Analyzing the Pac-12 Football Teams: Stanford Cardinal


Kicking off the Go Joe Bruin Pac-12 football team-by-team previews will be the preseason #11 Stanford Cardinal. The Cardinal are coming off a 2013 season that saw them win the Pac-12 championship game and earn their second consecutive Rose Bowl berth. The Cardinal did lose the Rose Bowl, to the Michigan St. Spartans, but still had a very successful 11-3 season.

Coming into the 2014 season, Stanford is predicted to finish second in the Pac-12 North, behind Oregon, and has a lot of talent to replace on the defensive side of the ball. On the offensive side of the ball the Stanford returns their rock at quarterback, Kevin Hogan, and all Pac-12 wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Lets take a more in-depth look at the 2014 Stanford Cardinal.

Key Losses

Sep 28, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Stanford Cardinal linebacker Trent Murphy (93) intercepts a pass by Washington State Cougars quarterback Austin Apodaca (17) during the 2nd half at CenturyLink Field. Stanford defeated Washington State 55-17. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

LB Trent Murphy

LB Trent Murphy

  • 2013 Consensus All-American
  • All Pac-12 First Team defense 2012 and 2013
  • Led the country in sacks in 2013, with 15, and is 5th on the all time sack list in NCAA history with 32.5
  • Led the conference and was second in the country with 24 tackles for loss in 2013
  • Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 draft by the Washington Redskins with the 47th overall pick

RB Tyler Gaffney

  • 2013 All Pac-12 Second Team offense
  • Led the Pac-12 and was 5th in the nation with 21 rushing touchdowns in 2013
  • Was 3rd in the conference and 8th in the nation with 1,709 rushing yards
  • Drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 draft by the Carolina Panthers with the 204th overall pick. (Since claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots)

DE Ben Gardner

  • All Pac-12 First Team defense
  • Drafted in the 7th round of the 2014 draft by the Dallas Cowboys with the 231st pick

FS Ed Reynolds

  • All Pac-12 First team defense 2012 and 2013
  • Led the country with 301 interception return yards and 3 interception return touchdowns in 2012
  • Drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 162nd pick overall

ILB Shayne Skov

  • 2013 All Pac-12 First Team defense
  • Top 10 in the conference in solo tackles, assisted tackles, total tackles, and tackles for loss for 2013
  • The career Pac-12 conference leader in assisted tackles with 155 and 4th all time in total tackles with 355
  • Signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent

OG David Yankey

  • 2013 Consensus All-American
  • All Pac-12 First Team offense in 2012 and 2013
  • Drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 draft by the Minnesota Vikings with the 145th pick overall

OT Cameron Fleming

  • 2013 All Pac-12 Second Team offense
  • Drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 draft by the New England Patriots with the 140th pick overall

Center Khalil Wilkes

  • 2013 All Pac-12 Second Team offense
  • Signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Diego Chargers

More from UCLA Bruins Football

Key Returners

QB Kevin Hogan

  • Led the Cardinal to back-to-back Pac-12 championships and Rose Bowl appearances, winning the 2012 Rose Bowl
  • 16-3 career record as a starting QB

WR Ty Montgomery

  • 2013 Consensus All-American (all-purpose player)
  • 2013 All Pac-12 Second Team offense
  • Top 10 in the conference in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, touchdowns from scrimmage and kick off return yards
  • Led the conference in kickoff return yards per return and kickoff return touchdowns

WR Devon Cajuste

  • Led the nation in reveiving yards per reception in 2013 with 22.9 ypc
  • Finished 2013 with 28 catches for 642 yards and 5 touchdowns

OT Andrus Peat

  • All Pac-12 Second Team offense
  • Potential Top 5 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft

SS Jordan Richards

  • 2013 All Pac-12 honorable mention
  • 68 total tackles, 3 interceptions, 1 interception return for a touchdown, and 1 forced fumble in 2013

ILB A.J. Tarpley

  • 2013 All Pac-12 honorable mention
  • 93 total tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and 3 passes defended in 2013

DB Alex Carter

  • 2013 All Pac-12 honorable mention
  • 6th in the Pac-12 with 8 passes defended in 2013
  • Had 58 tackles and 1 interception last season

DB Wayne Lyons

  • Finished 2013 with 69 total tackles (4.5 TFL), 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles

Jul 24, 2014; Hollywood, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw talks to the media during the Pac-12 Media Day at the Studios at Paramount. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Review: David Shaw

Shaw is entering his fourth season as the head coach of the Cardinal and has a career 34-7 record. His Cardinal have won the Pac-12 championship the past two years and have been to a BCS bowl game in each of his first three seasons. He has a 1-2 record in those bowl games, winning the 2012 Rose Bowl over Wisconsin, and losing the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, to Oklahoma St. and the 2013 Rose Bowl to Michigan St. He was named the 2011 and 2012 Pac-12 Coach of the Year and has coached five players to consensus All-American honors.

Shaw is as solid as they get and one of, if not the, best coach in the Pac-12 and as long as he is at the helm the Cardinal will continue to be contenders every year.

2014 Schedule

Sat, Aug 30 vs UC Davis (Pac-12 Network)

Sat, Sept 6 vs USC (ABC)

Sat, Sept 13 vs Army (Pac-12 network)

Sat, Sept 27 @ Washington

Sat, Oct 4 @ Notre Dame (NBC)

Fri, Oct 10 vs Washington St. (ESPN)

Sat, Oct 18 @ Arizona St.

Sat, Oct 25 vs Oregon St.

Sat, Nov 1 @ Oregon

Sat, Nov 15 vs Utah

Sat, Nov 22 @ California

Fri, Nov 28 @ UCLA (ABC)

2014 Season Outlook

The Cardinal lost a lot on defense and the offensive line, but still have David Shaw as a coach and the team should be fine in 2014. Kevin Hogan is always solid and Ty Montgomery may be the best receiver in the conference, so this QB/WR duo will wreck havoc on Pac-12 defenses this season. Andrus Peat is the best offensive tackle in the Pac-12 and even though the Cardinal lost four offensive lineman from 2013, Shaw believes this is the best offensive line he’s coached. A.J. Tarpley and Jordan Richards will be solid leaders on the defensive side of the ball and it will be really hard to pass on this team with that secondary of Richards, Carter, and Lyons.

Overall, the Cardinal have a pretty tough schedule facing six preseason top 25 teams with four of the six on the road. However, I still expect them to compete with Oregon all season long for the Pac-12 North title.