Posts Tagged ‘Connor Wedington’

Bad-Ugly-Good: Taking stock of 4-2 Stanford

December 24, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
Dec. 24, 2020

2020 saw the Stanford football team play the fewest number of games since the war interregnum of 1943–45.

Before that, the shortest campaign was a four-game unofficial schedule that was played in 1918, as the world was a few months into an infamous global pandemic.

Before that, the shortest season was a one-game campaign in 1917.

Before that, Stanford played rugby from 1906 through 1916, with each season comprising at least eight games.

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Bad-Ugly-Good: Taking stock of 3-2 Stanford

December 15, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
Dec. 15, 2020

Fun fact: Stanford’s offense has had the ball for an average of 32 minutes and 18 seconds per game. The only Pac-12 team with a better time of possession is Utah at 33:54.

• The Bad

On Dec. 5, the Cardinal defense had by far its best effort of 2020 against opposing rushers, limiting Washington to 117 yards on the ground. Unfortunately, the front seven was once again its typical porous self in Corvallis. Oregon State’s 237 rushing yards were the second most by an opponent this year, just behind Cal’s 241 yards.

Have I mentioned that Stanford is surrendering an average of 208.2 rushing yards per game, better only than Pac-12 bottom feeder Arizona’s 270.6? Or that Cardinal opponents are averaging 5.4 yards per carry, which is exceeded in conference only by — again — the Arizona Wildcats?

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Uneven Stanford does just enough to edge the Beavers in a 27-24 road win

December 14, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
Dec. 14, 2020

Quarterback Davis Mills scored three touchdowns and inside linebacker Curtis Robinson recovered a last-minute fumble to seal a 27-24 Stanford football victory at Oregon State on Saturday evening.

Mills threw one touchdown and ran for a career-high two. He also completed 21 of 29 pass attempts for 292 yards as Stanford improved its record to 3-2, all in conference play. Mills’s favorite target, junior wide receiver Simi Fehoko, tied a career high with six catches for 110 yards, passing the century mark for the first time. Sophomore running back Austin Jones racked up 126 yards on 22 rushes, good for 5.7 yards per carry, and redshirt senior Jet Toner nailed two kicks, including the go-ahead field goal with 1:48 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Chance Nolan, a junior college transfer, completed 17 of 30 throws for 221 yards with three touchdowns in his second career start for the Beavers, now 2-4. Jermar Jefferson, the conference’s second-leading rusher, gained 80 yards on 18 carries, slightly more than half the 151 he was averaging before the game. But Nolan tacked on 50 yards on eight carries and three other Beavers ran for at least 32 yards. In all, Oregon State rushed 39 times for 237 yards, or 6.1 ypc, and the hosts outgained Stanford, 458 total yards to 408.

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

December 7, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
Dec. 7, 2020

Fun fact: Stanford head coach David Shaw now has a 7-3 record against the Washington Huskies. The three losses have come in Seattle.

• The Bad

Stanford did most of its damage against the Dawgs over the course of the opening half. The Cardinal scored touchdowns on its first three possessions and closed out the second quarter with a field goal on its final drive to claim a 24-3 lead.

To that point, the Huskies offense had accumulated three points on 126 total yards while converting half of their six third-down tries.

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Don’t call it a comeback: Scrappy Stanford turns away undefeated Washington in a 31-26 win

December 6, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
Dec. 6, 2020

Stanford zoomed out to a three-touchdown lead and withstood a furious second-half comeback attempt in a 31-26 victory over the previously undefeated Washington Huskies in Seattle on Saturday afternoon.

Stanford led 24-3 at the half, scoring on all four of its possessions. On the afternoon, the Cardinal converted 10 of 13 third downs, including its first six, and ran for 191 yards on 40 attempts. Sophomore Austin Jones led all rushers with 138 yards on 31 carries, both career highs, while recording his third two-touchdown game of 2020. Senior quarterback Davis Mills turned in a solid performance, completing 20 of 30 throws for 252 yards and a touchdown.

The Cardinal defense held the Dawgs to a pedestrian 117 yards on 34 rushing attempts, with senior tailback Sean McGrew gaining 65 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries for the No. 22 Huskies. Redshirt freshman quarterback Dylan Morris had 254 yards on 15 of 23 passing while running seven times for 36 yards and a touchdown.

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Bad-Ugly-Good: Taking stock of 1-2 Stanford

November 29, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
Nov. 29, 2020

On a Thanksgiving visit to my parent’s house, I got to view Big Game on the house’s big screen. (I don’t have anything larger than a 21-inch monitor at my place in Durham.) It was a nice way to watch, especially because I enjoyed the way events ultimately unfolded.

Addendum: Since I’ve been urging people on Twitter to reconsider holiday get-togethers, I thought I’d note that my Thanksgiving visit involved me, the family dog and one parent. I haven’t seen any individual in person other than my parent since arriving here. As my parent and I have both been pandemic homebodies, the risk of exposure, though not nonexistent, is fairly low. MEM

• The Bad

Stanford has been outgained on the ground in all three contests this year. Oregon ran for 269 yards against Stanford’s 197, Colorado humbled the Cardinal to the tune of 177 to 70, and the Cal Bears had the most lopsided differential of all, 241 to 95.

Friday’s ground attack wasn’t as bad for Stanford as the anemic effort we saw the previous game against Colorado. And the Cardinal’s short-yardage rushing offense showed signs of life that certainly weren’t present against the Buffalos. But on the whole, these are bad numbers for a team that for years used to be able to pound the ball almost at will.

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Axe reclaimed, streak broken: Cardinal breaks into the win column with a 24-23 victory at Cal

November 28, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
Nov. 28, 2020

Stanford’s defense blocked two kicks and the Cardinal exploited other miscues by the Cal Golden Bears to earn a 24-23 victory in Berkeley on Friday afternoon.

The decision enabled Stanford to reclaim the Stanford Axe, the historic trophy in the West Coast’s oldest football rivalry. It also snapped a six-game losing streak that head coach David Shaw’s team had been riding since November 2019. In bettering its record to 1-2, all in Pac-12 play, the Cardinal became the victor in 10 out of the past 11 Big Games, dating back to a 48-14 road win in 2010.

Cal’s offense had more yardage than the Cardinal, 392 to 300, and gained an even bigger advantage in rushing, where the Bears accumulated 241 yards on 35 tries (6.9 yards per play) to just 95 on 35 carries by Stanford (2.7 ypp). But the numbers were somewhat misleading, as the road team scored its first two touchdowns after recovering Bears fumbles on short fields to rally from early 7-0 and 10-3 deficits.

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Big-play Buffalos stampede confused Cardinal, 35-32

November 21, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
Nov. 21, 2020

Colorado withstood a fourth-quarter rally to down Stanford 35-32 in the Cardinal football team’s 2020 home opener on Saturday, Nov. 14. Stanford fell to 0-2 on the year and saw its losing streak extended to six games.

Stanford’s string of defeats began with a 16-13 loss in Boulder on Nov. 9, 2019. The Cardinal offense proved much more potent on home ground in this month’s rematch. Unfortunately for coach David Shaw’s squad, the Buffalos were even better.

The Cardinal scored first against Colorado in a drive that saw quarterback Davis Mills complete his first four passes. The throws netted 38 yards in the senior’s first start of 2020 after sitting out at Oregon due to a false-positive Covid-19 test. When the drive stalled at the visitor 30, Shaw summoned his redshirt-senior kicker. Jet Toner nailed the 48-yard field goal, his first on the year after whiffing on tries of 48, 40, 35 and 27 against Oregon in the season opener.

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UCF embarrasses hapless Cardinal football squad in a 45-27 thrashing

September 15, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken
Sept. 15, 2019

Freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel went 22 for 30 with 347 yards, four touchdowns and no picks to lead UCF to a 45-27 rout of Stanford in Orlando on Saturday.

A week after USC went down by two touchdowns early before going on to win by 25, Central Florida scored three touchdowns in the game’s first nine minutes and was never in any serious danger. The Knights only had seven points in the second half, but that touchdown slammed the door on what were Stanford’s already slim comeback chances.

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