LB Jon Alston (PHOTO CREDIT: David Gonzales/Stanford Athletics)

2004 Statistics

Coach: Walt Harris
1st year
2004 Record: 4-7
at Notre Dame LOST 15-23
at Washington State WON 23-17
at UCLA LOST 0-21
at Arizona State LOST 31-34
at California LOST 6-41

2004 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2005 Outlook

Stanford gets a fresh start after winning just 10 games in three years under Buddy Teevens. Former Pitt boss Walt Harris takes over the program, bringing with him a decent track record for turning any program into a viable winner. He led the Panthers to six bowl games in eight years, including five in a row.

Harris has installed the West Coast offense on The Farm, with the idea that the high-percentage passes will open the field for Trent Edwards to be the player everyone knows he can be. Edwards hasn’t lived up to his hype yet, but under Harris he’ll have a better year. On defense, Stanford will shore up its holes in the passing game and make marginal improvements. During the campaign, see the offensive and/or defensive efficiency rating(s) (as well as sack totals) to see how the team is doing (will do) overall. Harris will turn this program around rather quickly, for he really doesn’t have a major project on his hands.

Yes, the Cardinal were just 4-7 a year ago, but they lost three games by a field goal (including a loss to national champ USC), and another by just five points. With Harris’ track record, and the talent pool on The Farm, there’s only one sure loss on the schedule (at USC). They’re sure to play inconsistently a few other places, too – winning a couple they shouldn’t while losing a few that same way.

In the end, the Cardinal should be able to qualify for their first postseason berth since 2001, and get Harris to his sixth straight bowl. Harris will be given the room here (that he wasn’t given in the Steel City) to build the program and actually make it his own. Harris often starts fast, but then progresses little once the romance is done, so expect his rookie effort in Palo Alto to avoid any ‘Frost’.

Projected 2005 record: 4-7
CB/KR T.J. Rushing (PHOTO CREDIT: David Gonzales/Stanford Athletics)
QB - 3.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 2 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 1.5
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Trent Edwards, 271-148-11, 1718 yds., 9 TD

Rushing: J.R. Lemon, 93 att., 440 yds., 6 TD

Receiving: Evan Moore, 39 rec., 616 yds., 6 TD

Scoring: Michael Sgroi, 16-24 FG, 22-23 PAT, 70 pts.

Punting: Jay Ottoregio, 66 punts, 41.3 avg.

Kicking: Michael Sgroi, 16-24 FG, 22-23 PAT, 70 pts.

Tackles: Jon Alston, 62 tot., 37 solo

Sacks: Jon Alston, 10 sacks

Interceptions: Jon Alston, Brandon Harrison, Mike Silva, Kevin Schimmelmann, Nick Sanchez, Casey Carroll - 1 each

Kickoff returns: T.J. Rushing, 23 ret., 28.4 avg., 1 TD

Punt returns: David Marrero, 27 ret., 8.3 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Alex Smith-TE, Kenneth Tolon-RB, Greg Camarillo-WR
DEFENSE: Scott Scharff-DE, Will Svitek-DE, David Bergeron-ILB, Jared Newberry-OLB, Stanley Wilson-CB, Leigh Torrence-CB, Oshiomogho Atogwe-FS

Trent Edwards was prematurely labeled “The Next Elway” by some, an unfair goal to place on anyone, no matter what talent level he may display. A top recruit (No. 2 QB by, Edwards hasn’t done much to live up to his hype (20 INT, 13 TD), but he’s still got tremendous physical skills, and Cardinal fans are just waiting for him to show his upside. John Elway had his best years as a pro in the West Coast offense, and Edwards is hoping for the same results with Harris. With a strong arm and good wheels, Edwards will shine, which will help eliminate mistakes to then build methodically with those higher-percentage passes. Backup T.C. Ostrander was in a fight for the job throughout the spring, but slipped a notch with his eventual marginal play. He, too, was a prized recruit (No. 12 in the country in 2003), and brings a good arm and an even better mind to the table. Harris is thorough at getting the most out of this position, so expect genuine improvements.

Running Back
J.R. Lemon had a good 2004 – if/when he got the ball (4.7 yards per carry), which was not enough for his potential impact to aid the team’s results. Lemon has all the physical tools to be a star. With his size and strength, he’s a powerful runner, but he’s also got tremendous speed. The former prep all-American will have a huge year. Behind Lemon is a stable of talented backs. Gerald Commissiong has a good speed/power mix like Lemon, and Ray Jones gets yards by making smart reads and using deceptive speed. Physical-but-quick Kris Bonifas returns as the starting fullback, so there are enough ball-carrying options that Harris has no excuse if he does not maximize this unit.

This is a group that hasn’t quite lived up to its potential, but part of that has been the play of their hurlers. There is a load of talent here, though. Mark Bradford won’t burn anybody deep, but he’s very quick off the line of scrimmage, which allows him to get open early in his route. He’s also got the ability to make plays once he has the ball (YAC). Former Cardinal hoopster Evan Moore is the biggest WR on the team, while Justin McCullum has shown a penchant for making big plays with his speed. Look for a big year out of Gerron Crochet, too. He has been a sprinter on the track team most of his career, but the senior also has battled numerous hamstring pulls. He gave up track now and subsequently had a tremendous spring.

Tight End
Not manned by a returning starter, Matt Traverso has shown good blocking skills over the past two years, and will step in well. His senior (prep) average was over 20+ yards per catch, so he has good route-running skills, speed, and good enough hands to make a “huge” impact as a receiver, too.

Offensive Line
All five starters (all 16 on the depth chart) are back, and, if you know the school’s stats from 2004, you’ll know why Stanford is nervous. Just having the starters back doesn’t make this a great group; not when they did so little to protect their quarterbacks (41 sacks allowed) and failed to open up sufficient running lanes for the backs (2.5 ypc). Few things make a line better than continuity, though, so the fact that everyone is back will translate into a measure of improvement, even if it’s only a slight/partial one.

2004 was a rough year for the Cardinal offense. They couldn’t run the ball (ranked 114th), had trouble passing (ranked 93rd in pass efficiency), and struggled to get on the scoreboard (ranked 85th with 22 ppg). Enter Harris and his West Coast offense. This offense is designed to make quarterback/offense succeed incrementally, and Stanford has the players (Edwards and Ostrander) to make such a plan work. Lemon is an underrated running back who will finally give the Cardinals a threat on the ground. None of that will matter, though, if the line continues to play as poorly as it has for the past two-plus seasons. Still, Harris can play-call around this if the need arises, so this system will succeed, and will improve the offense on many levels. Expect the line to be marginally better and for the West Coast offense to be a hit.


WR Evan Moore (PHOTO CREDIT: David Gonzales/Stanford Athletics)


Returning Starters in bold
QB Trent Edwards-Sr (6-4, 210) T.C. Ostrander-Jr (6-3, 210)
FB Nick Frank-Jr (6-2, 275) Kris Bonifas-Sr (6-1, 235)
RB David Marrero-Jr (5-10, 190) J.R. Lemon-Sr (6-1, 225)
Anthony Kimble-So (6-1, 185)
WR Gerren Crochet-Sr (6-0, 170) Evan Moore-Jr (6-7, 235)
WR Mark Bradford-Jr (6-2, 190) Marcus McCutcheon-Sr (6-0, 200)
Justin McCullum-Sr (6-4, 220)
TE Patrick Danahy-Jr (6-5, 240) Matt Traverso-Sr (6-5, 250)
OT Jeff Edwards-Sr (6-7, 290) Michael Macellari-Jr (6-5, 290)
OG Josiah Vinson-So (6-4, 310) Bobby Dockter-So (6-5, 290)
C Brian Head-Sr (6-4, 295) Alex Flether-So (6-4, 290)
OG Mikal Brewer-Jr (6-3, 290) Ismail Simpson-Sr (6-4, 290)
OT Jon Cochran-Sr (6-6, 315) Ben Muth-So (6-6, 275)
K Michael Sgroi-Sr (5-11, 200) Derek Belch-Jr (6-0, 185)



Defensive Line
The Cardinals aren’t deep (or experienced), but they’ve got a trio of three-time letter-winners as starters. NT Babatunde Oshinowo has girth and he knows how to throw it around for optimal results. The Cardinal will rotate several players at end, but the leader of the group is Julian Jenkins, an incredibly strong and agile player who finds the ball. The other experienced player is Casey Carroll, a reserve throughout his career. The starters are solid, but depth is a concern.

If Stanford had four Jon Alston’s, it would have the country’s best group. Alston is first-team all-conference and has bounced from end to outside backer in his tenure. No matter where he lines up, Alston makes plays (14.5 TFLs, 10 sacks). He’s a gifted athlete with speed, strength, and the heart of a champion, but he needs some weight to be a draft choice (NFL). Even though a bit small, he is excellent in the run-stopping efforts. We see viable depth via the many hungry competitors for the other outside slot. Inside, the Cardinal will again depend on many, but especially former starter Kevin Schimmelmann, all-PAC 10 special teamer Michael Okwo, and Michael Craven. Nothing flashy about Schimmelmann, but he is efficient, especially in coverage. Craven, too, has been a starter in the past, but has had off-field troubles that limited his role. Regardless, his instincts and ability to deliver punishing hits will be an asset. The rest of the corps (besides Alston) is well-sized and can truly (being from The Farm) bring the wood.

Defensive Back
Two years ago, Stanford was the worst team in the country against the pass. The Cardinals weren’t quite that bad in 2004, but they weren’t much better, either. It was pretty much the same group (acting again like overcooked toast), but fortunately, only one now returns. That’s good news, for fresh blood can only help. Strong safety Brandon Harrison is the lone returning starter, and he has the potential/ability with his speed to make big plays. But he has been demoted (on the two-deep), so a new start all around will guarantee a fresh attitude. The spotlight will be on the corners, who are deep yet untested. The Cardinals do have some talent to work with, but only T.J. Rushing brings any proven worth to the table. Finally getting a chance to start full-time, Rushing’s speed (10.68-sec 100; state sprint champion in Okla.) allows him to stay with just about any receiver around. Rushing is a complete defensive player, so there is another base around which to build.

Different year, similar story. The Cardinal just need to find a way to stop opposing quarterbacks from shredding them. In the Pac 10, that is almost always earned, and is rarely bestowed upon unworthy squads. Oddly, as much as they struggled to stop teams from going up and down the field (70th in total D), they were pretty good in keeping them off the scoreboard (33rd), mainly because they forced 27 turnovers. Bending and not breaking is a good mental cornerstone to start with for rebuilding this back-seven. Though the run defense seems to be fine, the main key will ostensibly be how well Stanford can stop the pass. There is better talent in the secondary now, therefore making the defense better overall.


NT Babatunde Oshinowo (PHOTO CREDIT: David Gonzales/Stanford Athletics)


Returning Starters in bold
DE Casey Carroll-Sr (6-2, 290) Pannel Egboh-So (6-6, 240)
NT Babatunde Oshinowo-Sr (6-2, 320) Matt McClernan-Sr (6-5, 285)
DE Julian Jenkins-Sr (6-4, 275) Gustav Rydsted-So (6-4, 293)
OLB Jon Alston-Sr (6-1, 215) Emmanuel Awofadeju-Jr (6-4, 240)
ILB Kevin Schimmelmann-Sr (6-3, 228) Michael Craven-Sr (6-1, 230)
ILB Michael Okwo-Jr (6-0, 215) Mike Silva-Sr (6-3, 225)
OLB Timi Wusu-Sr (6-3, 210) Udeme Udofia-Jr (6-4, 255)
CB T.J. Rushing-Sr (5-11, 175) Wopamo Osaisai-So (6-0, 190)
CB Nick Sanchez-Jr (6-0, 180) Carolos McFall-So (6-0, 195)
SS Brandon Harrison-Jr (6-2, 205) Bryan Bentrott-Sr (6-1, 180)
FS Trevor Hooper-Sr (6-1, 205) David Lofton-Sr (6-4, 210)
P Jay Ottovegio-Jr (6-0, 190) Michael Sgroi-Sr (5-11, 200)




Give Michael Sgroi the nod as a quality kicker. It can be a bit of an adventure with Sgroi, though, who missed three field goals in a 5-point loss to Oregon State and two in a 3-point loss to Oregon. Coverage didn’t give up a return of longer than 30 yards, so look for consistency here to make field position battles winnable.

Jay Ottovegio is coming off a great 2004 (2nd-team freshman all-American). He’s got a strong leg (41.3 avg) and was a good friend to his defense on numerous occasions (landed 20 kicks inside the 20). Punt coverage was much worse, so improvements here will come by way of the deep talent pools for DBs and LBs.

Return Game
Few complaints here, for with T.J. Rushing (28.4 avg, 1 TD), the Cardinal ranked 7th in kickoff returns. Rushing is an explosive returner, while Marcus McCutcheon is a solid second option. Primary punt runner-backer David Marrero’s blazing speed makes him a threat to break one any time, too. Udeme Udofia will keep Cardinal special teams fresh with his knack for kick-blocking (had two in ’04).