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Stanford football is expected to have one of the better seasons in the Pac-12 in 2018. Most of its offensive starters are back, but the defense took a toll, losing Quenton Meeks, Peter Kalambayi, Justin Reid, and Harrison Phillips.

Other personnel changes include the loss of offensive coordinator, offensive line coach, and associate head coach Mike Bloomgren, who accepted the head coaching job at Rice. He was replaced by Kevin Carberry, who’ll be the new offensive line coach, while Tavita Pritchard was promoted to the role of Andrew Luck Director of Offense.

David Shaw is still struggling to settle on a quarterback. It’s a debate that needs to be squashed immediately as Stanford enters a tough beginning. Until then, RB Bryce Love will be aiming for the Heisman and more Pac-12 hardware.

To celebrate a fresh season, we will be predicting the entire 2018 season game by game but first here’s a recap of Stanford football in 2017:

2017 Season Summary

Home: 6-0
Away: 2-3
Neutral: 1-2 (Australia, Santa Clara, San Antonio)
Wins: Notre Dame, Cal, Washington, Rice, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah
Losses: Southern Cal (twice), Washington, TCU, San Diego State

Bryce Love: 263 carries, 2,118 yards, 19 TD
Harrison Phillips: 98 tackles, 17 TFL, 7.5 sacks
Justin Reid: 94 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 5 INT

Offense: Recorded 500-plus total yards in 4 games
Offense vs. Rice: 73 plays, 3 pass TD, 5 rush TD, 24 first downs
Defense: Allowed 400-plus total yards in 7 games
Defense vs. UCLA: 4 turnovers, but committed 13 penalties for 132 yards

Week 1: August 31 vs. San Diego State

Rashaad Penny is no longer at SDSU, so the Aztecs rush game is essentially eliminated. However, SDSU’s defense put a cap on Stanford’s offense in Week 3 of last year. In the first quarter alone, Stanford’s time of possession would amount to only two-and-a-half minutes. Former QB Keller Chryst was inefficient and with his transfer to Tennessee, K.J. Costello will be the man to lead the squad.

Last 5 games: 3-2

Last time Stanford lost: 2017

Expected score: Stanford 24 – 10 San Diego State

Stanford W-L record: 1-0

Week 2: September 8 vs. Southern Cal

In 2017, Stanford would be dominated by Southern Cal in their first meeting, losing 42-24. Constantly, the offensive line would go through growing pains, which set off a domino effect for the remainder of the 2017 season. Stanford was then again handed the second loss to Southern Cal. With both Southern Cal QB Sam Darnold and RB Ronald Jones gone to the NFL it may not be as tough but Stanford will still have to deal with Trojans LB Cameron Smith and other defenders.

Last 10 games: 6-4

Last time Stanford lost: 2017

Expected score: Stanford 28 – 17 Southern Cal

Stanford W-L record: 2-0

Week 3: September 15 vs. UC-Davis

These two schools haven’t met for a few years, but it should be a scrimmage for Stanford nonetheless. Stanford Stadium should expect video game numbers from Stanford WR J.J. Arcega Whiteside, with the nickname SEGA, it should be an entertaining outing. Additionally, the UC-Davis game will be important in a sense in terms of getting in-form for a Week 4 game at Autzen Stadium.

2014: Stanford won 45-0

Expected score: Stanford 42 – 7 UC-Davis

Stanford W-L record: 3-0

Week 4: September 22 @ Oregon

At Oregon, this is where it gets tricky for the 2018 Stanford Cardinal. From an analyst’s standpoint, Oregon QB Justin Herbert is expected to be one of the top-producing quarterbacks in the Pac-12 North. Though it’s been some time since Stanford has lost, including a 52-27 victory at Autzen in 2016, the restricted Cardinal defense will have to keep an eye on Oregon RB Tony Brooks-James.

Last 10 games: 5-5

Last time Stanford lost: 2015

Expected score: Stanford 31 – 28 Oregon

Stanford W-L record: 4-0

Week 5: September 29 @ Notre Dame

When then-No. 8 Notre Dame visited then-No. 21 Stanford, Fighting Irish wide receivers Kevin Stepherson and Equanimeous St. Brown lit a spark on offense, accounting for over 200 receiving yards and two touchdowns with only eight lonely receptions between the two.

Over 10 games at Notre Dame Stadium, Stanford is only 2-8. Its last win in Indiana was in 2010, when Stanford outscored Notre Dame, 37-14, to grab the Legends Trophy. That was also one of Stanford’s best seasons of all-time since becoming a football program in the late nineteenth century.

Last 10 games: 7-3

Last time Stanford lost: 2014

Expected score: Notre Dame 20 – 17 Stanford

Stanford W-L record: 4-1

Week 6: October 6 vs. Utah

Against Utah at home, this will be one of the most disappointing outcomes. Year after year, every team experiences one. For the 2017 Stanford football squad, it was a shallow three-point win against unranked Cal. And quite frankly, Utah has the necessary weapons to surprise Palo Alto. Stanford’s biggest threats will be Utes QB Tyler Huntley, RB Zack Moss, and DB Julian Blackmon.

Last 7 games: 3-4

Last time Stanford lost: 2014

Expected score: Utah 20 – 14 Stanford

Stanford W-L record: 4-2

Week 7: October 18 @ Arizona State

Don’t be distracted by all of the fantasy expectations of ASU under new coach Herm Edwards. ASU will be without RB Kalen Ballage and, most importantly, LB Christian Sam, both of whom were taken in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Without those two and ASU is a starter kit as a program in 2018…at best. Stanford should’ve separated itself by more than a 10-point win margin in 2017, but this year against ASU will be different.

Last 7 games: 6-1

Last time Stanford lost: 2014

Expected score: Stanford 35 – 14 Arizona State

Stanford W-L record: 5-2

Week 8: October 27 vs. Washington State

Last year, Stanford played its first snow game since 1936. Of course, that was over 900 miles away in Pullman. To California, snow is the eighth wonder of the world, so inclement weather shouldn’t affect Stanford’s chances at a win. Lastly, Washington State lost QB Luke Falk to the 2018 NFL Draft and that’s a headline worth taking advantage of.

Last 10 games: 8-2

Last time Stanford lost: 2017:

Expected score: Stanford 31 – 20 Washington State

Stanford W-L record: 6-2

Week 9: November 3 @ Washington

Given the gravity of the Pac-12 North this year, forget about Cal versus Stanford and the Apple Cup. Throughout the entire 2018 Pac-12 season, the placements among Washington and Stanford will have the attention of a majority of college football fans on the west coast. Huskies QB Jake Browning and RB Myles Gaskin are back on offense, while S Taylor Rapp is a nightmare on defense.

Literally, everyone on Stanford’s roster, Frank Buncom, A.T. Hall, Bobby OkerekeAlijah Holder, Kaden Smith, and even Jet Toner will have to be active and healthy before Week 9 if they want a solid chance against Chris Petersen’s team.

Last 10 games: 8-2

Last time Stanford lost: 2016

Expected score: Washington 30 – 24 Stanford

Stanford W-L record: 6-3

Week 10: November 10 vs. Oregon State

Bryce Love obtained an ankle injury in Week 7 against Oregon in 2017 and his inactive status for Oregon State was panic-induced as Stanford edged the Beavers, 15-14, who finished 1-11. It put a spotlight on Stanford’s offense and how many men equal the talent of just one player.

By this time in the 2018 college football season, Stanford will have already played the meat of its opponents in Southern Cal, Washington and, yes, Notre Dame. Against the Beavers at home in Week 10, Stanford should pull out a cake walk of a win.

Last 10 games: 9-1

Last time Stanford lost: 2009

Expected score: Stanford 28 – 10 Oregon State

Stanford W-L record: 7-3

Week 11: November 17 @ Cal

Bears RB Patrick Laird and LB Jordan Kunaszyk will have to battle it out with Stanford LB Joey Alfieri and RB Bryce Love, respectively. “Battle” is used here loosely given the richness of the rivalry, but its “flavor,” so to speak, is dying out. After all, The Axe has been in Stanford’s possession for seven years and Cal head coach Justin Wilcox shouldn’t expect to see it soon, so long as David Shaw‘s at Stanford.

Last 10 games: 8

Last time Stanford lost: 2009

Expected score: Stanford 34 – Cal 13

Stanford W-L record: 8-3

Week 12: November 24 @ UCLA

Ten years ago, UCLA beat Stanford, 23-20. Since then, a Stanford win has taken place by two or more possessions with the exception of a 27-24 win in 2012. UCLA has a weak defensive unit and, now, with Bruins QB Josh Rosen out of the picture, head coach Chip Kelly and Co. might need to fall back on the shoulders of freshman QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

Last 10 games: 10-0

Last time Stanford lost: 2008

Expected score: Stanford 28 – 10 UCLA

Stanford W-L record: 9-3

Sports Al Dente 2019

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