LINDY'S TOP 25

Lindy’s Top 25 Countdown: No. 22 Stanford

Lindyssports.com Staff

August 01, 2019 at 1:35 pm.

Oct 27, 2018; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal quarterback K.J. Costello (3) throws the football against the Washington State Cougars during the second quarter at Stanford Stadium. Photo Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 27, 2018; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal quarterback K.J. Costello (3) throws the football against the Washington State Cougars during the second quarter at Stanford Stadium. Photo Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

LOCATION: Stanford, Calif.

COACH: David Shaw — At Stanford and overall: 82-26, 8 years

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Tavita Pritchard

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Lance Anderson

LAST LEAGUE TITLE: 2015

LAST TIME DIDN’T GO BOWLING: 2008

RETURNING STARTERS: 9; 3 offense, 5 defense, kicker

PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB K.J. Costello, RB Cameron Scarlett, WR Michael Wilson, TE Cody Parkinson, OT Walker Little, ILB Ricky Miezan, CB Paulson Adebo, CB Obi Eboh

PRIMARY STRENGTHS: Costello is the team’s best offensive player, and the passing game should be effective with a solid corps of wide receivers, plus Parkinson. The defensive backfield should be strong, especially at cornerback where Adebo and Eboh play.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS: The running game was poor last year, and there is little reason to believe it will be much better this season with Bryce Love gone. The Cardinal’s defense against the run might be shaky as well, since it lost its two leading tacklers from last season. The schedule is likely to be a problem, too, as the Cardinal begins the season with games against Northwestern, USC, Central Florida and Oregon, and ends it against Notre Dame.

OVERVIEW

The challenging early schedule that begins with games against Northwestern, USC, Central Florida and Oregon might make or break Stanford. With Costello throwing the ball, the Cardinal should score points, but the concerns at inside linebacker will make it difficult to control opposing offenses. Stanford, though, usually finds a way to win under Shaw, so another nine wins?

TOP NEWCOMER

WR Elijah Higgins: Stanford has some quality receivers returning, but the Cardinal would like to have a big receiver to replace JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who had 14 touchdown catches and was a nightmare for smaller defensive backs. Higgins, a 6-3, 214-pound freshman, might be that player. He is the highest-rated of Stanford’s 2019 recruits, and wide receiver is a position at which freshmen can make an impact.