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Death, Taxes, and the Stanford Defense

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The Stanford defense dominated the Washington Huskies but the offense is still a cause for concern

Steve Dykes

Let's start with the obvious, the Stanford defense has been, by any measure, amazing this season. The offense on the other hand has been abysmal. How many times in the second half did the Stanford offense fail to score any points, or worse, turn the ball over? Each stalled drive for the Stanford offense built a greater sense of dread that certainly this would be the time the Stanford defense finally broke giving Washington a potentially insurmountable lead. The Stanford defense did not break in the second half, however, and the offense was finally able to take the lead late in the game. Not only did the defense hold firm, they also put up one of the most statistically impressive defensive performances in some time.

Make no mistake, the stout Stanford defense has played incredibly well this year, pitching two shutouts and only giving up two touchdowns. Looking at Stanford's upcoming opponents such as the high powered offenses of Oregon and Notre Dame have to cause some concern in Nerd Nation. Is it reasonable to hope that the defense can keep Marcus Mariota and the Ducks to 2.6 yards per play? Can the defense keep Everett Golson and the Irish to just 179 total yards? What about only giving up 7 points to UCLA?

Stanford's defense is great, easily one of the best in the nation right now and certainly Ty Montgomery is incredible. Stanford, however, has a brutal schedule this year with Notre Dame, Arizona State, Oregon, and UCLA all on the road this year. All four of those games will be difficult to win if Ty Montgomery is the only offensive player contributing while the defense fights to keep Stanford in the game despite turnovers and poor offensive production. In fact, if Stanford plays the way they did today, then all four of those tough road games could easily be losses. If the Stanford offense does not start playing better this could be a very long year for the Cardinal.