Stanford capsule preview
HEAD COACH: David Shaw 11-2/1 year at Stanford and overall
2011 RECORD: 11-2, 8-1/2nd in Pac-12 North
KEY PLAYERS: Senior TB Stepfan Taylor has rushed for 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons and will be the focal point ... Sophomore WR Ty Montgomery is a promising playmaker who averaged 14.6 yards per catch last year but must become more consistent ... Senior OLB Chase Thomas, who bypassed the NFL Draft, has 20 career sacks and creates as much havoc as any player in the conference.
OUTLOOK: Life after Andrew Luck is promising for the Cardinal, which has a veteran offensive line and one of the top defensive front sevens in the Pac-12. But Luck's replacement (Brett Nottingham or Josh Nunes) will have to avoid mistakes and complete enough passes to keep defenses honest. Barring the unexpected, Stanford should be bowl-bound for the fourth consecutive season.