Stanford coach David Shaw resigns after Cardinal finish 3-9

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford coach David Shaw resigned after finishing his 12th season at his alma mater with a 36-25 loss to BYU that dropped the Cardinal to 3-9.

Shaw, 50, led Stanford to five double-digit win seasons, with three Pac-12 titles and Rose Bowl appearances in his first six years as head coach. He finished with more wins than any coach in program history with a 96-54 record, and was considered one of the most respected coaches in the country.

Shaw arrived unusually late to his postgame news conference and said his decision only came in the last few days.

“A week ago, 10 days ago, I was gung-ho to be the person to lead us there, and over the last few days I realized it was time,” Shaw said. “It was time for me to step aside, time for the next group to come in, and hopefully whoever they hire next wins more games than I do. That would be awesome.”

The falloff in recent years has been drastic. The Cardinal are 14-28 over the last four seasons as the program has struggled to keep up in a rapidly changing college football landscape with players transferring more freely and earning money for name, image and likeness.

Stanford is 3-16 in Pac-12 play the past two seasons, including consecutive losses to rival California.

“There are a lot of people that think this program is down. That’s what our record says,” Shaw said. “But I look at the components. I look at the people here, the support that I’m hearing coming from our athletic director, from our university president, the people that are behind the scenes. We’re not that far away.”

Shaw, a California native who played receiver for Stanford in the early 1990s, replaced Jim Harbaugh as head coach in 2011. He had been offensive coordinator for Harbaugh from 2007-10.

Shaw spent nine seasons as an NFL assistant before joining Harbaugh’s staff at the University of San Diego and then following him to Stanford.

“David has represented Stanford football, as both a player and a coach, with unwavering grace, humility and integrity,” athletic director Bernard Muir said. “He has cared tremendously for each and every student-athlete in his program, while helping them pursue their full academic and athletic potential. David will forever remain a valued member of the Stanford football family and an integral part of the storied history of the program.”

Shaw was part of a remarkable program turnaround under Harbaugh and then under his leadership Stanford became the premier program in the Pac-12 with a physical style dubbed Intellectual Brutality.

As the program declined, Shaw has remained steadfastly loyal to his assistant coaches. The staff has had few changes lately, with Shaw repeatedly saying he felt firing assistants was pushing the blame for the team’s failures from himself to others.

Stanford is a private school that does not disclose contract terms with its coaches so it is unclear how many years Shaw had left on his deal.

He said he had no plans to pursue another job.

“I’m not burnt out by any stretch of the imagination,” he said. “I’m healthy and feel good. But at the same time, 16 years is a long time – 12 as a head coach, 16 here. I’m so proud of our accomplishments, so proud of our student-athletes, so proud of the guys that have gone on and done other things in the NFL and outside of the NFL in different walks of life. But like I said, the phrase just kept coming back to me that gave me peace, which was, `it’s time.”‘

Stanford rallies late to beat No. 3 Oregon 31-24 in OT

Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
3 Comments

STANFORD, Calif. – Tanner McKee threw a TD pass on an untimed down at the end of regulation to tie the game and another on the opening possession of overtime to lead Stanford to a 31-24 victory over No. 3 Oregon on Saturday.

McKee came back after leaving for a play on the final drive of regulation with an injury to tie it on a 2-yard pass to Elijah Higgins after a holding penalty by Oregon (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) in the end zone extended the game one play.

McKee then gave the Cardinal (3-2, 2-1) the lead with a 14-yarder to John Humphreys in overtime. Stanford then forced Anthony Brown to throw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-8 to seal its fourth win against an Oregon team ranked in the top 10 since 2009.

The Ducks were appeared poised for their first 5-0 start in eight years when they rallied from 10 points down at halftime to take a 24-17 lead early in the fourth quarter on Brown’s second TD run of the game.

But then McKee delivered the big plays late and the Cardinal capitalized on three Oregon penalties on the game-tying 87-yard drive in the final 1:59 of regulation.

McKee left the game for one play on the drive after being hit by Kayvon Thibodeaux on a play ruled targeting. Oregon was then called for another roughing the passer penalty and the holding penalty in the end zone on what appeared to be the final play.

The Cardinal got the untimed down and McKee delivered with the pass to Higgins. Coach David Shaw opted for the extra point and the game went to OT.

THE TAKEAWAY

Oregon: The Ducks played without offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, who was being evaluated for a non-COVID-related illness. Oregon struggled to move the ball early with only one first down on the opening three drives and one score in the first half. Brown threw the first INT of the season for the Ducks on the second drive before getting going a bit in the second half.

Stanford: The Cardinal had a strong first half and led 17-7 thanks to an 18-yard TD pass from McKee to Brycen Tremayne and a 2-yard run by Isaiah Sanders. They went three-and-out on three of the first four drives in the second half before the game-tying drive.

FOURTH-DOWN CALLS

Both teams were stopped on fourth down in the first half. Stanford went for it on fourth-and-1 just across midfield late in the first quarter but McKee was stopped for no gain on a sneak.

The Ducks took advantage of the short field and drove for a TD to cut the deficit to 10-7.

Then late in the half, Oregon went for it on fourth down from the 1 but Brown was hit for a 1-yard loss.

INJURED

Tremayne had to be taken off the field on a cart after an apparent leg injury in the first half. Before leaving the field, all his teammates came out to wish him well.

Oregon running back CJ Verdel then was taken to the locker room on a cart after getting injured in the third quarter. Verdell ran for 63 yards and a TD

UP NEXT

Oregon: Hosts California on Oct. 15.

Stanford: At Arizona State on Friday night.

McKee leads Stanford’s 42-28 upset rout of No. 14 USC

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

LOS ANGELES — After Nathaniel Peat broke a tackle and turned the corner, the Coliseum collectively gasped as the speedy Stanford tailback sprinted all the way down his sideline.

“I just saw green grass, and I had to put the wheels on,” Peat said with a grin.

When he finally stopped, his 87-yard touchdown run had given the Cardinal a whole lot more than their first seven points in an impressive 42-28 upset of No. 14 Southern California on Saturday night.

“Guys saw Nate take off, and there were great blocks down the field,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “It just gave us a lift, and then we got a stop, and we said, `Hey, you know, we can play with these guys. And not only can we play with them, we can dominate.”‘

The Cardinal did just that in a victory that dramatically altered the early season trajectories of two longtime Pac-12 rivals.

Tanner McKee passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another score in his first collegiate start as Stanford (1-1, 1-0 Pac-12) rebounded from a rough 24-7 loss to Kansas State last week in which the Cardinal didn’t even score until the final minutes.

Peat racked up a career-high 115 yards, and Kyu Blu Kelly returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown in Shaw’s 63rd conference victory at Stanford, moving him past Pete Carroll for ninth-most in Pac-12 history.

“It shows who we are as a team,” Peat said. “We have a lot of playmakers and a lot of potential. Last week, we really didn’t show who we were.”

McKee went 16 of 23 for 234 yards, and he hit Elijah Higgins and Brycen Tremayne for TDs as Stanford rolled to a 29-point lead in the fourth quarter of its ninth victory over USC in the California rivals’ last 14 meetings.

“We saw glimpses of what our offense and our team can be,” said McKee, a Southern California native with about 30 friends and family in the Coliseum stands.

Kedon Slovis passed for 223 yards, while Keaontay Ingram and Darwin Barlow rushed for TDs as the Trojans’ (1-1, 0-1) nine-game regular season winning streak ended with a thud. USC committed nine penalties for 109 yards, and Stanford’s defense limited star Trojans receiver Drake London to four catches for 68 yards and a touchdown with 5:54 to play.

USC coach Clay Helton‘s perpetually hot seat has become a sizzling fajita plate again just two games into his seventh season in charge of a former college football powerhouse with one conference title since 2008.

“Let’s see at the end of the year,” Helton said. “It’s Game 2, and I have total faith in this staff. I have total faith in the men that are in there, players, coaches. We didn’t play our best tonight, but … I hope that we look up at the end of the year, and you’re asking the question, `Man, that team really improved from that Game 2.”‘

Peat’s early sprint down the Cardinal sideline was the fifth-longest TD run in Stanford history, but USC evened it early in the second quarter with a 15-play, 95-yard TD drive. McKee put the Cardinal back ahead with a 3-yard TD pass to Higgins on fourth down only after Stanford decided to go for it after USC lined up in the neutral zone on a successful field goal.

Stanford went up 21-10 right before halftime on Tremayne’s TD reception, set up by a 49-yard catch by Austin Jones. The Cardinal got 174 of their 248 yards in the first half on only three plays, and USC got light boos from its home crowd heading to the locker room, followed by heavy boos for Helton during his scoreboard interview before the second-half kickoff.

“You hear it,” Slovis said. “You have to deal with it and play. It’s college football. It’s a serious business, so something that comes with expectations at USC. It’s no surprise to all these guys.”

Kelly picked off Slovis’ pass when it deflected off London’s hands, and the cornerback eluded Slovis near the goal line to score his first career touchdown. The rout was on when McKee scored on a 1-yard keeper late in the third quarter.

“Like I told them in the locker room, you never want this to happen ever,” Helton said. “But when it’s an early one in the season, you can live through it. But you’ve got to correct it extremely fast.”

ON THE 101

The 101st meeting between the Pac-12’s two California private schools resumed a rivalry that was interrupted last season for the first time since 1945 by the coronavirus pandemic.

KICKING HIMSELF

USC even began the game ominously when kicker Parker Lewis was ejected for targeting on his tackle on the opening kickoff. Alex Stadthaus was perfect on two field goals and two extra points in Lewis’ place.

THE TAKEAWAY

Stanford: The Cardinal probably aren’t as bad as they looked last week against K-State, and they might not be as good as they appeared while racking up all these big plays against reeling USC. Either way, McKee has solved Shaw’s quarterback problem after just two games.

USC: Helton’s future is once again the hottest topic across the Trojans’ vast fan base. Athletic director Mike Bohn has seemed highly unlikely to make a midseason change, but one or two more humiliating losses like this could alter any plan.

UP NEXT

Stanford: A long trip to face Vanderbilt on Saturday.

USC: A road opener at Washington State on Saturday.