Preview 2018: Stanford Cardinal. Love (And Shaw) Will Find A Way

Preview 2018: Stanford Cardinal. Love (And Shaw) Will Find A Way

2018 Preview

Preview 2018: Stanford Cardinal. Love (And Shaw) Will Find A Way

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What You Need To Know About The Stanford Defense

– The defense was good enough to get to the Pac-12 championship, but it was hardly a rock. Even so, if allowed 405 yards per game and was second in the Pac-12 in scoring D giving up 32 points per outing.

It’s Stanford, the defense is going to be fine. However, it’s going to take a total overhaul to get there with the top seven tacklers and 12 of the top 16 gone.

– The early strength should be in the secondary, even with the loss of CB Quenton Meeks and S Justin Reid. Three starters might be done, but Frank Buncom is a terrific all-around safety who’ll end up on the All-Pac-12 team, and the decent depth from last year should help fill in a few of the spots. Losing Reid and Meeks hurts, but Malik Antoine was the key corner backup last year and a few decent safety options should be ready to rise up.

– The linebacking corps has to undergo a gut job, starting with the linebacking corps that has to replace all four starters, including big tackles Bobby Okereke and Jordan Perez on the inside. All of the key backups from last year now have to be ready to take on the big gig, starting with former star recruit Curtis Robinson becoming a force on the outside.

The ends are back – Jovan Swann and Dylan Jackson are like tackles on the Stanford line – but the big issue is finding the next tackle up to take over for Harrison Phillips, who became the main man after Solomon Thomas left.

It’s the glamour position on the Cardinal D, and it’s going to take the fall camp to figure it out after likely starter Michael Williams has to return 100% after undergoing heart surgery.

Biggest Key To The Stanford Defense

Get off the field. The Cardinal didn’t dominate the time of possession battle like they should’ve. The offense had its hand in the issue with a passing game that wasn’t always sharp, but the defense was the bigger problem, giving up way too many first downs and struggling way too hard on third downs.

To be fair, the Stanford D hasn’t been good on third downs in six years. However, that still doesn’t mean it’s okay to allow teams to close almost 43% of their chances.

NEXT: Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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