How often will Stepfan Taylor find the end zone against the Spartans?
Here are four things that probably won't (but maybe will) happen in tonight's season opener against San Jose State. Vote for the least preposterous prediction and feel free to leave your own in the comments section.
1. Stanford will have at least three interceptions.
Why it's preposterous: Stanford has had three games with at least three interceptions over the last five seasons. (Interestingly, two of those games were against USC, including a four-pick party in the Biggest Upset Ever.) The Cardinal had only seven interceptions all of last season and the secondary features three new starters.
Why it could happen: San Jose State quarterback David Fales starred at Monterey Peninsula College and was impressive in the Spartans' Spring Game, but he's yet to face an FBS foe. The Spartans, who rushed for 27 yards on 32 attempts against Stanford last season, figure to air it out early and often against the inexperienced Cardinal secondary.
2. Stanford will have at least five sacks.
Why it's preposterous: San Jose State only allowed 17 sacks all of last season, which was tied for 24th in the country. As good as the Cardinal's front seven was last year, they managed only two sacks in its 57-3 win against the Spartans. Stanford will be without Shayne Skov, who is serving a one-game suspension.
Why it could happen: San Jose State is breaking in three new starters along the offensive line and one of SJSU's biggest fans identified the offensive line as the Spartans' biggest weakness. Stanford had at least five sacks in four games last season and the pass rush is expected to be one of the strengths of this year's team.
3. Stepfan Taylor will rush for at least three touchdowns.
Why it's preposterous: Taylor has rushed for at least three touchdowns in a game only twice, both in 2010. Stanford likes to spread the ball around, particularly inside the red zone, and Anthony Wilkerson figures to get a decent number of touches.
Why it could happen: Stanford will be without two of its favorite goalline options from a year ago in Stewart (graduated) and Ryan Hewitt (injury). Stanford had four rushing touchdowns against the Spartans last season and they might take a more conservative approach near the end zone with Josh Nunes making his first career start.
4. Josh Nunes will throw for at least 250 yards.
Why it's preposterous: Andrew Luck threw for 193 yards in his first career start and eclipsed 200 yards only five times in his first season under center. Luck averaged 24 attempts per game in 2009 compared to 31 attempts in 2011 and it's a good bet Nunes' total attempts will be closer to the former number than the latter tonight.
Why it could happen: Nunes is an absolute magician. I've got nothing else.
Which of these predictions is most likely to happen tonight?
Stanford will have at least three interceptions. (1 vote)
Stanford will have at least five sacks. (11 votes)
Stepfan Taylor will rush for at least three touchdowns. (12 votes)
Josh Nunes will throw for at least 250 yards. (2 votes)
26 total votes