Stanford Cardinal held their annual spring football game today and David Shaw said it best “what are we?”Stanford has a great mix of talented youth as well as skilled veterans. There are also key players like Christian McCaffrey and Solomon Thomas whose production needs to be replaced. Stanford is looking for the right combination of players on the offensive line, as well as slotting the running back rotation into their backfield roles, a quarterback situation needing sorted out as well as many other questions.
You never want to to put too much stock in a scrimmage but there were a few key takeaways.
New running backs look great:
McCaffrey was an absolute Stanford legend and a treat to watch but he is moving on to the NFL now and Stanford needs to find a way to replace his production. We all know Bryce Love is an elite player with high expectations but Cameron Scarlett, Trevor Speights, and Dorian Maddox impressed today running the football and were the key reason why Cardinal was able to win. New Stanford running backs coach Ron Gould really has the unit looking great. Adding Bryce Love into this mix and Stanford should be just fine running the ball.
Defense dominated early:
The Stanford defense came strong early when it was ones vs. ones the defense took an early lead. The starting defense looked very impressive getting plenty of penetration early and often. There was definitely a party in the backfield. Look for Lance Anderson’s defense jumped out to an 18-3 lead on the offense before the second units came in and the offense began to claw back into the game.
Depth was a concern on defense last season as injuries left the unit in some tough spots at times so it was great to see the 2nd team defense get some work this afternoon against the first team offense to get some much needed reps and hopefully improve the depth.
Jet Toner could very well be the one to replace Conrad Ukropina:
Ukropina had a great career as the Stanford kicker and he will certainly be missed on the Farm but Jet Toner looked very sharp today kicking the ball. He capped off the scrimmage hitting a 47-yard field goal while also hitting a 40-yarder earlier in the day. Again you don’t want to over extrapolate from a scrimmage but in front of a crowd with plenty of music and distractions Toner nailed it.