Friday Fast Facts – Colorado at Stanford

Getting to Know … Stanford

Stanford head coach David Shaw is in his sixth season at The Farm, compiling a 58-16 record (Mike MacIntyre, in his fourth season at Colorado, has a 15-29 record). Shaw’s .784 winning percentage is fifth among active coaches, with Stanford being one of ten teams nationally to post at least eight wins in each of the past six seasons.

How good has it been at Stanford in recent years?

— The Cardinal is 48-7 at Stanford Stadium since 2008;

— Stanford is 50-7 this decade in games played on California soil (as Buff fans are well aware, Colorado is 2-20-1 all-time in games played in the Golden State);

— Under David Shaw, Stanford is 32-5 at home, 38-11 against Pac-12 opponents, and 38-6 against unranked opponents;

— Between 1891 and 2010, the Stanford football program recorded a total of four ten-win seasons. In five seasons under David Shaw, the Cardinal has won at least 11 games four times.

David Shaw is 3-0 against Colorado, but is also undefeated in his tenure at Stanford against Arizona, Cal, Oregon State and UCLA.

 

Stanford players to watch:

Christian McCaffrey/RB … The 2015 Heisman trophy runner-up remains “questionable” for the Colorado game, missing the Notre Dame game with an undisclosed injury. The Stanford offense, without question, is better with McCaffrey in the lineup. The 2015 Associated Press player-of-the-year is Stanford’s top returning rusher, receiver, kick returner, and punt returner, setting an NCAA record last season with 3,864 all-purpose yards.

Bryce Love/RB … If McCaffrey can’t go, the Cardinal will turn to this 5’10”, 187-pound sophomore to carry the offense. Love had only 22 carries in the first five games of the season, but had 23 carries for 129 yards last weekend against Notre Dame. With the Stanford quarterback, Ryan Burns, struggling (64.2% completion percentage, only five touchdowns, sacked 16 times), Love will be the featured player on offense if McCaffrey is unavailable.

Solomon Thomas/DE … Already a two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the week, Thomas is coming off a 12-tackle, 1.5-sack effort in the Cardinal’s 17-10 win over Notre Dame. The 6-foot-3, 273-pound junior leads the team in tackles with 30, is tied for the team lead with four quarterback sacks, and returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown this year to ice a win over UCLA.

 

Colorado and Stanford – head-to-head

This will be the tenth all-time match-up between the two schools, but the rivalry already has a storied history.

The first time the two teams met was back in 1904, when the Stanford Indians took the train to Denver, leaving town with a 33-0 victory over Colorado. The series is the fourth-oldest with any league team for Stanford, and the second-oldest for Colorado (the Buffs played Utah for the first time in 1903).

After the 1904 game, there was a lull of over 70 years before the teams met again.

The next three games between the two teams were all Colorado victories. The Buffs prevailed in 1977 in Boulder, 27-21, with two more victories in 1987 and 1990. The 1987 game featured freshman running back Eric Bieniemy, who led the Buffs to a 31-17 victory. The 1990 game had a controversial ending, with that same Eric Bieniemy, now a senior, scored on fourth down from a yard out with less than a minute remaining, giving Colorado a 21-17 win (the game story, including the video of the last minute score, can be found here).

The Buffs made their first trips to Palo Alto in 1991 and 1993, coming away empty each time. The ’91 game ended in a 28-21 win for the Cardinal, with “Touchdown” Tommy Vardell scoring three times. The 1993 game had another controversial ending, with the home team again coming away with the win. Stanford won, 41-37, when Stanford was awarded a touchdown on a Tony Cline reception in the end zone on a play when Cline was dislodged from the ball by Dwayne Davis. The video of the game, including the video of the controversial ending, can be found here.

Since the Buffs joined the Pac-12, Stanford has won all three games in dominating form … 48-7 in 2011; 48-0 in 2012; and 42-10 last year. In those three games, the Cardinal came into the games ranked 7th, 15th, and 9th respectively.

This weekend will mark the first time the two teams have played without one of the teams being ranked since the 1987 contest in Boulder.

 

Colorado and Stanford … historical

Both teams have been playing since the 19th century, but Colorado has had the better of it … at least until the past decade. Colorado 25th on the all-time list in victories, with 690, a good bit ahead of Stanford’s 629 (43rd).

The Cardinal has been gaining on the Buffs in terms of bowl appearances over the past few years. Stanford has now played in bowl games for seven straight seasons, bringing its total to 27 bowl games, with Colorado stuck on 28 since 2007.

Stanford is also catching up to Colorado in terms of time spent in the national polls. The Cardinal, the preseason No. 8 team in the country, has been in 279 Associated Press polls (31st all-time), while the Buffs, with one week in the polls since 2005, are at 294 weeks all-time (26th).

Both teams have a national championship, with the titles coming 50 years apart. The Buffs earned their national championship in 1990, while the Cardinal claimed its title in 1940 with a 10-0 record.

 

Colorado and Stanford … Notes and Numbers

— It may be nothing, but you never know … Stanford has played six games so far this season, with every game at night. The game against Colorado will kickoff at noon, Pacific Time. For a Buff team which has gotten off to quick starts this season (on opening drives this fall, the Buffs are out-scoring opponents, 35-0), the early start could be a real advantage;

— For the first time in the 56-year history of the conference preseason poll, Stanford was chosen this past July to win the Pac-12 championship. With losses on the books to both Washington (3-0 in Pac-12 play) and Washington State (also 3-0), the Cardinal, at 2-2, are not likely to fulfill the prophecy.

— On the other hand, Stanford has won the Pac-12 title three times – 2012, 2013, and 2015 – without being the preseason favorite. The three conference championships tie Stanford with Alabama and Florida State as the only three teams with three conference titles since 2011;

— Colorado was 3-17 against the Pac-12 North heading into this season, but is 2-0 so far in 2016 (with wins over the Oregon schools);

— Colorado has scored at least 40 points in every game it’s won and has only been held below 20 points once this season. Stanford, by contrast, has yet to crack 30 points in a game;

— Take away the back-to-back losses against Washington and Washington State, in which the Cardinal surrendered a combined 86 points, and Stanford has allowed a paltry 11.5 points per game. The Cardinal got back to its miserly ways against Notre Dame, yielding only 10 points;

— Stanford has not scored a first-half touchdown since its September 10th victory over USC and has not scored more than 20 points in a game since beating UCLA on September 24th;

— In its past four games the Cardinal has scored just five touchdowns at times when outcomes were in doubt, and three of those were scored by the defense;

— Colorado rushed for 315 yards against Arizona State. The Buffs are now 34-0-1 when rushing for over 300 yards in the game;

— Only four Buffs have started their first career games so far this year – red-shirt freshmen offensive linemen Tim Lynott and Aaron Haigler; quarterback Steven Montez; and junior safety Afolabi Laguda – a testament to the experience the Buffs have in their starting lineups;

— Senior outside linebacker Jimmie Gilbert has forced a fumble in three consecutive games, and leads the nation in forced fumbles (five) for the season;

— Mike MacIntyre is 0-1 against Stanford as the Colorado head coach, but is 0-3 lifetime, counting two losses while he was the head coach at San Jose State;

 

Pac-12 Notes … 

— Washington (3-0) and Washington State (3-0) are the only remaining undefeated Pac-12 teams. No team has gone though the season without at least one conference loss since the conference expanded to 12 teams in 2011;

— In the Pac-12 South, there has been only one champion with less than two conference losses (Arizona State finished 8-1 in 2013);

— Defense optional … the over-under for the Oregon/California game was set at 89.5, the highest-total for any game in the past 15 years;

— The only team in the Pac-12 which has not at least been in the “others receiving votes” in the polls this year is Oregon State;

— Quarterback Jake Browning at Washington leads the nation in passing efficiency, while Washington State quarterback Luke Falk leads the nation in completions per game;

— As a team, Washington leads the nation in three categories: passing efficiency (Colorado is 10th); turnover margin (Colorado is 17th); and sacks (Stanford is 17th).

 

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One Reply to “Friday Fast Facts – Stanford”

  1. Go Buffs. Would be a great victory today and and hoping it happens. Don’t need to see Leavitt and Mac2 “spatting on the sideline” over play calling. Get on the neck and stomp em.

    “Beet the Tree”

    Buffalo Up.

    Special note: And ep and az with special arrogance I watch the ducky defense smolder in the ashes of the Buffs win. Made special by the fact Detwats favorite coach and the one he hounded us about being better than Mac2 is the DC……….of the hapless ducks……Hoke-a-Joke hahahahahahahahahaheeeeee

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