3: At the start of the 1978 season, NCAA Division I football was split into Division I-A (currently known as the Football Bowl Subdivision, or FBS) and I-AA (currently known as the Football Championship Subdivision, or FCS). Since then, only three FBS teams, of those that have played at the higher level for all 36 seasons in their existence, have played fewer games against FCS opponents than the Stanford Cardinal.
The Cardinal have played just three games against FCS opponents: against Cornell in 1991, UC-Davis in 2005 and Sacramento State in 2010. Three teams in Division I-A have never played a game against an FCS opponent: Notre Dame, USC and UCLA.
The strength of Stanford’s schedule was a point of emphasis in the last few years of the Bowl Championship Series era, as well as during this offseason, as head coach David Shaw criticized the SEC’s eight-game conference schedule in the Pac-12’s spring teleconference. But this year, a Division I-AA opponent will be one of the Cardinal’s three non-conference opponents for the first time in nine seasons.
The last time these teams met, on Sept. 17, 2005, the Aggies stunned the Cardinal in their home debut, as a three-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds left in the game secured a 20-17 victory for UC-Davis. Stanford owned a 17-0 lead in the middle of the second quarter, but surrendered 20 unanswered points in the defeat.
It was the team’s first loss in a 5-6 season in which Stanford lost five of its six games at home, which brings us to…
16: The Cardinal have won 16 consecutive home games dating back to the 2011 season, with their last loss at Stanford Stadium coming on Nov. 12, 2011 against Oregon. It’s the second-longest active streak in the country, trailing only South Carolina’s 18-game home winning streak, and over that stretch, Stanford has outscored its opponents 529-330 (+199).
Over the past four seasons, Stanford is 26-1 at home, including an 11-1 mark against ranked opponents. It’s safe to say The Farm has become more of a fortress for the Cardinal of late, and their defensive front has been one reason why…
71: In Stanford’s seven home games in 2013, their opponents combined to rush for just 497 yards, or 71 per game. But in the team’s other seven games, their opponents combined for 754 yards on the ground, or 108 per game.
This season, the Cardinal defense hopes to continue winning battles at the line of scrimmage, both at home and on the road, with three experienced defensive linemen returning. Fifth-year seniors Henry Anderson, David Parry and Blake Lueders will start for Stanford up front on Saturday afternoon.
Another key veteran who will start for Stanford in the team’s opener is senior receiver Ty Montgomery, who was just cleared by doctors this week after undergoing shoulder surgery in February. He won’t just make an impact as a wideout, but also on special teams…
30.3: Montgomery averaged 30.3 yards per kickoff return last season, which ranked second in the country behind Kermit Whitfield’s 36.4-yard average for Florida State. The Dallas, Texas native proved to be an explosive playmaker for the Cardinal in 2013, not only affecting his offense’s starting field position but also taking it to the house twice.
Montgomery developed a strong rapport with current senior quarterback Kevin Hogan as well, leading the Cardinal in receptions in 13 of the team’s 14 games. The USA Today preseason All-American finished the season with 61 catches for 958 yards (15.7 average yards per catch).
Contact Jordan Wallach at jwallach ‘at’ stanford.edu.