Yays, Nays and OKs for 3-9 Stanford football

November 30, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 30, 2022

When I went to bed early Sunday morning, Stanford had just closed out its football season with a 35-26 loss to BYU, an abominable 3-9 record and a coach who seemed too proud or too stubborn to make changes. After I woke up, I learned that the coach had in fact resigned immediately after the end of the game.

David Shaw’s departure leaves me with mixed feelings. His records over the past four seasons — 4-8 in 2019, 4-2 in 2020, 3-9 in 2021 and 3-9 again this year — were, with the exception of 2020, terrible. In winning just one Pac-12 game this season, the Cardinal reverted to being a conference cellar-dweller. In a sense, we’ve seen a return to Walt Harris’s final season in 2006, when the squad had a 1-8 tally in league play, one matched by Stanford’s 2022 club.

But oh, the achievements in Shaw’s first eight seasons: Five finishes of first or second place in the Pac-12 North Division; three Rose Bowl appearances; two Rose Bowl victories; numerous players who rewrote the school record books, including running backs Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love, quarterback Kevin Hogan and receiver/punt and kick returner Ty Montgomery. Moreover, Shaw seemed to conduct himself with dignity on and off the field.

Read the rest of this entry »

Farewell to seniors, and the end of an era: BYU downs Stanford, 35-26, in Shaw’s final game

November 29, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 29, 2022

The BYU football team ran for 358 yards and three touchdowns and easily fended off a fourth-quarter comeback attempt to defeat Stanford, 36-25, on Saturday night at Stanford Stadium.

The Cougars raised their record to 7-5 in winning their final regular-season game as an independent before joining the Big 12 next season. They also won their first game over the Farm gridders in three meetings. Meanwhile, as Stanford bid farewell to 28 seniors, Stanford fell to 3-9, matching its 2021 record. It’s the first time in 128 seasons that Cardinal teams have lost eight or more games in back-to-back season.

However, the contest will likely be remembered more for what transpired afterward than any of its on-field happenings. In his postgame remarks to reporters, Stanford head coach David Shaw revealed that he had just told his players that he was immediately resigning from his position as leader of the Cardinal football program after 12 seasons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yays, Nays and OKs for 3-8 Stanford football

November 25, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 25, 2022

Stanford played well for about 45 minutes in the 125th Big Game. But college football contests have four 15-minute quarters, and the final period did not go well for the Cardinal.

What hurt most about this loss may be the fact that it came against what we knew entering the matchup is one of the worst teams on Stanford’s conference schedule. After Saturday, the bottom five teams in the Pac-12 are, with overall and league marks listed in that order:

8. Arizona, 4-7, 2-6.

9. Cal, 4-7, 2-6.

10. Arizona State, 3-8, 2-6.

11. Colorado, 1-10, 1-7.

12. Stanford, 3-8, 1-8.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bears banish Stanford to conference basement with a late-game Axe-winning rally

November 24, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 24, 2022

Stanford surrendered three fourth-quarter touchdowns and squandered an 11-point lead in a 27-20 defeat to Cal in the 125th Big Game. The Golden Bears scored touchdowns on both of the Cardinal’s turnovers during the final 15 minutes as the visitors suffered their second spectacular fourth-quarter meltdown in as many months.

In gaining its first winning streak in the series since victories in 2008 and 2009, Cal raised its record to 4-7 overall and 2-6 in the Pac-12. Stanford (3-8, 1-8) lost in Berkeley for the first time since 2008 and is now destined to finish no better than tied with Colorado for the worst record in the Pac-12. Colorado enters the final week of the season at 1-10 with a 1-7 league mark.

In order to hold on to the Stanford Axe, the trophy awarded annually to the Big Game victor, the Golden Bears overcame two interceptions by starting quarterback Jack Plummer and a time-of-possession deficit of exactly eight minutes. Plummer’s mistakes, both of which occurred in the red zone, led to two Cardinal punts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov. 7, 2022, poker recap: Part 3

November 20, 2022
Photo by Kristu00f3f Sass-Kovan on Pexels.com.

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 20, 2022

My break from the Borgata poker table on Monday afternoon involved walking around part of the casino and the parking lot, talking on the phone and snacking. When I returned to the poker room, about 50 minutes had passed, and my chips and belongings had been removed from the table.

This had never happened to me before. I got the attention of a floor manager, who directed me to a manager’s station in the back of the room. After waiting for the customer ahead of me to finish up some business, I showed my driver’s license and was handed two racks of chips, here pictured for your aesthetic enjoyment:

  • My racks of $640 in chips earned while playing a $1-$3 no limit Texas holdem cash poker table at Borgata casino in Atlantic City, N.J. I bought in for $240 around noon on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, and finished around three hours later with a $400 profit.
  • My racks of $640 in chips earned while playing a $1-$3 no limit Texas holdem cash poker table at Borgata casino in Atlantic City, N.J. I bought in for $240 around noon on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, and finished around three hours later with a $400 profit.
Read the rest of this entry »

Nov. 7, 2022, poker recap: Part 2

November 19, 2022
Photo by Velroy Fernandes on Pexels.com.

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 19, 2022

After my swift knockout from the Borgata tournament, I briefly considered re-entering the event. However, I rarely make a second go at a tournament unless the entry fees are going to charity. My morning hadn’t started the way I’d wanted with my late arrival, and I just didn’t feel comfortable paying another $155 for a tournament run that might not produce any returns.

Instead, after taking about 20 minutes to regroup, I requested a spot at a $1-$3 no limit Texas holdem cash table. I got $240 in chips and settled in at seat eight.

I lost my first hand after opening K♣️2♣️ first to act and having that fail to connect with the board.

In my second hand, I held ace-three off-suit. The flop brought an ace, but seat two bet $20 into a pot of that size or less. I folded, and he showed ace-six.

I won with 10♥️6♥️ when I turned a flush. Seat 10 folded to my river bet. “I needed another heart,” he told me. Presumably, he held the ace of hearts and an off-suit second card.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov. 6, 2022, poker recap: Part 2 / Nov. 7, 2022, poker recap: Part 1

November 17, 2022
Photo by Kristu00f3f Sass-Kovan on Pexels.com.

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 17, 2022

Having made my exit from the Tropicana, I steered my car toward another property. It was a place I’d never been before, not that that means very much.

Before this June, I don’t believe I’d been to Atlantic City since attending a car convention sometime in 2002 or 2003 as part of a journalism-school project on street racing. Prior to that, my last visit to AC had been in late 2000 or early 2001, when I attended a relative’s bachelor party. Otherwise, my only trips to the East Coast’s most notorious gambling haven had been attending a convention or two when I worked for a magazine publisher that produced titles on comic books and collectible card games. It’s safe to say that I’ve never been very familiar with the city.

At any rate, I followed my smartphone’s directions to Borgata, located in or near what I think is called the marina district. My intention was to play in a tournament there the next morning, and I wanted to figure out where the poker room was and get a feel for it in advance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yays, Nays and OKs for 3-7 Stanford football

November 16, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 16, 2022

I want to go over some information that I had in my recap of Stanford’s 42-7 loss at Utah last weekend, in part because I overlooked something.

If my review of the record books is correct, here are the four most recent times that the Cardinal football team has lost consecutive games by at least 30 points:

• Oct. 20, 1990, vs. No. 13 Washington, 52-16; Oct. 27, 1990, at No. 25 Oregon, 31-0. Cumulative point difference: Minus-67.

• Oct. 21, 2006, at Arizona State, 38-3; Nov. 4, 2006, vs. No. 9 USC, 42-0. Point difference: Minus-77.

• Nov. 20, 2021, vs. Cal, 41-11; Nov. 27, 2021, vs. No. 5 Notre Dame, 45-14. Point difference: Minus-61.

• Nov. 5, 2022, vs. Washington State, 52-14; Nov. 12, 2022, at No. 13 Utah, 42-7. Point difference: Minus-73.

(In my game writeup, I overlooked the 2006 pair of blowouts.)

I’ve looked at scores going back to 1952 — that’s 71 seasons, counting the current year — and can’t find any other instances of back-to-back defeats of at least 30 points apiece.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov. 6, 2022, poker recap: Part 1

November 15, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 15, 2022

Photo by Isabella Mendes on Pexels.com.

Shortly before 8:30 in the morning on the first Sunday of the month, I walked about five miles to a nearby ATM and withdrew some money. By the time I got back to my place, using a more direct route than the one I’d taken to the bank, I’d traversed nearly 8.5 miles on foot at a pace of about 15 minutes a mile.

I showered, ate and began looking at Atlantic City hotel rooms. After some hemming and hawing, I booked a one-night stay at the Golden Nugget, in what I believe is called the city’s marina district. I hopped in the car with a duffel bag and some snacks a little before 1 p.m. and began making my way south.

My trip took longer than necessary because of my commitment to getting in hourly steps for my Fitbit smartphone app. I’ve set the app to note the hours between 2 and 7 p.m. in which I take at least 250 steps. Taking 250 steps in any given waking hour is relatively trivial; doing so for five consecutive hours a day, seven days a week, four weeks a month requires a little more dedication. I strung together six straight perfect weeks between Sunday, Jan. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 19. The streak came to an end only because my poor abused tracker malfunctioned; I was low-key devastated to lose my unblemished run of green stars and “5.0 of 5 hours” labels, even though it wasn’t really my fault.

Despite my stopping twice at rest stops to take extended walks, the app didn’t credit me with steps for the 2 or 4 o’clock hours. I think this may have been at least partly due to that day’s changeover from daylight saving time to standard. I recall that the app has had trouble keeping my steps straight on past transitional days.

Read the rest of this entry »

Utes cruise to 42-7 win over Stanford in Salt Lake City

November 14, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 14, 2022

The Stanford Cardinal football team took an early 7-0 lead but surrendered six straight touchdowns in losing to Utah, 42-7, in Salt Lake City on Saturday evening. The Utes, Pac-12 title contenders, upped their record to 8-2 (6-1 in league) while the Cardinal, league no-hopers, fell to 3-7 (1-7) and remained mired at the bottom of the conference standings.

One week after a 52-14 home loss to Washington State, Stanford dropped another decision by at least 30 points. That matches the double duds that closed out 2021, lopsided Stanford losses to Cal (41-11) and Notre Dame (45-14). According to my review of the record books, Stanford had last lost consecutive games by such margins when Dennis Green’s 1990 squad suffered a 52-16 home defeat to No. 13 Washington and a 31-0 shutout at No. 25 Oregon.

Including Utah’s 52-7 embarrassment of the Cardinal last year, Stanford has lost five games by 30 or more points since the start of the 2021 season. During Jim Harbaugh’s four years as head coach, from 2007 through 2010, and the first eight years of David Shaw’s head-coaching run, from 2011 through 2018, the team had only two losses by that margin.

No matter how you sliced it, Saturday’s loss was dismal for the Cardinal, which compiled 177 yards of total offense and surrendered 514. (The Utes fell 17 yards shy of trebling Stanford’s total.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Oct. 23, 2022, poker recap: Part 3

November 13, 2022
Photo by Aperture Pro on Pexels.com

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 13, 2022

When my old $1-$2 no limit Texas holdem table at Wind Creek Bethlehem broke up, I made my way to a spot in seat two at a new table. Just as I was about to put my rack of chips down, I pulled them back and made perhaps my best single choice of the evening: I pulled $384 in chips out of my rack and pocketed them before placing $220 on the table. Then I went to the bathroom.

My decision to keep chips off the table was informed by my experience a few months ago at Hollywood Casino in Maryland, where I pocketed $118 while making a table change. Those reserves somewhat ameliorated the pain of my subsequently going busto in a very dramatic hand.

In my first hand at the new table, I straddled for $4 from what would normally be the first-to-act position. There were five callers.

The flop came 8-6-4. I checked to the younger man in seat three, who bet $5. A few people called, as did I.

The turn was an ace. I checked again to seat three, who bet $10 this time. The action folded to me. I hesitated and then called.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yays, Nays and OKs for 3-6 Stanford football

November 12, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 12, 2022

How bad was Stanford’s 52-14 loss to the Washington State football team last Saturday? The 38-point margin of defeat is tied for the second-worst loss under head coach David Shaw, equaling the deficit in a 44-6 beatdown at the hands of Washington in 2016 and bettering only the point differential in Utah’s 52-7 destruction of the Cardinal last year at Stanford Stadium.

Yays

Benjamin Yurosek, tight end. The junior had arguably his best outing of 2022, catching eight balls on 10 targets for a game-high 90 yards. (The sure-handed tight end had 10 catches for 78 yards against Arizona State in what was probably his next-best effort.) Yurosek’s 41 catches are tops on the team, although unfortunately, he only has one touchdown this year.

Elijah Higgins, wide receiver. The Austin, Texas, native was the only other remotely bright spot on offense, garnering 77 yards and 64 yards-after-catch on six receptions. He was targeted eight times. For the year, Higgins leads Stanford with 453 receiving yards, while his 37 catches trail only Yurosek’s total.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oct. 23, 2022, poker recap: Part 2

November 11, 2022
Playing card background with light. Amankris/unlimphotos.com
Amankris/unlimphotos.com

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 11, 2022

A few players left and new ones replaced them at my $1-$2 no limit Texas holdem table at the Wind Creek casino in Bethlehem, Pa., between 8:30 and 9 on Sunday night, Oct. 23. I mainly watched during this stretch. One question I wanted to answer as the night progressed was whether the table would became softer with the departure of Mr. Fleece Sweater, an intimidating grinder who left around 8:30.

One player, Joseph, won a big pot with three kings vs. pocket queens vs. a garbage holding. One of the losers in that hand left the table. The other, the young man to my right, rebought. But he immediately dusted off his stack with a straight draw that never arrived. He pledged to return.

I got involved in a hand shortly after 9 p.m. with the tall man in seat four and the man in seat one. After investing $45, I folded on the river and then watched seat one fold as well. The winner, Mr. Tall in seat four, had bet $60 into a pot of at least $135. Mr. Tall claimed — quite believably, to my mind — that he possessed treble sixes after the flop came K-6-X and the turn brought another six.

Mr. Tall observed aloud that I had wanted to call. He was correct: I’d had king-10 off-suit, making top pair on the flop. But Mr. Tall’s bet was somewhere around 40 percent of the pot — not huge, but not small either — and I was not comfortable calling with another player to act behind me. In retrospect, it would have been interesting to try a bluff in this spot, since the paired board could have given me a full house, at least in theory. Of course, bluffing against two other players is riskier than bluffing against one opponent, just as calling against two players tends to be more hazardous than calling against one…

Read the rest of this entry »

Cougars outclass fumble-prone Stanford in 52-14 beatdown

November 9, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 9, 2022

Washington State routed Stanford football on the Cardinal’s home turf on Saturday afternoon, 52-14. It was Stanford’s biggest defeat since a 52-7 home loss against Utah exactly one year previously.

The Cougars did most of their damage on the ground, racking up 306 yards to only 71 by banged-up Stanford. The hosts did themselves no favor by fumbling the ball five times. Four of those lost pigskins wound up in the hands of Washington State, which converted them into three touchdowns.

With the loss, Stanford fell to 3-6 (1-6 in league) and will need to sweep its last three games to qualify for a postseason bowl. Washington State kept its bowl hopes alive by climbing to 5-4 (2-4).

Read the rest of this entry »

Oct. 23, 2022, poker recap: Part 1

November 6, 2022
Lupen/unlimphotos.com
Lupen/unlimphotos.com

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 6, 2022

In the early afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 23, I drove to a church in Chatham township in Central New Jersey to donate blood. After I finished, I wandered the large, empty fellowship hall until I found a bathroom, which I used. Then I grabbed a snack from my car and walked from the parking lot behind the hall to the street.

The entrance to the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, a Morris County park facility on the eastern edge of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, was a very short walk across Southern Boulevard. I traversed the long, gently curving education center access road and began wandering the forested grounds. It was an overcast, seasonably cool day — a classic mid- to late-October afternoon. I was slightly underdressed, having foolishly left my jacket back home, but I walked briskly.

This was actually my second walk of the day — I’d traveled nearly 8.2 miles that morning. After about 40 minutes, I arrived back at my car. I hopped in, tuned the radio to the New York Giants game and began tracing a route around the wildlife refuge’s rambling northern boundary. Eventually, I took Interstate 287 south and west to I-78, which took me west toward the state line. Reception on the AM radio station grew progressively worse as I proceeded on the highway, but I got the gist of what was happening: The Giants scored a late touchdown and made a goal-line stand in the final minute to move to 6-1 on the season.

I exited the interstate outside of Bethlehem, Penn. After a short jaunt along local roads, I arrived at the Wind Creek entertainment complex. This is a hotel, event center, indoor shopping mall and casino, the latter of which I’d visited nearly three months previously.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yays, Nays and OKs for 3-5 Stanford football

November 1, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 1, 2022

The current Stanford team has seemed entirely unable to challenge elite foes. This wasn’t the case at the start of 2021, when the Cardinal bested what was then No. 14-ranked USC, acquitted itself decently in a home loss to No. 24 UCLA and upset third-ranked Oregon. After that last game, however, the Farm gridders went into a tailspin, losing their last seven games, including blowout losses to eventual conference champion Utah, a solid Oregon State squad, a California team struggling (and ultimately failing) to attain bowl eligibility and No. 5 Notre Dame.

With two exceptions, this year’s Cardinal has more closely resembled the 2021 club with a seven-game skein of losses than the group that started the season 3-2. This season, Stanford has been blown out by four ranked Pac-12 opponents, sustaining a 41-28 home loss to No. 10 USC, a 40-22 loss at No. 18 Washington, a 45-27 loss at No. 13 Oregon — all of which happened on consecutive September Saturdays — and, most recently, a 38-13 loss at No. 12 UCLA.

The only two reasonably good teams that Stanford has played tough in 2022 have been Oregon State, which needed a last-minute touchdown to claim a 28-27 win over the Card and is now 6-2 and ranked 24th; and Notre Dame, which is now 5-3 and coming off of a 41-24 road victory against No. 16 Syracuse despite losing to Stanford, 16-14, in mid-October. The Cardinal also has wins over Football Championship Subdivision team Colgate, which is currently 3-5, and Arizona State, which is also currently 3-5 after firing its head coach earlier this season.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bruins batter Stanford, 38-13

October 31, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 31, 2022

UCLA scored 24 straight first-half points in a 38-13 rout of visiting Stanford that was even more of a blowout than the final score might suggest.

Pac-12 player-of-the-year candidate Zach Charbonnet racked up 198 yards and three scores on just 21 carries and Dorian Thompson-Robinson was an efficient 18 of 29 for 199 yards while adding 50 yards and a touchdown on 13 rushes. Ultimately, the 12th-ranked Bruins nearly doubled up the Cardinal in total yardage, 523 to 270. In rebounding from its first loss of the season, a 45-30 defeat at Oregon, UCLA upped its record to 7-1 (4-1 in league) as Stanford fell to 3-5 and remains at the bottom of the Pac-12 with a 1-5 conference record.

The Cardinal offense, which scored 16 and 15 points in the previous two games, remained anemic but did manage a garbage-time touchdown, the team’s first time reaching the end zone since an opening-drive touchdown at Notre Dame on Oct. 15. Meanwhile, the defense, which had held the Fighting Irish and Arizona State offenses to 14 points apiece in each of the past two games, both Stanford wins, found itself completely overmatched by the Bruins’ high-powered offense.

Read the rest of this entry »

A rare kind of victory: Diving into the numbers on the Cardinal’s strange win without a touchdown

October 28, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 28, 2022

In my recap of Stanford’s 15-14 victory over the visiting Sun Devils last weekend, I tried to convey just how unusual it is for a team to win without scoring a touchdown. I want to explore this topic in greater depth.

Postgame notes from the Stanford sports information staff indicated that Saturday’s game was the first time the Cardinal had won without scoring a touchdown since at least 1996, with the event probably having last occurred in 1970. The staff’s weekly pregame notes confirmed that a 9-7 Stanford road victory over UCLA on Oct. 24, 1970, was the last example of this. This amounts to a stretch of 607 games between Stanford victories without touchdowns.

That 1970 squad of Farm gridders, incidentally, notched the first of back-to-back Rose Bowl wins under head coach John Ralston.

Also incidentally: Between Ralston and current head coach David Shaw, the Stanford football team has been guided by 10 different men.

The invaluable Sports Reference website has a comprehensive database of every ‪NCAA‬ Division I Football Bowl Subdivision game that has been played since the start of the 2000 season. In that stretch, Stanford has played 273 contests. The Cardinal has endured 16 games since the summer of 2000 in which it did not score a touchdown; the team’s record in such games is 1-15, with no loss closer than Stanford’s dismal 10-5 home loss to Colorado in 2016.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yays, Nays and OKs for 3-4 Stanford football

October 26, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 26, 2022

A win is a win is a win is a win, even if your favored team’s offense never scores any touchdowns. Stanford’s 15-14 homecoming victory over Arizona State was a strange game, but the outcome is still worth celebrating in my book.

Yays

Joshua Karty, kicker. Where else to start in this category for this contest but with the player who provided all of the winning team’s points? The Burlington, N.C., resident is now perfect in 12 field-goal tries for the season after adding five against the Sun Devils: 44- and 36-yarders in the first quarter, another 44-yarder in the third quarter, another 36-yarder in the fourth quarter and a 47-yarder with 6:28 to play in regulation that provided the margin of victory. As noted in my game recap, Karty’s quintet of three-pointers tied a mark first set by John Hopkins in the 1990 Big Game — in which the kicker also provided the winning margin in a 27-25 decision — and later equaled by Nate Whitaker in a 37-14 Cardinal victory at Notre Dame. Hopkins recorded his points on six tries, tying Mark Harmon’s school-record six attempts (yielding four makes) in a 1983 game vs. Oregon State, so Ol’ Reliable has tied Whitaker in going five for five in a single contest. Lest you think any of Karty’s attempts against ‪ASU‬ were gimmes, bear in mind that Sun Devils kicker Carter Brown was short on a 42-yard attempt late in the second quarter that could potentially have tipped the outcome in favor of the visitors.

Tanner McKee, quarterback. Entering Saturday’s game, McKee’s most prolific outing had come against ‪ASU‬ in a 28-10 loss in Tempe last year. The slinger’s line against the Sun Devils then: 27 completions on 45 attempts with 356 yards, a touchdown and three (!) interceptions. All of those numbers except for TDs were personal bests at the collegiate level. The operative word in the preceding sentence is were. In his latest matchup with Arizona State, McKee went 33 for 57 with 320 yards, no scores and a pick. On a day that saw the Sun Devils defense sack McKee four times, the Corona, Calif., played very well, making only one serious mistake and extending drives on third down numerous times. Speaking of which… 

Read the rest of this entry »

Karty kicks Stanford to a 15-14 victory over the Sun Devils

October 24, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 24, 2022

Joshua Karty tied a school record by booting five field goals and the Stanford defense limited visiting Arizona State to two touchdowns to lift the Cardinal football team to a 15-14 homecoming victory on Saturday afternoon.

The Cardinal’s first winning streak since road wins over USC and Vanderbilt in September 2021 incorporates the team’s first victory over a member of the Pac-12 or any other Power Five conference since the Oct. 2, 2021, overtime upset of Oregon. Stanford’s record moved to 3-4 (1-4 in league) while the Sun Devils dropped to 2-5 (1-3).

Karty’s quintet of kicks bailed out a Stanford offense that advanced to the visitor 44-yard line or beyond nine times in its first 10 possessions but never pushed beyond the ‪ASU‬ 18. The junior from Burlington, N.C., entered the game as Stanford’s leading scorer of 2022, with 39 out of the team’s 161 points, rivaled only by running back Casey Filkin’s 30 points on four rushing touchdowns and one receiving score. Karty is a perfect 12 for 12 on three-point kicks in 2022.

It’s unclear when or whether the Cardinal had ever previously won without scoring a touchdown. Certainly that had not been the case since at least the start of the 2000 season, a span of 273 games including Saturday’s contest.

Only twice before in 128 seasons had a Cardinal kicked five three-pointers in one contest. John Hopkins’s five field goals in 1990, including a dramatic 39-yarder at the final gun, led to the Cardinal’s 27-25 Big Game victory in Berkeley, while Nate Whitaker’s 15 points helped the Cardinal to a 37-14 win at Notre Dame in 2010. (Hopkins’s six tries in 1990 tied Mark Harmon’s six attempts, including four makes, against Oregon State in 1983 for the most field-goal attempts in a single game.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Yays, Nays and OKs for 2-4 Stanford football

October 20, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 20, 2022

Saturday night’s nationally televised victory in South Bend was as thrilling as it was unexpected. After all, counting last weekend’s 16-14 decision, the Cardinal have only won five times in 17 visits to Notre Dame. What’s more, of course, Stanford had been riding a long losing streak against top-level college teams. I’ll have to see if the outfit I wore during the contest — my newest Stanford baseball hat, my oldest Stanford hooded sweatshirt and a long-sleeved T-shirt promoting Stanford Medicine — can aid the team in future outings this season.

I may also change my viewing routine. For no reason in particular, I watched the game on TV but listened throughout the contest to KZSU 90.1 Stanford radio’s student broadcast. This is a strange experience because the radio is about 10 seconds ahead of the action as shown by NBC, but I managed. (I also noticed the disparity between radio and TV action earlier this season — I think I listened to KZSU while watching the USC game but stopped because the lag was so off-putting.)

Is listening to KZSU the key to Stanford football victory? Stay tuned as I test this notion… 

Yays

Joshua Karty, kicker. Karty scored 10 of the Cardinal’s 16 points thanks to his extra point, 45-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, 43-yard field goal midway through the third quarter and 43-yard field goal early in the final stanza. Karty, who won the conference’s special-teams player of the week for his performances against Notre Dame and Oregon, is one of two perfect Pac-12 placekickers this season, having nailed all 17 point-after touchdown tries and all seven field-goal attempts. His three tries against the Irish were a collegiate career high for the Burlington, N.C., resident. Also noteworthy: Karty’s four kickoffs in South Bend all resulted in touchbacks. For his career, spanning 2021 and 2022, Karty is 48 of 48 on PATs and 16 of 21 on field goals, with all of his misses coming from 48 yards or farther out.

Jonathan McGill, safety. The senior from Coppell, Texas, had an outsized impact on Saturday’s game given that he only recorded four tackles. One of McGill’s stops was in the backfield for a two-yard loss. More importantly, he recovered Notre Dame running back Audric Estime’s fourth-quarter fumble to quash a scoring threat. Furthermore, McGill broke up Drew Pyne’s final pass attempt to preserve the Cardinal lead. McGill had previously only recovered one other fumble, a 28-yard scoop and score at Central Florida in 2019.

Read the rest of this entry »

Vignettes: Egret in motion; dog in arms; man and clippers

October 19, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 19, 2022

Author’s note: The following vignette is adapted from a Twitter thread beginning with this tweetMEM

I rarely pause for more than a few seconds at a time during my daily walk. When I do, it’s typically to take a picture — although that usually can be done in 15 seconds if not less — or to wait until I can cross a street safely.

On Sunday, however, I stood still for 20 or 30 seconds doing neither of those things but simply looking at what the world had put in front of my eyes.

Around 12:35 pm, I saw a solitary egret standing in the shallows of a local reservoir. It was hardly more than an elegant curved white shape. I paused to take a photograph.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stanford stuns the Irish with an improbable 16-14 win in South Bend

October 18, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 18, 2022

The Stanford football team used scrappy, ball-hawking defense and three Joshua Karty field goals to hand Notre Dame an unlikely 16-14 defeat in the Fighting Irish’s home stadium on national television Saturday night.

The game wasn’t always pretty. Stanford rushed 42 times for 97 yards, which works out to a paltry 2.3 yards per carry, while Notre Dame was more efficient with 34 runs for 134 yards (4.4 ypc). Junior quarterback Tanner McKee threw 39 times with 26 completions, 288 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions, which averages to a mediocre 7.4 yards per attempt. Casey Filkins, who compiled 91 yards on a career-high 32 rushes, fumbled the ball twice, although it was recovered by Stanford both times.

Still, when the final gun sounded, the Cardinal came away victorious, improving their record to 2-4 (0-4 in Pac-12) while Notre Dame dropped to 3-3.

Read the rest of this entry »

Vignette: The driver and the jogger

October 17, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 17, 2022

Author’s note: The following vignette is adapted from the latter part of the same Twitter thread that inspired yesterday’s post about a deer and an SUV. The relevant portion begins with this tweet. MEM

Some 20 minutes after I saw a deer charge blindly across a road, I had made my way to a local commercial strip. I was moving south along the west side of another two-lane road, this one surrounded by strip malls and small businesses.

I saw an SUV coming out of a parking lot about 30 feet in front of me nearly knock into a high-school girl who was running south along the same side of the street as me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Vignette: The deer and the SUV

October 16, 2022

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 16, 2022

Author’s note: The following vignette is adapted from a Twitter thread beginning with this tweet. MEM

On Saturday, Oct. 8, I began my daily walk around 11:45 a.m. About an hour into what turned out to be a nearly nine-mile, two-hour-and-18-minute amble along local roads, I was moving north on the sidewalk along the west side of what is normally a fairly busy two-lane road. approached a T-intersection from the south. A short residential street met the road just ahead of me on my side of the pavement. My view of the side road was partially obscured by trees.

I was wholly unprepared for what was about to happen.

Through the trees, I saw a deer moving east toward the main road. Something about the sight made me think that the deer was frightened — perhaps it was the way the animal held its head in an in-between attitude, not lowered to the ground for grazing but neither fully raised.

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: