Stanford will get defensive lineman Henry Anderson and wide receiver Devon Cajuste back healthy in time for both to play against Oregon on Thursday night, Cardinal head coach David Shaw said on Monday.
Anderson, a junior, hurt his leg in the second week of the season against Army and hasn’t played since. The preseason all-star candidate was replaced by senior Josh Mauro who has done a great job in his stead, collecting 37 tackles, including eight for losses, four sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception.
The return of Anderson comes at just the right time for the Cardinal as Stanford recently lost end Ben Gardner for the season due to a torn pectoral muscle. Anderson, who had a monster game (7 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF) in Stanford’s 17-14 upset win over Oregon last November, will take over his old end position while Mauro will shift to Gardner’s spot. Stanford really shouldn’t miss a beat on the defensive line since Anderson and Mauro are both NFL-type talents. The one issue with Anderson will be his conditioning.
“I don’t know if he can go 65 or 70 plays,” Shaw said.
Getting Cajuste back will help an offense that has struggled of late. The junior, who missed the Oregon State game with a knee injury, is the team’s second-leading receiver with 21 catches for 377 yards and four touchdowns.
Oregon and Stanford play at 6 p.m. PT on Thursday night in one of the biggest Thursday night matchups in recent seasons.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah