Opponent Attack Preview: Stanford Cardinal

As Stanford’s offensive manufacturing has declined, particularly within the operating recreation, lately David Shaw and offensive coordinator Tavita Pritchard have introduced up the “sluggish internet” idea that has change into common in Wake Forest. It’s as if in each low season Shaw says he’ll study this system from the bottom up and assess how it may be improved after a season of poor manufacturing with proficient gamers.

Provided that they have been one of many 5 FBS colleges that did not make a single coaching change this off season, it is higher if his new fashion is sweet. Early returns are constructive, with 221 dashing yards towards USC—essentially the most since 2018 towards Oregon!

Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at the gamers and the scheme that makes them work.


Stanford acquired some dangerous information this week once they discovered Stead RPEJ Smith will likely be out this weekend towards Washington. Together with QB Tanner McKee, Smith is a vital a part of this offense and a horrible loss to them. He will likely be changed by RB Casey Filkins, a fast, crafty and quick participant. The way in which he retains his shoulders sq. and makes fast cuts means he at all times will get the yards obtainable.

Tanner Mackie is the everyday Stanford quarterback that you just may acknowledge from latest seasons. Weighing in at 6-6 and 230 kilos, it stands tall within the pocket, and delivers hits in any respect ranges. He has the arm power you’ll anticipate for a physique of this dimension, too. He could make middle throws in slim home windows between the realm defenders, earlier than the receiver is open. He can enhance his contact a bit, however he is the traditional “professional” quarterback constructed for the West Coast, and he is form of a quick-attack.

WR Michael Wilson is considered one of McKee’s favourite targets and is a constant veteran outdoors. He is in his fifth season scoring catching Stanford, a really clean athlete with severe leaps within the mildew of Galen Macmillan. Becoming a member of Wilson, in traditional Stanford style, is a military of giants. Wilson is the group’s relative dwarf at 6-2, whereas second main receiver Jon Humphreys is 6-5 Junior who excels at catching the ball 50-50. Subsequent is Brycen Tremayne, an enormous 6-4 with sufficient velocity to be a risk on the sector. Elijah Higgins makes a slower begin to the season with simply 66 yards on 5 catches, however has traditionally been the person McKee has persistently appeared as much as. In 2021 as a full-time starter, he had practically double the next WR targets. On the age of 6-3235, he’s solidly constructed and may play each inside and outside the opening. If these broad receivers sound acquainted, it is as a result of they’re all fourth- or fifth-year gamers who’ve performed a whole lot of soccer and frightened some good defenders within the UW over the previous few years.

NCAA Football: Colgate at Stanford

Stan Szito – USA TODAY Sports activities

Lastly, there’s TE Ben Yurosek, the 6-4 goal who has the third longest play for Stanford this season – a 50-yard sprint on the finish round USC. Not solely is he Till now else He has a big physique that may safe contested hits, and has sufficient velocity and dribbling to get round a nook and rush down the sector if the protection is not prepared. It is extra turning than most 6-4 tight ends and may make defenders make errors.


Whereas the sluggish community is the massive information from Palo Alto, that is nonetheless Stanford. That means, since most faculty soccer makes offenses easier for quarterbacks, Stanford nonetheless places so much on the Tanner Mackie board. There are calls and choices the QB has to make each time they get into the road of melee that almost all crimes do not ask the QB to make (Kent State, for instance).

Once they’re not doing one thing very complicated at Stanford, they will make a sluggish community, figuring out it by title. For those who think about the second QB places the ball within the again field – the web level – he reads the protection, deciding whether or not to ship the ball, run by himself, or pull and cross the ball. Whereas in most RPOs this occurs immediately, the sluggish community makes QB and RB wait an uncomfortable period of time to see how the protection reacts. Once they’re on the tangle, QB and RB will slowly take strides towards the road of scrimmage as QB reads the protection – “a disturbing back-to-back trade between the quarterback and back-to-back,” SI wrote throughout Wake Forest’s 2019 dream season.

This is a set of sluggish community performs from Wake Forest:

One other typical aspect of Stanford’s previous offenses is the insanely efficient aim line fading. At the very least towards USC, they’ve tried to run their singles soar ball in the long run zone just a few instances and you’ll anticipate to see it extra this weekend.

the top

Stanford turned the ball 4 instances towards USC final week, together with twice contained in the 5-yard line. It is silly to level out that had it not been for these turnovers, Stanford would have received the sport, however they have been capable of drive down the sector on a number of events solely to cough soccer earlier than they might hit it in the long run zone. A day of 441 yards with 33 first touchdowns is an effective output, and whereas USC is hardly a defensive juggernaut, Stanford has roughly moved the ball towards them.

By way of stopping a sluggish community, defenses take the identical strategy as offenses. Simply as Stanford College will use the sluggish internet to confuse the protection between operating and passing protection, the protection has to make use of disguised schemes to trick the offensive line into pondering they will not assault. If Washington needs to cease the sluggish community, it wants to search out modern methods to get into the backspace. 5 sacks and 12 dropping tackles by USC ought to present hope that high UW gamers – who’ve proven an affinity for stepping into the backfield – can get the job executed.

We’ll see how nicely Stanford sticks to the sluggish internet – it could actually definitely trigger a whole lot of hassle for unprepared defences – as we have seen Wake Forest reap the benefits of many groups on this approach. However I think about David Shaw trying on the Washington highschool recreation licking his lips as he imagines Tanner Mackie and his forest of bushes bullying the UW highschool recreation.

Numerous followers predict a UW blast, however I see this competitors getting tighter with the Stanford cross recreation that retains them in it. Go burly.


What number of factors will Stanford rating?