 6’3 220 pound prospect from Mater Dei High School, which is essentially a division one program given the players they have produced. Bailey is a great prospect and will have a fantastic career but replacing Reid’s leadership and overall presence on the field will be extremely tough and expecting a true freshman to match his production is simply ridiculous. The rest of the front seven is extremely inconsistent and a player like linebacker Ricky Miezan is a great example. In 2021, Miezan was arguably the worst linebacker in the PAC-12 at stopping the run, but one of the best at rushing the passer. Same goes for defensive end Stephon Herron. One of the worst at stopping the run, but a very solid pass rusher. With that being said, look for Stanford to have a solid pass rush, but be awful at defending the run. Their secondary is extremely average, but the lone bright spot is Kyu Blu Kelly, who had six pass breakups and two interceptions in 2021.

What was once a very respectable program has lost all of its magic and is now one of the bottomfeeders in arguably the worst power five conference. Despite putting together some fantastic recruiting classes, Stanford has not been able to develop players like they used to. Another disappointing season is coming from the Cardinal. The Cardinal schedule is a brutal one, as they always have to face Notre Dame who have had their number as of late and they also have to face Utah, Oregon and UCLA on the road. Down the stretch, the lack of depth on the Cardinal defense will catch up to them and they will struggle greatly. I see them losing four of their last five and finishing the season under .500.

Record Prediction: 4-8 (3-6)

V Colgate: Win

V USC: Loss

AT Washington: Loss

At Oregon: Loss

V Oregon State: Win

AT Notre Dame: Loss

V Arizona State: Win


V Washington State: Win

AT Utah: Loss

AT CAL: Loss

V BYU: Loss

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