Stanford Football 2015 Bowl Capsule

Stanford Cardinal


Following a season opening loss at Northwestern, Stanford proved to be the best team in the Pac-12. They reeled off eight wins in a row, including victories at USC and Washington State and at home to Arizona, UCLA and Washington. The Pac-12 was so good top to bottom that finishing with an 8-1 conference mark is pretty impressive. The lone blemish came at home against Oregon in a 38-36 shootout loss. But those two losses, despite all of the impressive wins, was enough to keep Stanford out of the playoffs.

2015 Record: 11-2, 8-1
Coach: David Shaw
Coach Bowl Record: 2-2

Big Wins: 9/19 at USC (41-31), 11/28 Notre Dame (38-36)
Bad Losses: 9/5 at Northwestern (6-16), 11/14 Oregon (36-38)

Running back Christian McCaffrey has had an amazing sophomore season. During the regular season alone, he accounted for over 3,000 all-purpose yards. He rushed for 1,640 yards, added 435 in receptions and tallied 922 kick return yards and 38 punt return yards. And the Cardinal want to work their offense through their ground game and with McCaffrey they can do just that. However, Barry Sanders, Bryce Love and Remound Wright are all capable backs as well. McCaffrey is certainly the workhorse, but Wright is the touchdown poacher. Quarterback Kevin Hogan is a great senior leader. He is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country and that is all Stanford needs him to do most of the time. But he can make big plays too when needed.

Along with a strong ground game, Stanford prides itself on a strong defense. This unit has been good, but not great. They ranked fifth in the conference in both rush and pass defense. It has been a lackluster pass rush that has hindered the Cardinal defense. Defensive ends Brennan Scarlett and Aziz Shittu and outside linebackers Peter Kalambayi and Mike Tyler must get to the quarterback for this defense to be effective. During the regular season, the Cardinal ranked 74th in the nation and 11th in the Pac-12 in sacks. As a result, the defense has struggled to create turnovers and given up quite a few yards as well. Stanford does not need to win the turnover battle to win big games since Hogan will take great care of the football, but the defense does need to make big stops, even if they are not coming via the turnover.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Christian McCaffrey, RB, 1,847 yards
Passing: Kevin Hogan, QB, 2,644 yards
Receiving: Christian McCaffrey, RB, 540 yards
Tackles: Blake Martinez, LB, 132
Sacks: Brennan Scarlett, DE, 4.5; Mike Tyler, LB, 4.5
Interceptions: Quenton Meeks, CB, 2

2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 222.0 (22nd in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 215.6 (72, 10)
Total Offense: 437.6 (39, 8)
Scoring Offense: 36.9 (20, 2)
Rushing Defense: 145.0 (44, 5)
Pass Defense: 231.0 (74, 5)
Total Defense: 376.0 (50, 3)
Scoring Defense: 23.2 (42, 3)
Turnover Margin: -0.08 (73, 9)
Sacks: 1.92 (74, 11)
Sacks Allowed: 1.50 (36, 2)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2014    Foster Farms Bowl    Maryland (45-21)
2013    Rose Bowl    Michigan State (20-24)
2012    Rose Bowl    Wisconsin (20-14)
2011    Fiesta Bowl    Oklahoma State (38-41)
2010    Orange Bowl    Virginia Tech (40-12)
2009    Sun Bowl    Oklahoma (27-31)
2001    Seattle Bowl    Georgia Tech (14-24
1999    Rose Bowl    Wisconsin (9-17)

*all team stats through 11/30


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