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Stanford vs Army: Three things to watch in the Cardinal's matchup with the Black Knights

What's worth paying attention to in the Cardinal's return home after the debacle against USC?

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
1. The Red Zone

I mean, c'mon. What else are you gonna focus on after barfing up a huge game to a rival last week?

I'm curious to see David Shaw's personnel choices and play-calling, as well as the offense's execution in enemy territory. I'd bet that Shaw makes the easy fix by turning away from unusual packages in the red zone and sticking with what works - Ty Montgomery, the tight ends and Kevin Hogan running the ball - but David Shaw has surprised me in the past.

One game won't tell us everything we need to know about this team in the red zone going forward, but it sure would be soothing to see a little progress down near the goal line. I'd like to see Eric Cotton used in the red zone this week - he's a massive target and seems like an instant mismatch in any base offensive set.

(This also includes better kicking from Jordan Williamson, who's just 2-for-5 this season. A few more misses and he may find himself in hot water.)

2. Running backs

After receiving a heavy dosage of snaps last week, it appears that Remound Wright will be out this week.

From David Shaw:

"I think we're going to hold Remound," Shaw said on Thursday. "He practiced well yesterday and was a little sore. So if we give him the week off this week and then the bye week he should be ready to go for Washington. We're going to need him throughout the year. It's close to the final say that's what's going to happen. We're going to talk about it again after practice today. But it looks like we'll probably hold Remound out."

So that turns the attention back to Kelsey Young and Barry Sanders. How many carries will each receive and what will they be asked to do? Will screens be a big part of the offensive game plan? Will they be tasked with pounding the ball in between the tackles?

Personally, I'm all in on the Barry Sanders bandwagon. I think he's the group's most complete playmaker at this point and he's the running back best suited to fit with the Cardinal's best personnel grouping - Montgomery, Devon Cajuste, Michael Rector, Austin Hooper and a running back.

Also, let's not forget about Christian McCaffrey. Will he receive substantial snaps in the rotation this week? I hope we see more of him on the field.

3. The offensive line

I know, I know. I didn't pick a single defensive thing to focus on, but there's very little to learn about the defense this week - Army's offensive scheme is the triple option and they're a largely overmatched squad - so it shouldn't be much of an issue.

However, the offensive line has made a few mistakes in the last two games (mostly with penalties), so it'd be nice to see that element of the game cleaned up. I'm curious to see how this unit continues to develop together as the season goes along. So far, I think they've played decent football, but their strengths and weaknesses as a group aren't entirely evident at this point. I'll be watching closely to see which guys up front stand out in this game.