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San Jose State (1-0) at (5) Stanford (0-0)



Saturday, September 7, 11 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Scott Haynes, Senior College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: David Shaw and the Stanford Cardinal finally open their 2013 season, as they play host to the San Jose State Spartans.

The fifth-ranked Cardinal are expected to vie for a Pac-12 championship and perhaps much more after posting a 12-2 record in 2012, capturing the Pac-12 title and knocking off Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Shaw has earned back-to- back Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors, as his star continues to rise with each successful campaign on the Farm.

San Jose State is not a team to overlook. The Spartans opened the 2013 campaign last week with a 24-0 shutout of Sacramento State. Ron Caragher is in his first season at the helm and inherits a team that went 11-2 last year, the last in the Western Athletic Conference. With one of the nation's top signal- callers at the helm, San Jose State should be highly competitive in the Mountain West Conference.

These two teams have met 66 previous times, with Stanford dominating the series, leading 51-14-1. The Cardinal have won each of the last five meetings, including a hard-fought 20-17 victory in last year's season-opener.

One of the top quarterbacks in the country with little fan fare, David Fales is on everyone's short list to garner all-conference honors again in 2013. Fales led the WAC and was third nationally in 2012 with a 170.76 rating, as he completed 72.5 percent of his passes, for 4,193 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Fales didn't exactly get off to a fast start throwing the football in the opener though, as he completed just 16-of-32 passes in the win, for 225 yards and two touchdowns.

A potent offense a year ago, SJSU managed a modest 367 yards in the opener, with 142 yards coming on the ground. Tailback Jason Simpson was responsible for most of that, churning out 135 yards (6.4 ypc) and one TD. Wideout Chandler Jones was by far the most productive receiver for SJSU, hauling in eight balls, for 130 yards and one score.

It doesn't get much better than pitching a shutout and is certainly something SJSU's defense can build on going forward. The numbers are impressive, albeit taken with a grain of salt considering the competition. The Spartans managed to limit Sacramento State to 278 yards of total offense, while recording three sacks and a pair of interceptions.

Linebacker Keith Smith was far and away the most active defender, posting a game-high 18 tackles. Safety Simon Connette also finished in double digits with 10 stops. Linebacker Eugene Taylor had a big game, posting five tackles, with two TFL and two sacks.

Stanford has taken an old-school approach on offense the last couple of years, as everything has come off the run.

Keeping to that gameplan this season will be tougher as three-time 1,000-yard rusher Stepfan Taylor has moved on. Taylor was a work horse last season (322 carries, 1,530 yards and 13 touchdowns). Anthony Wilkerson, who is slotted to replace Taylor, had just 50 carries for 224 yards in 2012.

Still, success on the ground is expected with one of the best offensive lines in the nation. The Cardinal return four starters, including All-American guard David Yankey.

"We will have a lot of guys play running back for us, and as long as our big guys can play well up front we will be productive," Shaw said.

Caragher knows one of the top challenges will be trying to make plays against Stanford's offensive front.

"Our guys need to play with good leverage, play with a good base," said Caragher. "If you play high in this game you get driven back. You've got to play with good pad level, good base and good leverage, so that doesn't happen."

Tight ends Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo hauled in a combined 93 passes for 1,291 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Obviously replacement Luke Kaumatule (6-7, 260) has big shoes to fill.

Trying to adjust to the new receivers and a new backfield will be starting quarterback Kevin Hogan. The sophomore took over for Josh Nunes last season and went 5-0, completing 71.7 percent of his pass attempts for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns.

The strength of this year's Stanford team will come on the defensive side of the ball once again. The Cardinal led the Pac-12 in sacks (57.0) and tackles for loss (124.0) a year ago.

"I think more than anything we pride ourselves on being physical and aggressive, so our offense helps us build that characteristic going up against them every single day," Linebacker Shayne Skov said. "But we want to emphasize that we do what we do and we want to emphasize our own strengths."

With eight starters back on the field and just, many of which will contend for all-conference honors, more of the same is expected defensively from the Cardinal.

Linebackers Trent Murphy and Skov are both Butkus Award contenders. Skov led the team with 81 tackles last season, 9.0 of which came behind the line. Murphy led the team with 18.0 tackles for loss and 10.0 sacks.

Ben Gardner and Henry Anderson are both forces at defensive end. Gardner finished last season with 14.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. Anderson was just behind him with 13.0 TFL and 5.5 sacks.

Stanford's secondary has its share of star power as well. Ed Reynolds and Jordan Richards are both hard-hitting safeties that track the ball well. Richards had 68 tackles, three interceptions and 15 passes defended last season. Reynolds hauled in a team-best six interceptions.

The Spartans shouldn't be taken lightly as they enter this contest with the same win streak (eight games) that Stanford does. That being said, Shaw has the Cardinal believing they can win a national championship. Stanford should make a strong first impression in that regard.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Stanford 41, San Jose State 17

09/04 10:56:51 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
Final
DET 4
ATL 6
 
Final
TAM 2
BAL 3
 
Final
PIT 1
NYY 2
 
Final
HOU 6
PHI 3
 
Final
MIA 1
STL 4
 
Final
SFG 8
CHC 6
 
Final
CIN 3
CLE 9
 
Final
CWS 1
LOS 6
 
Final
ANA 3
MIL 2
 
Final
CHC 2
OAK 2
 
Final
SEA 9
SDP 4
 
Final
KAN 5
TEX 4
 
Final
ARI 4
COL 3
 
Final
WAS 5
NYM 4
 
Final
MIN 9
BOS 8
 
Final
BAL 5
TOR 0
 
Final
CHI 108
OKC 105
2nd
POR 28
DAL 29
 
Final
MDES 89
MRGST 76
 
Final
SIENA 71
NIAG 54
Final
LEH 62
AMER 68
 
Final
SCAR 74
ARK 78
Final
LAF 89
BU 64
 
Final
PETE 63
FAIR 33
Final
BUCK 90
HC 83
 
Final
UNF 71
LIP 57
 
Final
TENNM 65
MORE 76
Final
COL 72
NAVY 62
 
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
FATL 62
UAB 59
 
Final
FLGC 62
USCU 63
 
Final
CHAR 84
WKENT 88
 
Final
MINN 63
WISC 76
Final
MIZST 48
SILL 55
Final
COPST 92
DELST 104
 
Final
FIU 59
MTST 54
Final
HAMP 69
NORST 80
 
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
Final
COOK 72
SCST 62
 
Final
APP 67
TXST 64
 
Final
GSOUT 76
TXARL 64
 
Final
LAMON 50
UGST 58
 
Final
ODU 67
MARS 50
Final
TXSA 74
RICE 76
 
Final
FAM 64
SAV 57
 
Final
LATU 72
SMISS 61
 
Final
JST 72
ALAAM 54
 
Final
GRAM 46
ALAST 70
 
Final
TXSOU 94
ALCOR 73
 
Final
NICST 77
CARK 70
 
Final
TAMCC 85
HOUB 72
 
Final
NARZ 58
PORST 51
 
Final
LAM 61
SHSU 67
 
Final
ARKST 76
SALA 81
 
Final
PVU 73
SOUTH 77
 
Final
LALAF 75
ARKLR 69
 
Final
NO 85
SELA 79
 
Final
INCWORD 64
ABCHRIST 52
 
9:00pm Tonight
MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
Final
ARZ 99
CAL 60
 
Final
WASH 47
COL 64
 
Final
WEBER 74
IDAHO 63
 
Final
UCONN 53
MEM 54
 
Final
UTEP 83
UNT 60
 
Final
STEPH 92
NWST 66
 
Final
SUTAH 69
SACST 65
 
Final
DAVID 82
VCU 55
 
Final
IDST 81
EWASH 85
 
Final
QUIN 74
MAR 80
 
Final
BEL 97
EILL 64
2nd
DRAK 43
BRAD 43
 
2nd
LBSU 39
CSNO 31
 
2nd
UCI 40
CSFU 31
 
2nd
UCD 35
UCR 43
 
1st
ARST 3
STAN 4
 
1st
WASU 11
UTAH 4
 
Final
BOS 3
CAL 4
Final
WAS 1
MIN 2
Final
PHI 3
STL 1
Final
FLA 3
DAL 4
Final
TAM 4
TOR 2
Final
NAS 3
NYI 4
3rd
ARI 2
VAN 1
 
1st Intermission
LOS 2
MON 0