Thursday, October 4, 2007

Stanford Defense Preview

Probable Starters vs. USC:

DE 91 Pannel Egboh (6-6, 275, Jr.*)
DT 99 Levirt Griffin (6-4, 270, So.)
NT 95 Chris Horn (6-5, 273, Sr.)
DE 80 Erik Lorig (6-4, 260, So.*)
SLB 44 Pat Maynor (6-2, 217, Jr.*)
MLB 50 Nick Macaluso (6-3, 235, RFr.*)
WLB 20 Clinton Snyder (6-4, 230, So.*)
CB 2 Nick Sanchez (6-0, 190, Sr.*)
FS 22 Bo McNally (6-0, 208, So.*)
SS 23 Austin Yancy (6-4, 215, So.)
CB 6 Wopamo Osaisai (5-11, 200, Jr.*)

Best Defensive Player: LB Clinton Snyder (23 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 1 FF)

Defensive Line -- The weakness of Stanford's defense clearly lies with their front four. They are switching from the 3-4 front to a more attacking 4-3 base defense, but thus far the results have been the same. The Cardinal are surrendering 189.8 rushing yards per game, and 454 yards of total offense per game. They are undersized, which means that their LB's won't be able to roam free with both of their defensive tackles weighing in at around 270 lbs. DE Pannel Egboh, the team's 5th leading tackler with 19, can be disruptive off the edge at 6-6, 275 lbs.

Linebackers -- Stanford's LB unit is pretty good, considering they have to shed blockers all night as opposing teams pound it against their porous defensive line. They are still struggling to replace their all-league middle linebacker Michael Okwo, last year's senior captain, but their outside linebackers Pat Maynor (31 tackles) and Clinton Snyder (23 tackles) are very active. Maynor and Snyder each have 4.5 tackles for loss, while trying to pick up the slack for redshirt freshman MLB Nick Macaluso (5 tackles in 2 career starts) who has yet to make an impact.

Defensive Backs -- The Cardinal secondary has had a rough start as well, allowing 264.2 passing yards per game and intercepting the ball only twice this season, but games against Oregon and Arizona State will help skew any team's defensive stats. The safeties are big question marks. SS Austin Yancy was playing WR for Stanford last season and FS Bo McNally is a former linebacker. You have to wonder about their instincts and lack of experience at the positions. The Cardinal have a very solid trio of CB's in starters Nick Sanchez and Wopamo Osaisai, and a reliable veteran backup in Tim Sims. Osaisai leads the team with 6 pass breakups, while McNally and Sims account for the 2 INT's Stanford has produced.

Look out tomorrow night for the key matchups and predictions, I know we didn't get to that last week, but we will this time around.

Fight On!

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