Posts Tagged ‘JJ Arcega-Whiteside’

Stanford sends out 2018 with cringe-inducing 14-13 victory over Pitt in the Sun Bowl

January 11, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Jan. 11, 2019

The Stanford football team closed out its 2018 season with an ugly 14-13 New Year’s Eve victory over Pitt in the Sun Bowl.

It was the Cardinal’s closest contest of the season, with the team putting up its lowest point total of the year after a 17-3 win over USC. Junior quarterback K.J. Costello completed just six of 17 passes for 105 yards, and the offense gained just 208 yards while converting a single third down on 10 opportunities — all season lows. It seemed fitting that the winning touchdown came on an offensive fumble recovery.

Granted, Costello’s unit was missing a number of starters, including hobbled wonderback Bryce Love, who (wisely) opted out out of the game in order to prepare for the NFL draft. But the defense was also missing players, and it turned in a commendable performance. The Panthers offense rolled up a modest 348 yards, making only five of 17 first downs, and managed just one touchdown in three visits to the red zone.

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Bad-Ugly-Good: Taking stock of 8-4 Stanford

December 5, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Dec. 5, 2018

As has been the case a number of times in recent years, last weekend I attended the Big Game watch party that was jointly hosted by the local Stanford and Cal alumni groups. This time it was held at Woody’s, a sports bar in Cary that I’d never been to before.

Typically, the hosts hold drawings. This time I won a Stanford car magnet. Even better, the guy next to me won a 2013 Rose Bowl Champions hat. He got it and said, “Great, a five-year-old hat.” His wife didn’t want it; nor did the first person or two to which he offered it. I happily took it, having attended the game, which I fondly remember! I barely removed it from my head the rest of the day.

• The Bad

Oh, Stanford’s defense. The Cardinal allowed Cal to roll up 155 rushing yards and 197 passing yards. The Golden Bears also converted a semi-respectable seven of 18 third downs and a relatively dismal three of three fourth downs. Stanford managed but a single quarterback hurry and only recorded four tackles-for-loss, three of which were sacks.

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Number nine: Cardinal extends Big Game streak with 23-13 victory in Berkeley

December 4, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Dec. 4, 2018

Stanford extended its historic Big Game victory streak to nine games on Saturday, beating Cal, 23-13, behind a pair of Cameron Scarlett touchdowns and two Paulson Adebo interceptions.

The Cardinal, who on Sunday accepted a Sun Bowl invitation to play Pitt on Dec. 31, finished the regular season 8-4 (6-3 in the Pac-12). Cal dropped to 7-5 (5-4) but demonstrated that they have taken significant strides in closing the talent gap that’s loomed between them and their archrival for much of the past decade.

Patrick Laird gained 116 yards on 19 carries and the Bears outrushed Stanford, 155 yards to 92. But the Cardinal, which controlled the ball for nearly 33 minutes, scored 10 points on three takeaways to maintain its hold on the Axe, the trophy that the two universities have contested for more than a century.

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Bad-Ugly-Good: Taking stock of 7-4 Stanford

November 27, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 27, 2018

I watched the Cardinal take on UCLA last Saturday by myself at James Joyce Pub. The game was well in hand except, um, for all the times that it wasn’t.

• The Bad

Stanford’s second-half defense against the Bruins left something to be desired. UCLA piled up 336 yards in the final two quarters, including 311 yards through the air.

Wilton Speight, the UCLA graduate transfer who played 21 games under center for Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, shattered career highs with 29 completions in 47 attempts for 466 yards. The Richmond, Va., had never registered more than 26 successful passes, his previous high number of attempts was 38, and his next-highest yardage total was 362. (Rather astonishingly, this was only the third time Speight threw for more than 300 yards over a 28-game collegiate career.)

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Stanford wins wacky shootout in Pasadena, 49-42, despite a wild late rally by UCLA

November 26, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 26, 2018

K.J. Costello threw for five touchdowns, three to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, to lead a battered Stanford football team past a feisty UCLA squad in the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

The 49-42 win moved the Cardinal to 7-4 overall and 5-3 in league ahead of their rescheduled contest at Cal on Dec. 1. The Bruins finished 3-9 (3-6) in their first season under head coach Chip Kelly.

Stanford opened with another characteristically bad first possession, which saw the team lose a yard on three snaps. After Costello threw an unwise pass that Adarius Pickett returned for 22 yards to the Cardinal 23-yard line, Kelly sent out freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson at quarterback to run a trick play. He tossed the ball to Wilton Speight, the redshirt senior starting quarterback, but his pass fell incomplete. The Bruins were only able to gain two yards before sending out junior kicker J.J. Molson to hit a 38-yard field goal.

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Stanford pounds Beavers, 48-17, on senior night

November 13, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 13, 2018

Granted, Stanford’s opponent on Saturday night was just Oregon State. The Beavers have the worst conference record in the Pac-12 at 1-6, and are tied with UCLA for the worst overall record in the league at 2-8. (The Bruins are 2-5 in league.)

On the other hand, a win’s a win, especially in a Power Five conference. Stanford’s 48-17 victory over the orange and white did more than lift the Cardinal to 6-4 on the year (4-3 in league); it also broke a two-game losing streak, the sixth in Shaw’s eight seasons as head coach, and gave the senior class a win in their final game at Stanford Stadium.

The Cardinal scored on its opening drive for just the third time in 2018. Following a short Bryce Love run on the first play from scrimmage, junior quarterback K.J. Costello completed passes of 26 and 18 yards to sophomore tight end Colby Parkinson and senior wideout Trenton Irwin, respectively. Two snaps later, Love took the ball in from the 28-yard line with one of his best runs of the year; the touchdown was just his fifth of the year.

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Bad-Ugly-Good: Taking stock of 5-3 Stanford

November 3, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 3, 2018

Because Stanford’s game against Washington State was broadcast on the Pac-12 Network, I went to James Joyce to watch. After the Cardinal’s loss, I wandered the streets for nearly 45 minutes.

Postgame walk, Stanford vs. Washington State.

After Stanford’s 41-38 loss to Washington State, I took a meandering walk for nearly 45 minutes.

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Homecoming heartbreak: WSU Cougars snatch a dramatic 41-38 victory on the Farm

October 29, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 29, 2018

A 42-yard Blake Mazza field goal with 19 seconds remaining lifted Washington State to a 41-38 victory over Stanford in the Cardinal’s homecoming game late Saturday afternoon.

WSU’s third straight victory over Stanford moved the streaking Cougars to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-12. In losing consecutive games at Stanford Stadium for only the second time under head coach David Shaw, the Cardinal fell to 5-3 (3-2).

The Cougars trailed by two touchdowns, 28-14, after K.J. Costello threw a one-yard touchdown pass to sophomore fullback Houston Heimuli with 1:04 remaining in the second quarter. But WSU roared back; after recording a 23-yard Mazza field goal to close out the half, they went on to outscore Stanford 24-10 following intermission.

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Bad-Ugly-Good: Taking stock of 5-2 Stanford

October 26, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 26, 2018

After having lunch with a friend in Northern Virginia, I wrapped up an eight-day trip by driving back to Durham on Thursday, Oct. 18. Since it was late in the afternoon when I arrived and I wanted to get in some exercise, after hurriedly unloading my car I headed back out and hit the pavement. Ultimately, I walked more than 3.5 miles before coming back home to shower, groom myself and dress in Cardinal apparel.

I’d hoped to get in a little bit of pinball action before the football game, but the walk and doing some overdue shaving ate up most of the time available to me before kickoff.

I headed down to my usual Durham Stanford-watching spot but left before the final gun because the place was nearly empty and preparing to close. However, when ‪ASU‬ scored a fourth-quarter touchdown with several minutes remaining in the contest, I realized that I needed to get to a television. I wound up at the same establishment where I’d watched the Cardinal’s disastrous loss to Washington State in 2016. Fortunately, this time the result was much happier for me and other Stanford faithful.

• The Bad

Stanford netted 127 rushing yards on 43 carries against the Sun Devils, which works out to a hair less than 3.0 yards per attempt. Remarkably, for a team that returned the nation’s second-leading rusher and four-fifths of its starting offensive line, this was only slightly worse than the Cardinal’s season-long average of nearly 3.1 yards per carry.

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Cardinal outlasts ‪ASU‬, 20-13, on Thursday night

October 25, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 25, 2018

Stanford scored two third-quarter touchdowns and did just enough in the fourth quarter to get past a scrappy Arizona State team last Thursday night in Tempe.

Fans hoping to see the Cardinal put together a consistently solid 60 minutes of play probably came away disappointed from the nationally televised matchup; still, the conference road victory broke a two-game losing streak for coach David Shaw’s club. Stanford, now 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the Pac-12, has a chance to seize control of the conference’s Northern Division with consecutive games against Washington State (6-1, 3-1 in league) and Washington (6-2, 4-1) staring this weekend.

To get to that point, however, Stanford had to erase a first-quarter deficit — its sixth in seven games this year — and survive a shaky string of offensive series over the final 17 minutes of its bout with ‪ASU‬ (3-4, 1-3).

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

October 14, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 14, 2018

I spent the weekend of the Utah-Stanford football clash participating in a two-day Scrabble tournament in Wilmington, N.C. (More on that in future posts!) Come kickoff time, I was prowling Wilmington’s downtown entertainment district, seeking a good place to watch the game. I wound up at a wonderful bar called Rebellion, which I stayed at until late in the third quarter.

Once I’d finished walking back to my hotel and taking the elevator up to my room and figuring out how to turn on the television and tune into the game just in time to see Stanford rally late in the third quarter.

Unfortunately, that rally wilted in the final period…

• The Bad

After the game, I tweeted a screenshot showing the game’s team statistics on which three clusters of numbers were circled in red. My accompanying caption was “Statistically speaking: Yikes, double yikes and triple yikes.”

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Utah humbles Stanford, 40-21

October 13, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 13, 2018

Stanford played its worst game of 2018 last Saturday in a 40-19 home loss to the Utah Utes.

Although the Cardinal’s 38-17 road loss at Notre Dame the previous weekend was by a larger margin, the team’s second defeat may have been more demoralizing. For one thing, it happened at home; for another, it was probably the squad’s all-around worst performance. It was as if coach David Shaw’s gridders took the worst elements from their uninspired first half at Oregon and their fourth-quarter collapse against the Fighting Irish and amplified them.

The contest’s first play from scrimmage was promising: junior quarterback K.J. Costello threw to senior wideout J.J. Arcega-Whiteside for 15 yards. But the drive stalled there, and Stanford punted. Utah soon did the same.

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Bad-Ugly-Good: Taking stock of 4-1 Stanford

October 6, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 6, 2018

Last Saturday’s football-watching took place in Durham with my pal Jim, but at Tyler’s Taproom rather than at our usual spot. I may have been thinking of Stanford’s 2010 visit to Notre Dame, a game that the Cardinal won as I watched in that establishment. At any rate…

• The Bad

Well, there are a lot of candidates for this category this week. But let’s zero in on one thing: Third down.

The Cardinal offense converted only three of 13 third downs. Partly as a result, the Stanford defense had to spend more than 34 minutes on the field.

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Dominant Irish fourth quarter sparks a 38-17 Notre Dame victory

October 5, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 5, 2018

The late American comedian is supposed to have once said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” When Notre Dame hosted Stanford last Saturday evening in a primetime battle of top-10-ranked unbeaten teams, both teams had plenty of chances to grab a win. Unfortunately for the road team, the Fighting Irish not only built a door but charged through it during a lopsided fourth quarter that saw Stanford repeatedly drop lumber on its toes and hammer its own hapless fingers and thumbs.

The Cardinal opened the game with a three-and-out that saw them gain no yards. The Irish drove 20 plays in response but saw running back Tony Jones Jr. turned away with one yard to go on third and fourth downs at the Stanford 47-yard line.

The ensuing play was a seven-yard Bryce Love run, his first gain after being held to no yards on two carries. But Stanford couldn’t convert third and 2 and had to punt.

After two opportunities to put their mark on their game, the Cardinal offense had come up empty twice.

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Bad-Ugly-Good: Taking stock of 4-0 Stanford

September 29, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Sept. 29, 2018

I watched last Saturday’s 38-31 come-from-behind overtime victory at Oregon at my usual Durham spot, accompanied by my buddy Jim. Things looked very grim at first… and then they didn’t… and then they did again… and then they didn’t. It was an astonishing spectacle.

• The Bad

Things looked very very very grim for Stanford during the first half, which saw them fall behind, 24-7. The Cardinal offense looked confused and directionless, while the defense appeared to be helpless to interfere with the Ducks’ attack. The team’s performance over the first 30 minutes of the game is this week’s The Bad.

• The Ugly

Stanford yet again had trouble establishing a ground game, thanks to a spirited and dynamic Oregon defense. The final numbers — 24 carries, 71 yards and a touchdown, with a long gain of 22 — are somewhat misleading, because a sack of and fumble by quarterback K.J. Costello saddled him and the team with a 19-yard loss. On the other hand, even discounting Costello, Stanford’s other rushers, Bryce Love and Cameron Scarlett, combined for 22 runs for 90 yards. (Scarlett had only a yard on three carries.) That thoroughly…mediocre…production is this week’s The Ugly.

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Unlikely, improbable, AMAZING! Stanford rallies from 17 down for a 38-31 overtime road win at Oregon

September 28, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Sept. 28, 2018

The Nerd Nation Comeback T-shirt that went on sale this week encapsulates the roller-coaster ride that was Stanford football’s improbable rally at Oregon Saturday evening.

The Ducks moved the ball easily early on, scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions and adding a field goal on their fourth and last drive of the first period. Their phenomenal quarterback, junior Justin Herbert, completed 13 of 14 passes before the break, racking up 184 yards with a short touchdown toss to junior tight end Jacob Breeland. Oregon was also devastating on the ground, with running back C.J. Verdell scoring on a 48-yard rush; he and Herbert also had several other carries of at least 11 yards.

Meanwhile, the Cardinal offense seemed hesitant in its first road game of 2018. A 13-yard K.J. Costello-to-J.J. Arcega-Whiteside fade left Oregon holding a 14-7 lead in the second quarter, but after that, the unit was only able to gain 17 yards in their last two series before halftime.

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Bad-Ugly-Good: Taking stock of 3-0 Stanford

September 21, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Sept. 21, 2018

Thankfully for those in the Research Triangle, Hurricane Florence had its strongest effects elsewhere in the Carolinas. I wound up listening to the first half of the UC Davis–Stanford game on the Internet on a rainy (but not spectacularly so) Saturday afternoon before driving to James Joyce Pub in Durham’s Brightleaf area to watch most of the second half.

• The Bad

As noted in my game writeup, Stanford’s offense was uneven in beating Davis. That may have been most in evidence in the Cardinal’s third-down conversion rate: Stanford was successful on only three of 14 tries, a performance that will not cut it against nearly every other team remaining on the schedule. This woeful effort clearly deserves to be called The Bad.

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Stanford beats Aggies, 30-10, despite an uneven performance

September 20, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Sept. 20, 2018

Stanford moved to 3-0 on the young football season with a 30-10 victory over UC Davis on Saturday afternoon. But the victory, which closed out a three-game home stand, was not without its blemishes.

The teams began the game by exchanging punts. Things began to get interesting on the second snap of Stanford’s second possession. Following a fake handoff, junior quarterback K.J. Costello underthrew junior tight end Kaden Smith, who had lined up wide and was surrounded by gray-clad defenders. Junior linebacker Nas Anesi was perfectly positioned to grab the ball and returned it nine yards, to the Cardinal 12-yard line. The Aggies couldn’t earn a first down but were able to get on the scoreboard thanks to Max O’Rourke’s 26-yard field goal.

After the kickoff, Stanford — which was resting all-world runner Bryce Love — handed off twice to junior tailback Trevor Speights. His second run seemed to gain 13 yards but was called back because Smith was flagged for holding.

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Cardinal upends Trojans, 17-3, to open the conference season

September 14, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Sept. 14, 2018

The Stanford football team launched its Pac-12 conference season with a 17-3 victory over visiting USC Saturday evening.

The Cardinal offense scored on its first and last drives of the opening half and matched the Trojans’ only score, a third-quarter field goal. Meanwhile, the defense harassed USC quarterback J.T. Daniels and closed the door on the Trojans each time they entered the red zone.

Daniels, a freshman making his second collegiate start and first on the road, was attended to on the sidelines and briefly left the field during the first half. His replacement, redshirt sophomore Matt Fink, carried a single time for five yards and completed one of two passes for a mere three yards.

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Bad-Ugly-Good: Taking stock of 1-0 Stanford

September 7, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Sept. 7, 2018

I started the 2018 Stanford football season the exact same place where I ended the 2017 campaign: At a particular joint near my childhood home.

For convenience’s sake, I’ve decided to dub this spot Ye Olde Pub/Club. The “Club” part is because the establishment seems to turn into a dance spot of sorts on Friday and Saturday nights — or at least, that’s what was happening on the evening of Friday, Aug. 31, 2018.

That said, let’s get on with my assessment of Stanford’s first football game of the year!

• The Bad

Faithful Bad-Ugly-Good readers will be familiar with this lament: It’s hard to find fault with the Cardinal’s performance when they win by at least three touchdowns. Such is the happy problem I face once again!

There was some concern among Cardinal tweeters during the first half, when San Diego State took a 7-0 lead and Stanford’s club seemed lost in all phases of the game. As I wrote to a chagrined friend, the team’s start was disappointing, especially given SDSU’s 2017 victory.

It helped matters not at all that Stanford, in quarterback coach Tavita Pritchard’s first game as offensive coordinator, had to call a timeout right after receiving the opening kickoff. (Even worse, of course: That play resulted in an incomplete pass.) It was also a somewhat unsettling to see the Cardinal’s first drive — the only time the offense effectively moved the ball in the initial period — end without points when junior kicker Jet Toner sliced the ball wide left from 38 yards out.

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Aerial attack shines for Stanford in 31-10 season-opening victory over San Diego State

September 5, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Sept. 5, 2018

The Stanford football team gave off some mixed signals as it got its 2018 campaign under way Friday evening. After the Cardinal elected to receive the ball, junior quarterback K.J. Costello and friends trotted out to start their first official possession of the year at the home 25-yard line.

However, the team burned a timeout before taking a snap. This would have been an inauspicious omen under any circumstances, but it seemed especially so since the team is working with a new offensive coordinator in Tavita Pritchard, the former Cardinal passer and ninth-year Stanford assistant coach who added play-calling to his responsibilities this offseason after Mike Bloomgreen’s departure for Rice.

Nor was the team’s first offensive snap much more comforting, as San Diego State senior lineman Anthony Luke batted away Costello’s pass on first down. But then the team seemed to settle down, as potential all-world senior running back Bryce Love ran for two yards before a Costello connection with junior tight end Kaden Smith went for 13 yards and a fresh set of downs. Love then carried for seven and two yards and senior running back Cameron Scarlett rushed for five yards on third and 1.

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Frogs nip Cardinal, 39-37, in entertaining Alamo Bowl clash

December 31, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Dec. 31, 2017

Stanford’s 2017 football season came to a disappointing conclusion Thursday night with a 39-37 loss to Texas Christian University in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

The Cardinal finished 9-5, only the second time in head coach David Shaw’s seven seasons that the team failed to reach double-digit wins. The Horned Frogs moved to 11-3, a record that includes two losses to playoff contender Oklahoma.

Scoring opened after TCU quarterback Kenny Hill made an ill-advised throw while on the move. Junior free safety Frank Buncom read his intentions and raced in from the right side to intercept the ball, which he returned 37 yards to the Frogs 23-yard line.

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Cardinal falls short, 31-28, in its rematch with USC in the conference championship game

December 5, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Dec. 5, 2017

A mistake-prone Cardinal lost 31-28 to USC in the Pac-12 football championship game Friday night.

The result gave the South Division its first league title in the seven years since the Pac-10 added Colorado and Utah. The Trojans, who finished the regular season 11-2, won their first conference crown since 2008; they will play Big 10 champion Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas. Stanford, which fell to 3-1 in conference title bouts and 9-4 on the season, will face Texas Christian University in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.

USC received the opening kickoff and reached the Stanford 43-yard line before a pair of incomplete Sam Darnold passes forced them to punt. The Cardinal, dressed in all-white uniforms with brand-new helmets featuring a chrome Stanford logo, gained five yards on a pair of Bryce Love runs and an incomplete K.J. Costello pass attempt before giving the ball back.

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Fourth-quarter turnovers doom Irish in Stanford’s regular-season finale

November 28, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 28, 2017

Stanford scored three touchdowns in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to take control of a game against visiting Notre Dame on Saturday evening.

The Cardinal football team pounced on a pair of Fighting Irish turnovers to convert a 20-17 deficit at the start of the final period into a 38-20 lead with a little more than 10 minutes left in the contest. Stanford went on to win by that score.

The Irish opened scoring late in the first quarter on a short throw from quarterback Brandon Wimbush. His target was receiver Kevin Stepherson, who began the play in a cluster of three men split wide right of the formation. Stepherson worked his way inside on a shallow route, feinted a move to the outside that wrong-footed strong safety Justin Reid and inside linebacker Kevin Palma, and caught the pigskin around the 30-yard line as Reid dove in a futile attempt to knock the ball away. No other defender was remotely close, and Stepherson went the distance for an 83-yard touchdown without having to put the pedal to the metal.

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Grinding to glory: A gritty Love and efficient Costello lead the Cardinal to a narrow Big Game victory

November 21, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 21, 2017

A valiant effort from an injured Bryce Love and an efficient performance by K.J. Costello led Stanford’s football team to a 17-14 victory over Cal in the 120th Big Game on Saturday evening. The win was the eighth straight for the Cardinal over its traditional archrival, the longest streak by either team since they first met on the gridiron in San Francisco back in the spring of 1892.

Stanford moved to 8-3 overall and 7-2 in the Pac-12, while the Golden Bears dropped to 5-6 and 2-6. But the game was a close thing, despite the disparities in the team’s records.

Both offenses were 6 of 12 on third down, and both generated 5.9 yards per offensive play. While the host squad outgained the Bears on the ground, 193 yards to 155, the dueling quarterbacks were nearly even: Cal’s Ross Bowers threw for 182 yards, while Costello topped him by three yards. (Incidentally, both players are sophomores, and both wear No. 3.)

The Cardinal took a 3-0 lead on Jet Toner’s 42-yard field goal on the first series of the game, which was enabled by a 33-yard throw from Costello to junior wideout J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. The Bears answered with a 44-yarder by Matt Anderson on their first possession.

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