Bad-Ugly-Good: Taking stock of 2-0 Stanford

September 15, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Sept. 15, 2018

After playing some free poker in the afternoon, I drove to my favorite Stanford-sports viewing spot in Durham. It proved to be a very enjoyable evening, even though I didn’t work in a long postgame walk.

• The Bad

Stanford committed seven penalties for 50 yards against the Trojans, who were flagged just four times for 35 yards. This was a significant turnabout from the opener, which saw Stanford draw only three penalties for 20 yards, while the Aztecs committed a whopping 11 penalties for 125 yards. The decline in Cardinal precision and rules-following deserves the label of this week’s The Bad.

• The Ugly

Stanford committed seven penalties for 50 yards against the Trojans, who were flagged just four times for 35 yards. This was a significant turnabout from the opener, which saw Stanford draw only three penalties for 20 yards, while the Aztecs committed a whopping 11 penalties for 125 yards. The decline in Cardinal precision and rules-following deserves the label of this week’s The Ugly.

• The Good

USC moved the ball relatively easily between the 20s against Stanford, and their offensive playmakers made plays: Aca’Cedric Ware carried 18 times for 59 yards with a long of 12, Stephen Carr had 10 rushes for 52 yards with a long of 14, and Vavae Malepeai had an 11-yard run despite getting the ball just three times for a total of 18 yards. In the aerial attack, Tyler Vaughns caught seven balls for 84 yards (long of 35), Michael Pittman Jr. was 3-65 (45-yard long) and Amon-Ra St. Brown was 2-39 with a 28-yard reception. Also, Carr, Malepeai and Tyler Petite each had a reception of at least eight yards.

But aside from a second-half field goal, the Trojans couldn’t convert their yardage into points. Moreover, Stanford defenders recorded four sacks for 30 yards, three of which came in the second half. Even better, the defense forced Trojans freshman J.T. Daniels to cough up the ball three times — once on a Joey Alfieri strip-sack that led to a Bobby Okereke recovery and twice in the fourth quarter, which saw safety Malik Antoine collect his first two collegiate interceptions on back-to-back snaps.

Stanford leads the conference in scoring defense at 6.5 points per game, which ranks third nationally. For the second week in a row, the collective defensive effort was worthy of being labeled The Good.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: