By Dave Levine
Stanford’s 1-2 start can be credited to Coach Shaw who insisted on playing Keller Chryst until mid-season. Losing to San Diego State with their star RB (who ran all thru the weak Stanford defense) was the worst of these loses though losing to USC wasn’t enjoyable, either. Stanford ended the season with two heartbreaking losses in games they should have won–to USC for the PAC-12 Championship and to TCU in The Alamo Bowl.
This year, Stanford’s lowly defense–which has lost star DT Harrison Phillips to graduation as well as CB Quentin Meeks and S Justin Reid to the pros–won’t have to face Sam Darnold (gone pro) or UCLA’s Josh Rosen but they’ll still have “Mr. Predictable”/unimaginative/lousy-use-of-the-clock Coach David Shaw.
It will take two years at least to build up the defense to where it should be and then it’s tough to keep Junior players from going pro.
On offense, they’re strong in tight ends and QBs (Costello, Mills and a new kid) but unless they get the ball to Donald Stewart, they’ll have no deep threat and they need at least two speedsters. Shaw benched Stewart for much of last season for an unknown reason. They lose dependable WR Irwin to graduation. They lose the less-than-stellar C Burkett.
If kicker Jake Bailey returns this season, the special teams will again be strong although their punt coverage was nowhere near as good as in 2016. Placekicker Toner will have competition for his job.
Anyway, here’s to the 2018 season!