Maybe this isn’t the same Stanford. For starters, Stanford is already a three loss team, as well as an unranked team. During the past four years when they’ve played Oregon, they’ve always had a dominant lead back. Oregon, on the other hand, always had a running back by committee. Cardinal RB’s Toby Gerhart, Stepfan Taylor, and Tyler Gaffney all gashed our defense in the past, accumulating 530 rushing yards over the past four match ups.
Coming in to this year, Stanford appears to be the team with a running back by committee and we seem to be the team with the dominant lead back. No one on the Stanford team has more than 70 carries this year, and only Remound Wright has broken the 300 yard mark on the season. On the contrary, Royce Freeman comes in to this game with 69 carries for 402 yards over the past three games.
Needless to say, ‘times are a changin,’ but that does not mean Stanford is a team we should be any less worried about. Their defense is second in the nation in points allowed per game, whereas our defense is 61st. I’m sure you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out, but if Stanford can hold our offense the same way it did the Washington State offense (17 total points), we’re in trouble.
With all this being said, here’s a look at the top three offensive weapons Stanford has coming in to this week.
#3: Devon Cajuste WR/TE: At 6’4″, this guy is just straight up big. He can go up and grab any jump ball, he can run a really solid fade route in the end zone, and since none of our DB’s can even crack the 6’0″ mark Cajuste will be absolute match up nightmare. The senior is third on the team in catches and would love for his last game against Oregon to be a win on the road.
#2: Barry Sanders Jr. RB: Sanders is still very young and very raw, but boy, he has shown flashes. Son of legendary NFL RB Barry Sanders, Junior is third on the team in total carries but he leads the team with an astounding average of nearly seven and a half yards per carry. Sanders is also only 36 yards behind Wright for total yards on the season, despite having 29 less carries than him. Sanders is yet to have a touchdown to his name this season, and what better time to do it then against our beloved Ducks?
#1: Ty Montgomery WR/PR/KR/Fastest Man Alive: Don’t blink, Montgomery might already be in the end zone. Montgomery officially runs around a 4.4 40-yard dash, but ask the guys who play against him on kick coverage and they’ll say it’s got to be at least half that. The senior stud of an athlete leads the next best Stanford WR by over double the number of receptions this year, and his 514 yards are 200 more than the next best as well. Montgomery also does everything for Stanford, as he has 49 receptions, 16 carries, and he’s even returned a total of 25 kicks for 557 yards and two TDs. To call this guy explosive would be an understatement, and if Oregon is going to stand a chance on Saturday, No. 7 is going to have to be covered.
Top photo by Craig Strobeck