Stanford needs two wins in its final four games to become bowl
eligible for the 11th straight season. The Cardinal is favored to
get one of them Saturday when it visits struggling Colorado in Boulder.
Two weeks ago in its most recent game, Stanford bounced back
from a 34-16 loss to UCLA by outlasting visiting Arizona 41-31. The game marked
the return of senior quarterback K.J. Costello, who had missed the previous
three contests with a thumb injury, but showed few signs of rust in completing
30-of-43 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns against the Wildcats. "It
doesn't feel good - it's awful," Costello said of his near month-long absence. "Not
playing in a few weeks, I (had) to challenge myself in terms of energy."
Colorado, meanwhile, has dropped five straight since a 3-1 start and is looking
to right the ship Saturday in its annual homecoming contest.
TV: 3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network. LINE: Stanford -3.5
ABOUT STANFORD (4-4, 3-3 Pac-12): Costello connected with 12
different receivers for completions versus Arizona, including 6-foot-4 wideout Simi
Fehoko, who caught three for 97 yards and a pair of TDs. Senior running back
Cameron Scarlett provided balance on the ground with 102 yards and a pair of
scores on 19 carries and ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with an average of 87.5
rushing yards per contest on the season. Cornerback Paulson Adebo intercepted a
pair of Wildcat passes to earn Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors and
is tied for the conference lead with four picks on the year.
ABOUT COLORADO (3-6, 1-5): "I've talked to the coaches and the
players," Buffs first-year coach Mel Tucker said Monday after practice. "We all
understand what's required. We're going to have to do a better job coaching and
a better job playing." Quarterback Steven Montez and the Colorado offense has
sputtered of late after a hot start, scoring 14 or fewer points in three of its
last four outings, including two TDs last Saturday in a 17-point road loss at
UCLA. Despite a strong season from linebacker Nate Landman, who ranks second in
the Pac-12 with 10.2 tackles per game, the injury-addled Colorado defense has been
gashed from the get-go, giving up at least 30 points in all nine contests (14
straight overall) and ranking second-to-last in the conference in points (34.4
per game) and yards (480.1) allowed.
1. Stanford has won three of the four games since Colorado joined
the Pac-12 in 2011, but the Buffs prevailed 10-5 on the road in the last meeting
on Oct. 22, 2016.
2. Under coach David Shaw, the Cardinal has compiled a 25-7
record in the month of November.
3. Colorado is hoping to have leading rusher Alex Fontenot (78.1
yards) back after he missed the UCLA game with an unspecified injury.