Thanks to everyone who made it out for our Spring Game tailgate yesterday! The Toby crew has decided that the Spring Game will mark the start of the new season each year, so welcome to Toby’s 2nd year of tailgating excellence.
Some thoughts on the Spring Game experience – it was the first Spring Game for any of us, and we were all impressed. The fan turnout was excellent, with an announced crowd of 6,800. Given that Kezar seats about 10k, it was a solid showing and far more than we expected. Hopefully Stanford’s athletics marketing department will continue their efforts to broaden fan support across the Bay Area. At the moment, we’ve got by far the best team in the area and we should be trying to bring in more local fans, even if they didn’t attend Stanford. Get the word out, and get butts in the seats for the fall. Preferably butts attached to people who like to cheer on the Cardinal.
The game itself wasn’t much of a contest. Coach Shaw elected to put the starters all on the Cardinal team, and the backups on the White team, so a 42-3 score in favor of the Cardinal really isn’t surprising. As a fan, I would have loved to see one team with the offensive starters and defensive backups, and the other with the offensive backups and defensive starters. That way, we’d be able to watch the first team offense match up against the first team defense. With the current setup, it wasn’t much of a contest and it was hard to tell how well anyone really performed. Should we expect our first team to beat our second 42-3? Doesn’t seem unreasonable. On the other hand, it doesn’t give you much of an idea how anyone is performing against serious opposition. Hopefully the coaches get more out of it in the sense of player evaluation than we did. Luck looked good, hooking up with Zach Ertz for three TDs (Orange Bowl flashbacks, anyone?). The O-line made a few nice holes but not as many as expected playing against the 2nd-team D. Darren Daniel’s transition to WR is clearly a work in progress, but his athleticism is obvious. We’re going to need some new faces to step up and contribute at WR, with Baldwin gone and Owusu’s injury status always a concern.
For more on the game, check out some analysis from the Rule of Tree, Stanford Football Examiner and The Daily Axe.