Stanford’s loss to Arizona reveals persisting weaknesses

Stanford followers deal with a 3rd consecutive loss, because the Cardinal (1-3, 0-2 Pac-12) dropped their convention house opener in opposition to the Arizona Wildcats (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) 21-20. It’s an encouraging signal that the Cardinal put up a struggle in opposition to a stable Energy 5 opponent. Psychological errors, nevertheless, price Stanford a chance to tug off an upset and switch the season round.

Whereas the Cardinal performed 4 video games this season, many questions stay, particularly on the offensive facet. Listed here are three takeaways from the sport:

1. The Cardinal want a star receiver

For the third straight week, Stanford has had a distinct participant lead the staff in receiving yardage. This week, it was freshman receiver Tiger Bachmeier, who tallied 4 receptions for 93 yards. Whereas the freshman’s emergence is definitely a promising signal for the way forward for the receiving core, it additionally raises questions on who would be the Cardinal’s most dependable goal going ahead.

Opponents are targeted on taking away senior star tight finish Benjamin Yurosek, who had a quiet day for the third week in a row. This places the accountability on sophomore Mudia Reuben, sophomore Elic Ayomanor and senior Bryce Farrell to step up their video games. Whereas Ayomanor and Reuben had good video games final week in opposition to Sacramento State, they should add extra manufacturing as Stanford’s schedule will get harder. Ayomanor had 4 receptions for 41 yards in opposition to the Wildcats, whereas Reuben had only one reception for 16 yards. 

Having a receiver that may constantly win one-on-one matchups would put much less stress on the offensive line to have good safety, as sophomore quarterbacks Ashton Daniels and Justin Lamson can key in on alert routes pre-snap. 

2. Offensive line continues to wrestle

The offensive line’s struggles have been a serious theme all through Stanford’s disappointing begin. Within the Cardinal’s upset loss to Sacramento State, the Hornets have been capable of sack the quarterback six occasions. Sadly, the offensive line’s questionable play continued into the Arizona recreation, because the Wildcats took down Stanford’s quarterbacks 5 occasions in Saturday’s recreation. The sort out place was significantly poor in yesterday’s recreation, with each left and proper tackles permitting penetration in cross safety within the B and C gaps. Stanford head coach Troy Taylor put 225-pound sophomore operating again Ryan Butler within the recreation at quite a few factors. Whereas Butler’s safety helped the offensive line, it additionally prevented Taylor from using the operating again within the passing recreation to a full extent. 

Whereas on the floor it appears the Cardinal had a stable exhibiting in run blocking, with freshman operating again Sedrick Irvin averaging 6.6 yards a carry, the statistics give a skewed image of the sport. Taking away Irvin’s 45-yard run early within the first quarter, the freshman again had simply 21 yards on 9 carries, averaging a meager 2.3 yards a carry. Regardless of sophomore quarterback Justin Lamson having a stable exhibiting on the bottom, it’s regarding that the staff has to generate dashing yards by placing their quarterbacks in peril. 

Whereas it’s unreasonable to count on the offensive line to do a 180-degree flip and change into a power of this staff, Taylor might want to put probably the most emphasis on growing and recruiting offensive line expertise if his offense is to work sooner or later. 

3. Too many errors

Stanford had loads of probabilities to seal this recreation. Whereas asking the staff to play past its expertise degree is unrealistic, the psychological errors are what drive followers the craziest. Whether or not it was senior kicker Joshua Karty’s uncharacteristic misses or senior security Alaka’i Gilman’s dropped interception, it appeared just like the Cardinal shot themselves within the foot with each alternative that introduced itself. Furthermore, a key offensive cross interference within the pink zone on Stanford’s first drive and a landing drop from Bachmeier additionally prevented Stanford from extending its lead, giving Arizona the possibility to comeback. 

With an offense that already lacks dynamic playmakers or a stable state of affairs on the quarterback place, penalties that shift the offense again 5 or 10 yards change into absolute drive-killers. 

Furthermore, 5 of Stanford’s remaining opponents are presently ranked within the high 25, so the Cardinal might want to play close to spotless soccer in the event that they need to decide up a pair victories in convention play. 

Up subsequent, the Cardinal will play host to the No. 9 Oregon Geese (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) on Saturday, Sept. 30. The Geese had a formidable efficiency this previous weekend, dominating the Colorado Buffaloes (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) by a rating of 42-6. Fifth-year quarterback Bo Nix has been enjoying lights-out soccer, and he might be keen so as to add extra ammunition to his Heisman marketing campaign. The final time Oregon traveled to Stanford Stadium, the Cardinal pulled off a formidable 31-24 upset that noticed college students rush the sphere. Let’s see if Stanford has any extra magic in them throughout this struggle in opposition to the Geese. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. PT.