Stanford continues to climb in the national polls after earning its spot in the Pac-12 Championship game with a win over UCLA last night, rising to No. 8 in the AP poll, No. 9 in the coaches’ poll and possibly all the way up to No. 6 in the BCS when the standings are released tonight. But some injury concerns remain for the Cardinal, particularly with the rematch against the Bruins just five days away.
The status of nose tackle Terrence Stephens, who missed last night’s game due to a “personal matter,” is still unclear. After the game, Stanford coach David Shaw said that Stephens might not return against the Bruins. However, his backup, David Parry, played quite well last night, as did Josh Mauro in some limited time at the position.
Punter Daniel Zychlinski was knocked out of the UCLA game after taking a vicious hit on a muffed punt and he seems doubtful to return against the Bruins. The fifth-year senior has been really dialing it in of late, pinning Oregon inside its own 10-yard line several times and booming a couple of punts to change the field position in last week’s upset of the Ducks. He was seen leaving the field with his right arm in a sling.
If he is unable to return, junior backup Ben Rhyne will take over the punting duties. Rhyne hit his first career punt in the second half against the Bruins, and would take over holding duties for the field goal unit in Zychlinski’s absence. He was the holder on Jordan Williamson’s 45-yard attempt last night that hit the crossbar.