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CougCenter Previews Stanford, Interviews Cardinal Blogger

SB Nation’s CougCenter has wall-to-wall coverage ahead of this weekend’s game against the Stanford Cardinal. Jim Harbaugh’s Cardinal come into the game with a reputation as a smash-mouth team that isn’t afraid to hit hard and often. Between star quarterback Andrew Luckseen here on video hammering USC safety Shareece Wright — and two-way star Owen Marecic, Stanford has plenty of weapons.

CougCenter’s Craig Powers looked at the stats.

In 2009, the Stanford offense relied heavily on Toby Gerhart and rode him to the 10th best offensive S&P in the country, led by the 8th ranked rushing attack. With Gerhart gone in 2010 and a year of experience from Andrew Luck, Stanford now possesses the second best passing S&P and are tops in the nation on passing downs.

In an interview with SB Nation’s Rule Of Tree, Jeff Nusser asked about the love for linebacker/fullback Owen Marecic.

Rule Of Tree: If Marecic wasn’t worthy of a 900-word tribute before the season began, he justified at least a 450-word tribute by scoring touchdowns on offense and defense in the span of 13 seconds the week that he was featured in SI. His celebrity has faded somewhat in the weeks since that rare feat, but he’s continued to be a key contributor at both fullback and linebacker. So long as this team keeps winning, the bromances will continue to spread.

Finally, Grady Clapp rounds out the coverage with his Tailgater’s Guide To Cougar Football. Clapp is conflicted about the Stanford game, noting how likable the Cardinal are.

I’m conflicted about Stanford as an opponent (and a soon-to-be division rival). I like them, in part because I’m jealous of people who go to Stanford and harbor some regrets about not applying there. I visited their campus for the first time a few weeks ago. It was gorgeous. The weather was perfect, the grass was perfectly manicured and there were a number of foreign tourists (tourists!) wandering the campus like I was doing.