Stanford has an early away game this season. Far, far away. The most notable thing about the Cardinal’s week 0 gimme is the location- the game takes place in Sydney, Australia. Rice projects to be a completely overmatched team in every phase, and Stanford should cruise to a big victory.
G.A.W.P. gives the Cardinal a 99.9% chance of earning the victory in this game- so don’t expect much in the way of suspense. The team is loaded with returners, so there are few questions to be answered as well. Still, football!
Storylines to Watch:
Bryce Love’s coming out party- Love really already had his debut in the latter half of the season, and in particular as Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey sat out the Sun Bowl. Still, this is his first game as The Guy, and it will be exciting to see just what he’s capable of. Take his production with a grain of salt, however, as Stanford will likely road grade right over the top of the hapless Owls.
Stanford’s D-Line- The line isn’t going to have any trouble with the Owls, but Stanford fans can use this game as the first measuring stick for a line that replaces some key talent. An utterly dominant performance bodes well for Stanford’s hopes at a North title, while a comfortable but unspectacular showing (really the worst case scenario in this game) could spell concern for a unit that comes into 2017 with some uncertainty.
Don’t hold your breath, this game is lopsided enough to break the model.
This is a brutal mismatch, and you can expect to see Stanford’s second or even third string pick up significant playing time in the contest. Expect this game to get out of hand in a hurry and stay that way; the only real limitation on the margin of victory will be how Coach Shaw chooses to handle the later stages of the game. It’s exceedingly likely that the Stanford Cardinal come away from this contest with an effortless W.
Rice 9, Stanford 41