Stanford Football: Grading All 22 Starters from the Rose Bowl

Benjamin KleinContributor IIIJanuary 1, 2013

Stanford Football: Grading All 22 Starters from the Rose Bowl

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    The Stanford Cardinal were able to hold off the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2013 Rose Bowl by a 20-14 margin on Tuesday despite a lack of momentum in the second half.

    Stanford played an excellent first quarter where it took a 14-0 lead on a pair of touchdown runs from Kelsey Young and Stepfan Taylor. After gaining just 62 yards in the opening 15 minutes, Wisconsin battled back and Montee Ball escaped for an 11-yard touchdown run to bring the deficit down to seven.

    The Cardinal extended the lead to 10 after a 47-yard field goal from Jordan Williamson, but the Badgers scored a touchdown with just seconds remaining in the first half to go into the break down, 17-14.

    Neither team did much in the second half. Even though both were playing relatively smart football, yards were impossible to come by. It wasn’t until late in the half until Stanford crossed over into Wisconsin territory.

    After another Williamson field goal—making the score 20-14 in favor of Stanford—the Badgers had one last drive to try and take the lead. The attempt was to no avail, as Usua Amanam picked off Curt Phillips to end Wisconsin’s bid at a comeback.

    Taylor didn’t have too successful of a game, but he was able to run the clock out and secure the victory for the Cardinal.

    Check out how each Stanford starter played in the team’s BCS victory over the Badgers.

Kevin Hogan, Quarterback

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    Stats: 12-for-19 for 123 yards, seven carries for 54 yards

    Despite the victory, Kevin Hogan did not play very well.

    Hogan showed good awareness and was quite patient during the first quarter of the game and also into the second. He used his legs to create space and to try and allow his receivers to get open. He completed 67 percent of his passes in the first half for 90 yards, but nearly half came on one throw to his tight end, Zach Ertz.

    Hogan would really play poorly in the second half with a couple of terrible throws that easily could have been intercepted by the Wisconsin defense. Luckily for Hogan, they fell incomplete.

    Hogan also took off several times throughout the game, but some weren’t necessary or productive.

    The biggest problem Hogan had was his accuracy. He consistently overthrew his receivers as many passes were over their heads. Hogan had an opportunity to put the game well out of reach late in the fourth, but couldn’t connect with Levine Toilolo, who had space in the end zone.

    Grade: C-

Stepfan Taylor, Running Back

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    Stats: 20 carries for 88 yards, TD, three receptions for 17 yards

    Stepfan Taylor had major issues finding space between his linemen to run against the Badgers.

    Taylor’s first half went well as he made good use of the space that he did have. He ran the ball nine times through the first two quarters for 44 yards. One of his carries went for six points as he squeezed through the middle of the line to get into the end zone.

    Despite matching Taylor’s yard total in the second half, he really had nowhere to go. He couldn’t do anything in the third quarter as Wisconsin got through the gaps to stop him from breaking a big run.

    It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when Taylor started breaking tackles and getting good second-effort runs. His late success was due to the coaching staff rapidly changing up the offensive linemen. Fresh legs on the line made things much easier for Taylor.

    Stanford gave Taylor the ball on the final drive, hoping to run out the clock—which he was able to do successfully. The Rose Bowl was just the sixth time all season that he was held under 100 yards on the ground.

    Grade: B

Ty Montgomery, Wide Receiver

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    Stats: Three receptions for 26 yards

    Ty Montgomery didn’t have a huge impact on this game as Hogan was held to just 123 yards through the air.

    Montgomery created space for himself in the first half, catching two passes for 20 yards including one in the middle of the field. He wasn’t targeted much in the second half, but one of the few times Hogan did throw the ball his way it was uncatchable.

    Grade: C+

Drew Terrell, Wide Receiver

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    Stats: Two receptions for 20 yards

    Drew Terrell had an interesting start to the Rose Bowl as he played quarterback for a play.

    Terrell received the ball, drifted back and launched a pass that was brilliantly caught by Jamal-Rashad Patterson for 34 yards.

    On the receiving end of the ball, Terrell wasn’t targeted very often. His only two catches came in the first half and of his 20 yards, 19 came on one play.

    Terrell did have an important play late in the game, but it came on special teams. He drew a personal foul on a punt after getting hit despite calling a fair catch. That gave Stanford good field position to start the drive which ended with a field goal.

    Grade: A-

Zach Ertz, Tight End

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    Stats: Three receptions for 61 yards

    Zach Ertz started the Rose Bowl with a nice first-down catch near the sideline and then followed that up with one of the biggest plays of the day.

    Ertz sprinted downfield on a Hogan play-action fake, Hogan threw the ball to him and Ertz leaped to make a great catch for 43 yards.

    Ertz was definitely Hogan’s best option on the field, but Hogan refused to throw the ball his way in the second half. Arguably the best tight end in the country, Ertz had big advantages over those who were covering him, but just wasn’t targeted.

    His impact was felt in the run game as well as he made a couple of nice blocks when Taylor ran the ball and when Hogan took off on his own.

    Grade: A

Levine Toilolo, Tight End

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    Stats: None

    Levine Toilolo did not play a big role in the Rose Bowl and was mainly used as a decoy.

    Toilolo did draw a pass interference call in the first half, but Stanford’s drive finished without putting points up on the board.

    Toilolo was also the receiver who could have extended Stanford’s lead late in the game if it hadn’t been for a high throw from Hogan.

    Grade: C

Offensive Line

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    The offensive line of Stanford had its ups and downs against Wisconsin. Although they didn’t allow a sack on the afternoon, there wasn’t much room created for Taylor to run.

    Hogan faced minimal pressure in the back field, but he occasionally had to break out of the pocket in order pass the ball or run. Out of the three players that touched the ball the most for Stanford, it seemed as if Anthony Wilkerson was given the most room to maneuver.

    The third and fourth quarters were a little shakier for Stanford’s offensive line as they started committing penalties that cost the Cardinal.

    Overall, it was a satisfactory night for the men guarding Hogan.

    Grade: C

Defensive Lineman

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    Ben Gardner

    Looking back, Ben Gardner made one of the biggest plays of the game.

    With Wisconsin on the doorstep of the end zone, Gardner made a stop on fourth-and-goal to give the ball back to Stanford. If the Badgers would have scored, Stanford might not have come out on top.

    Gardner got some good jumps on the afternoon and brought pressure to Ball and Phillips occasionally. He nearly had a sack in the third quarter, but he came up just short.

    Grade: B

     

    David Parry

    David Parry went unnoticed in the first half of the game.

    Parry was a part of Stanford’s solid defense against Ball, but didn’t make much of an impact on his own.

    Parry came alive late in the third quarter and into the fourth as he made a couple of tackles to prevent first downs—none bigger than a stop on third down to end Wisconsin’s hope of tying the game late in the fourth. The Badgers ended up getting another shot at the end zone, but Parry made another stop up the middle.

    Grade: B-

     

    Henry Anderson

    Henry Anderson wasn’t very effective against the run, but did make his name known against the pash.

    Anderson had a pass deflection early on in the matchup that actually went off of his helmet—but the pass would still be caught.

    Anderson added another deflection in the third quarter on a big third down play. His ability to get his hands up when Phillips was throwing was a big bonus for the Cardinal.

    Grade: C+

Linebackers

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    Chase Thomas

    Chase Thomas played well against Wisconsin wide outs early in the game, but was called for illegal hands to the face on one play.

    Thomas also did his best,deflecting a pass, but that pass would still be caught by the Wisconsin receiver.

    Thomas wasn’t very active in the Cardinal defense in the second stanza of the game. For being one of the team’s best defenders, it was a lackluster afternoon for Thomas.

    Grade: D+

     

    Shayne Skov

    Shayne Skov is a very good tackler and brought his tackling abilities to Pasadena against the Badgers.

    Skov had several big tackles against Ball and the Wisconsin run game, a couple coming where he had to get off his block to make the play.

    Skov added a few nice tackles in the third and fourth quarters, helping the Cardinal to a big victory over Wisconsin. Third down tended to be a situation where Skov would really step up and make a play.

    Grade: B+

     

    A.J. Tarpley

    If there’s one thing that was evident regarding A.J. Tarpley at the Rose Bowl, it’s that he has very good awareness.

    Tarpley managed to make plays by making the correct read after the ball was snapped. He had a great tackle to keep Wisconsin for scoring that was originally ruled a touchdown, but overturned during a review.

    Tarpley did have his mishaps later in the game, though, as he nearly had an interception, but the ball went right through his ends and ended up getting caught by the Badger receiver.

    Tarpley did pick up his game in the fourth quarter, making a couple of good tackles against the Wisconsin sweep plays—which they ran frequently throughout the afternoon.

    Grade: C+

     

    Trent Murphy

    Trent Murphy had a terrible start to the Rose Bowl. He first stayed back on a run by Phillips where he could have easily stepped up to make the tackle, but didn’t and Phillips got the first down.

    Murphy later was called for an offside penalty, trying to jump the snap count.

    Murphy turned his afternoon early in the third quarter when he deflected a pass on second down and then got good pressure on a screen play the following snap.

    Grade: C-

Cornerbacks

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    Terrence Brown

    Terrence Brown had one of the worst plays early on the in the game as he was responsible for Wisconsin’s first touchdown.

    Brown had the right side of the field covered, but when Ball went his way, Brown got tied up behind a lineman and couldn’t help on the play. Ball ran right into the end zone as Brown laid on the ground.

    Brown would make some good tackles late in the game on Wisconsin sweep plays. He also made a tackle on a play where Phillips took off, but Brown managed to hang on to his foot to bring him down.

    Grade: C-

     

    Alex Carter

    Carter didn’t make much of a difference on defense against Wisconsin. He played decently in coverage and didn’t really allow any passes to go his way, although the Badgers rarely threw the ball.

    Grade: C+

Safeties

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    Jordan Richards

    Jordan Richards was all over the place on the afternoon, whether it was staying tight in coverage of making touchdown-saving tackles.

    Richards took a couple of poor angles on run plays and got lucky that a ball thrown into the end zone was dropped by the Wisconsin receiver, as he was in the vicinity.

    Richards’ biggest play of the game came in the first half when he stopped Ball from entering the end zone as he held on tight to his legs.

    In a close second-best play, Richards’ also put an enormous hit on Chase Hammond, who was trying to catch a pass from Phillips.

    Grade: C

     

    Ed Reynolds

    Ed Reynolds didn’t have his best game of the year, although not many plays were in his direction. He didn’t have great positioning on a long run by Phillips that resulted in a big gain for Wisconsin.

    Grade: D+