Stanford Cardinal

Stanford’s David Shaw: ‘Half this recruiting stuff is crap’


David Shaw owns a 42-12 record as the head coach of the Stanford Cardinal. It isn’t easy to win football games on “The Farm” because of the school’s stringent academic standards.

In the five recruiting classes Shaw and his staff cobbled together, only one of them were considered a Top 10 class, according to

Shaw’s approach to recruiting is very different from other schools, though. He places a much higher priority on loyalty and development than blanketing the country with offers.

“This is not meant to offend anybody, but I’m sure it will. I want the Stanford offers to be real,” Shaw told the Cardinal Sports Report’s Andy Drukarev. “I want them to hold weight. We give an offer to a kid, it’s an offer. It’s a real offer. There’s no time expiration on it. We’re not dangling it between you and three other guys (saying), ‘Hey, first one to jump gets it.’ We just don’t operate that way.

“We are slow and methodical. And some recruits and some parents don’t understand that. Because there have been guys, there are guys on our team right now, that we didn’t offer early, that we offered late, and it was a hurdle for us to get over. And what I typically say is, ‘I’m not going to offer you a scholarship until I know that I have that scholarship for you. Now, if somebody offered you three months before and you want to hold that against us? OK, that’s fine. But is that going to be a decision-maker for you?’

“Does it matter that you meet your wife a month later than you thought you should have? It doesn’t matter. Half this recruiting stuff is crap. It’s all crap. It’s all flashing lights, it’s all emotion. When it comes down to it…here’s what Stanford has to offer. Does it fit what you’re looking for? We cut through all the other stuff. Other people can talk, and that’s great. And some people out there are great recruiters. They’re a great recruiter at one school, become a great recruiter at another school. I have no problem with that.”

As every step of the recruiting process becomes more publicized due to social media, examples of recruits being showered with hundreds of recruiting letters and dozens of offers have become common place.

Stanford will never take that approach.

“So just because we want to be great in football, I don’t want it to be like we’re Johnny Appleseed throwing offers around,” Shaw said. “We offer, it’s backed because you have academics, you have high character, you are a good football player, we have a spot for you that we will wait for you to make your decision. That spot is yours, and it’s real. I understand nobody else operates that way, and I’m fine with that.”

UCLA squanders Pac-12 South lead with loss to Stanford


The UCLA Bruins will not represent the South division in the Pac-12 Championship game. And the Bruins have no one to blame but themselves.

All Jim Mora‘s squad had to do was beat the underachieving 6-5 Stanford Cardinal. UCLA may not have beaten Stanford during the last six years, but this season was supposed to be different.

The Bruins were ranked eighth overall, and there were conversations during the week that UCLA could sneak into the backdoor of the College Football Playoff after three impressive victories against the Arizona Wildcats, Washington Huskies and the rival USC Trojans.

Stanford didn’t get the message.

The Cardinal played like the program it had been during previous seasons. David Shaw’s squad dominated at the point of attack and controlled the clock. This led to Stanford claiming a decisive 31-10 victory to extend their winning streak over UCLA to seven straight games.

UCLA took an early lead, though, when quarterback Brett Hundley completed a 15-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Thomas Duarte. Stanford responded with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to tie the game 7-7.

However, the second quarter belonged to the Cardinal.

During the second frame, Stanford ran 19 plays on two drives and gained 167 yards. Both drives ended in touchdowns. With 21-10 halftime, the game was essentially over for UCLA.

Stanford extended its streak of outscoring UCLA to 14 straight halves when it scored 10 more points in the second half of Friday’s contest.

The biggest difference in the game proved to be the play of the quarterbacks.

While Hundley, a junior, celebrated with the seniors because he is expected to leave UCLA for the NFL, Stanford’s Kevin Hogan was the most impressive signal-caller on the field.

Hogan began the game 12-of-12 passing. He was efficient and particularly deadly on third down. Stanford’s junior quarterback finished the game 16-of-19 passing for 234 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Hundley, meanwhile, never got into a groove and struggled to lead his offense before leaving the game with what appeared to be an injured throwing hand. During Hundley’s last game at the Rose Bowl, the quarterback was only 17-of-32 passing for a meager 146 yards and a touchdown.

Both teams are bowl eligible, but Stanford once again proved to the biggest obstacle for a team hoping to go to the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Marcus Mariota emerges as Heisman favorite during Oregon’s 45-16 win over Stanford


This was the game everyone was waiting for from the No. 5 Oregon Ducks and their quarterback, Marcus Mariota.

For both the team and its quarterback to take the next step, they had to prove they could beat the Stanford Cardinal after falling to them during the past two seasons. The Ducks may not have been undefeated this season, but they certainly proved they’re worthy of being named one of the nation’s top teams with a 45-16 victory over the one team they couldn’t previously get past.

While Mariota was already considered one of the top candidates to win this year’s Heisman Trophy, the junior signal-caller may have moved his way to the forefront of the conversation with his performance Saturday.

Mariota was 19-of-30 passing for 258 yards and two touchdowns. He also had his largest rushing output of the season with 85 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Oregon’s quarterback is now completing 68.2 percent of his passes for 2,541 yards, 26 touchdowns and only two interceptions this season. Plus, Mariota ran for 410 more yards and seven touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Mariota’s top competition, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, hasn’t kept pace despite leading the nation’s No. 1 team. Prescott is completing 61.1 percent of his passes for 2,025 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The biggest advantage for the Bulldogs’ signal-caller is his 725 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. But a two-interception performance in a shaky effort against the 4-5 Arkansas Razorbacks certainly doesn’t help Prescott’s cause.

While the Stanford victory was a major milestone for Mariota, the quarterback wasn’t the only reason Oregon was able to finally overcome the Cardinal.

The Ducks were able to run the ball effectively for the first time in three seasons. Freshman running back Royce Freeman ran for more yards in this year’s game than the entire Ducks team did last season. Freeman finished the contest with 98 yards on 19 carries.

Oregon’s defense also didn’t allow Stanford to control the game with its running attack. The Cardinal ran for 132 yards and only averaged 3.4 yards per carry.

This victory now becomes a major building block for Oregon as its pursues an appearance in the first College Football Playoff. With Ole Miss’ loss to the Auburn Tigers, Oregon should claim the fourth and final spot from the playoff committee this week. The Ducks will then control their destiny during the rest of the season.

No. 5 Oregon Ducks make a first-half statement against Stanford Cardinal

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History never technically repeats itself. Results can be similar, but every scenario is different.

While the Oregon Ducks had their season ruined by the Stanford Cardinal the last two years, those were merely opportunities to learn and become better this season.

The Ducks have taken what they’ve learned and finally converted it into a positive outcome…at least through two quarters of play. The No. 5 Ducks hold a 24-13 lead over Stanford at halftime.

This game is particularly important for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.

The redshirt junior already has 214 yards of total offense. Mariota is 11-of-20 passing for 132 yards and a touchdown. He is also the game’s leading rusher with 78 yards on the ground.

While Mariota excelled, it was the overall play of the offense which looked much improved against a stingy Stanford defense. After the Cardinal exploited Oregon’s spread offense the last two years, Mark Helfrich‘s offense already managed 312 total yards.

Stanford, meanwhile, hasn’t been able to gain much on the ground. The Cardinal’s vaunted rushing attack produced only 43 yards. Quarterback Kevin Hogan was able to find some holes in Oregon’s secondary with 171 passing yards.

But Stanford can’t trade field goals for touchdowns. The Cardinal was able to move the ball but only came up with six points during the initial two drives. The offensive finally found the end zone with 1:01 remaining before the half courtesy of a one-yard touchdown plunge from Patrick Skov.

The Ducks can’t let up in the second half. This is a statement game for the program and Mariota. If the offense becomes stagnant, it will allow Stanford to crawl back into the game. If the Ducks allow that to happen, their dreams of a berth in the College Football Playoff will go up in smoke.

No. 9 Notre Dame survives No. 14 Stanford 17-14 as special season continues


It’s quickly developing into a special season in South Bend. The last time the Notre Dame Fighting Irish eked by the Stanford Cardinal it became a precursor to Brian Kelly‘s squad eventually playing for a national championship.

Could Notre Dame be a team of fate again this season?

RELATED: Watch a full replay of the game

With their backs against the wall and trailing 14-10, the Fighting Irish faced a 4th-and-11 situation from Stanford’s 23-yard line. Golson dropped back to pass as the clock neared one minute remaining. No receiver was open as Golson worked thorugh his initial progressions. The quarterback rolled to his left after feeling pressure. Golson spotted tight end Ben Koyack wide open in the corner of the end zone. The quarterback unleashed the most critical pass of the season and connected with the big target for the game-winning touchdown.

Notre Dame faced the nation’s No. 1 defense and still came away with a 17-14 victory. Even on a rain-soaked field and multiple mistakes couldn’t stop the Fighting Irish offense from amassing 370 total yards against David Shaw‘s defense.

Kelly can now look toward the future with two concerns despite a 5-0 start.

While Golson eventually became the hero of Saturday’s contest, he could have easily been the goat. Six turnovers in two games generally equates to losing football. The talent around Golson continues to pick the him up, but there are talented programs still on Notre Dame’s schedule which will eventually take advantage of the quarterback’s mistakes.

The upcoming schedule is certainly daunting.

The Cardinal were ranked 14th in the nation, but Stanford isn’t playing at the same level as the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles, who Notre Dame faces in two weeks. Also the other team to beat Stanford, the USC Trojans, are also on the Fighting Irish’s schedule.

Notre Dame prides itself on a tough schedule, and this year’s version will be difficult to navigate.

But like the 2012 team, Notre Dame can hang its hat on a strong defense and a quarterback that makes clutch plays at key moments. It also helps that four of the nation’s Top 6 teams lost this weekend too.