Stanford Cardinal briefing: Knowledge for the 99th Rose Bowl

January 1, 2013

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To mark the playing of the 99th edition of the Rose Bowl this afternoon in Pasadena, Calif., I have assembled some facts and figures on the contestants. My look at Big 10 champion Wisconsin appeared yesterday; now, here’s a look at my alma mater, the Pac 12’s top team of 2012.

The Stanford Cardinal football squad has won at least 11 games for the third straight season, an unprecedented run. To match the current string of four seasons of eight or more wins, Cardinal fans have to go back to the 1926-30 teams coached by the legendary Glenn “Pop” Warner. Before going 8-5 in 2009, Stanford had suffered seven straight losing seasons.

The Cardinal is headed to its fourth consecutive bowl game, and its third straight BCS berth, for the first time in school history. (By comparison, Stanford’s Rose Bowl opponent, Wisconsin, has a current skein of 11 consecutive bowl appearances.) The Cardinal has been ranked in the last 46 editions of the Associated Press poll, also a team record.

This year, the team has defeated five ranked squads, more than any other club. The Cardinal have won six games with fourth-quarter or overtime drives. It beat Arizona and Oregon in overtime but fell in a controversial extra period to Notre Dame, which will meet Alabama for the national championship.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan saw his first action this year and started the team’s final four games. He has thrown for 973 yards, nine touchdowns and three picks. Hogan has also run for 209 yards and two scores. His best performance to date was against Oregon State, where he went 22-29 for 254 yards with three touchdowns and two picks.

Cardinal defenders are best in the nation at operating behind the line of scrimmage. Stanford’s averages of 4.3 sacks and 9.2 TFLs a game are both best in the NCAA. The team has totaled 56 sacks for 336 yards and 120 tackles-for-loss for 500 yards.

Ed Reynolds is ninth in the nation with six interceptions, which he’s returned for 301 yards and three scores. Overall, the Cardinal have 14 picks. Trent Murphy has the team’s only other interception-return TD this year.

The Cardinal have collected 12 opponent fumbles.

The Cardinal is 10-12-1 in bowl appearances. Its Rose Bowl mark is 4-6-1, with wins against Pittsburgh (1927), Southern Methodist (1936), Nebraska (1941), Ohio State (1971) and Michigan (1972). This is Stanford’s second Rose Bowl appearance since its last win; the Cardinal fell 17-9 to Wisconsin in the 2000 Rose Bowl.

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That wraps up today’s football post. I appreciate your stopping by for a look at my blog. After all, in today’s economy, can you afford not to read MEMwrites?

I hope you and your loved ones have gotten 2013 off to a terrific start. Keep it up, and remember: Go Stanford!!!

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