No. 7 Cardinal will roll against WSU


No. 7 Cardinal will roll against WSU

The Andrew Luck juggernaut hits the Palouse this week where the Stanford Cardinal will try and keep things perfect and not focus on the real game that takes place the first week in November against Oregon.

And, Id say thats a pretty good idea for the Cardinal. Washington States not going anywhere this year BUT ... they are about 10 minutes from being undefeated, they are vastly improved from the gimme win team they were, they have nothing to lose, theyre playing at home, and if a visiting team -- even a team as good as the Cardinal -- decides to chalk this one up before its played, we could see the biggest upset in college football this year.

That said, I dont think Stanford will chalk it up before its played. Im just sayin...
PREVIEW: No. 7 Stanford vs. Washington State

Stanford is good, and its not only because of Andrew Luck. The defense hasnt been soundly tested yet and probably wont be this week either, but its showing that it has the goods. And, as to Luck, one of the things -- and there are many -- that you have to love about this guy is that all the notoriety and Heisman hype hes getting is being done while hes playing entirely within the system. Not that he cant, but he hasnt yet been asked to go out and win a game for Stanford. Hes that special.

The Cardinal will roll in Pullman.

I do think the game in Eugene bears watching. True enough the Ducks dont lose at home (they havent since 2008), but I could see them pushed in this game with ASU. The Sun Devils are one of the few left coast teams that can match up with Oregons speed and that -- as they say in boxing -- gives them a punchers chance.

There are two factors that will decide this game:
1). How much of a drop off is there at running back for Oregon without the presence of LaMichael James?
2). Can ASU actually get through an entire game without stepping on its own body parts? The Sun Devils inevitably self-destruct in big games -- usually by stupid penalties.

So, my answer to No. 1 is: Not much. The Ducks have two other running backs who may not be LaMichael James, but arent far behind either. And to No. 2: I dont think so.

PREVIEW: No. 18 Arizona State vs. No. 9 Oregon

Oregon fans will bait visiting teams into mistakes that are far more disciplined than ASU. Somewhere along the line the Sun Devils will shoot themselves in the foot.

It's not out of the question for ASU but Im taking Oregon and the toughest home crowd in the conference.

Falling on their face at Nebraska not withstanding, the Washington Huskies are a team that is suddenly looking capable of beating anyone. The win against Cal and on the road at Utah has the Huskies believing in themselves. Steve Sarkisian is a great motivator, excellent at identifying talent, and is quickly bringing a once-proud program back to where the locals feel it belongs. No problem for the Dogs against Colorado and dont look now but theyll be 5-1.

If the season only started in October the Oregon State Beavers would be undefeated. The Beavs just dont show up until the leaves turn. They get BYU in Corvallis this week. Im still a believer despite an 0-4 start. Beavs win ... Beavs win!

The Pac-12 week winds up with Utah at Pittsburgh. The Utes are bruised and beaten. The move from the Mountain West has been a bigger one than anyone expected. Pitt wins. Im not watching.

Once again -- thats the way I see it. If Im wrong, as always, Ill deny it.

Barry Tompkins is a frequent contributor to CSNBayArea.com and Chronicle Live.

49ers snap count: Reid no longer starter; rookies see more time on offense


49ers snap count: Reid no longer starter; rookies see more time on offense

Veteran safety Eric Reid returned from a knee injury that kept him out three games to discover he lost his starting job.

Strong safety Jaquiski Tartt has continued to serve as an every-down player for the 49ers’ defense. On Sunday, Reid played 48 snaps (64 percent) as the 49ers employed six defensive backs against the Dallas Cowboys three-receiver sets.

The 49ers had to adjust their sub package after nickel back K’Waun Williams sustained a hip injury. Rookie Adrian Colbert entered the game at safety with Jimmie Ward taking over Williams’ role. Colbert played 29 snaps.

Newly signed defensive linemen Leger Douzable and Tony McDaniel saw a lot of action in their 49ers debuts. Douzable played the third-most of any defensive lineman (behind Solomon Thomas and DeForest Buckner), seeing action on 47 of the team’s 75 snaps. McDaniel played 25 snaps.

On offense, the 49ers appear to be making a point to go with younger players. Rookie Cole Hikutini played 21 snaps, taking over as the No. 2 tight end over Garrett Celek and Logan Paulsen.

Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, another undrafted rookie, played a season-high 23 snaps. On fourth-and-4 from the Dallas 28 early in the third quarter, coach Kyle Shanahan decided to go for it instead of kicking a 46-yard field goal. Bourne was the intended target. But he stumbled after a spin move from the slot, and C.J. Beathard’s pass was incomplete.

“As I was throwing the ball he tripped,” Beathard said. “If he hadn’t tripped on a DB’s feet or whatever happened there, it would’ve been a big play.”

Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams:

(66 plays)
Quarterback – C.J. Beathard 66
Running back – Carlos Hyde 51, Matt Breida 15
Wide receiver – Pierre Garçon 46, Trent Taylor 46, Marquise Goodwin 39, Aldrick Robinson 30, Kendrick Bourne 23
Tight end – George Kittle 31, Cole Hikutini 21, Garrett Celek 18, Logan Paulsen 11
Offensive line – Joe Staley 66, Daniel Kilgore 66, Laken Tomlinson 66, Brandon Fusco 52, Trent Brown 45, Garry Gilliam 20, Zane Beadles 14

(75 plays)
Defensive line – Solomon Thomas 61, DeForest Buckner 50, Leger Douzable 47, Earl Mitchell 38, Xavier Cooper 26, D.J. Jones 25, Tony McDaniel 25, Elvis Dumervil 15
Linebacker – Reuben Foster 53, Eli Harold 31, Ray-Ray Armstrong 27, Brock Coyle 22, Dekoda Watson 9
Cornerback – Dontae Johnson 63, Rashard Robinson 51, Ahkello Witherspoon 35, K’Waun Williams 20
Safety – Jaquiski Tartt 75, Jimmie Ward 75, Eric Reid 48, Adrian Colbert 29

(24 plays)
Elijah Lee 21, Coyle 21, Raheem Mostert 16, Celek 15, Colbert 16, Witherspoon 15, Breida 14, Harold 12, Hikutini 12, Armstrong 10, Tartt 10, Bradley Pinion 9, Jones 8, R.Robinson 8, Ward 8, Johnson 7, Kyle Nelson 6, Buckner 6, Thomas 6, Paulsen 6, Reid 5, Mitchell 5, Douzable 4, A.Robinson 3, Taylor 3, Robbie Gould 2, Foster 2, Staley 2, Kilgore 2, Gilliam 2, Beadles 2, Tomlinson 1, Fusco 1, Brown 1, Dumervil 1, Watson 1, Williams 1

QB Brian Hoyer

WR Victor Bolden
DB Dexter McCoil
FB Kyle Juszczyk (back)
LB Mark Nzeocha
LB Pita Taumoepenu
DL Aaron Lynch (calf)
OL Erik Magnuson

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent


Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

If there is such a thing as being “due” in sports (and there actually isn’t, so you can probably stop reading now), the San Francisco 49ers had Sunday coming to them.
After all, the anomaly of being the “best winless team in football” based on margin of defeat lasts only so long until the “winless” part trumps the “best” part, because even the Los Angeles Chargers – the previous “best bad team in football” – aren’t the Chargers all the time.
So it was that the Dallas Cowboys exposed every weakness the 49ers have with the simplest thing there is.
The Cowboys did everything they wanted, but only whenever they wanted it, in a 40-10 dope-slapping that could actually have been worse than it was. The 49er offense was properly stymied (again), gaining only 290 yards (4.5 yards per play) and the defense was thoroughly Elliotted (as in Ezekiel-ed, who averaged 8.1 yards in his 27 touches). San Francisco’s warts were rubbed until they glowed, and if not for the fact that head coach Kyle Shanahan already knew where they were, he’d have been shocked to see how visible they were.
And therein lies the takeaway from another day at Not-So-Great-America. It turns out that the 49ers weren’t very good at much of anything before Sunday except just how far away they are from what Shanahan and general manager John Lynch believe is their destiny. C.J.  Beathard remained the rookie quarterback he is, and Carlos Hyde's hard-won 68 rushing yards led to no scores. Indeed, San Francisco's only touchdown came on a four-yard improv sprint from Beathard, who is by no means a running quarterback except in abject flight.

Next week in Philadelphia figures to be no less grisly, if you’re waiting for that magic moment when “0” becomes “1.” That is, of course, unless Washington exposes the Eagles as less than what they seem, which is very often the case in the new parity-gripped NFL.

But there are subsequent get-well games at home against Arizona and then at New York against the Giants the week after, so whatever dreams you might have about them running the table backwards and getting the first overall pick in the draft are still light years from realization.
This is, however, another healthy reminder that the job to be done is at least two more years in the undoing before the doing can actually begin. Not that the players or coaches needed another lesson, mind you – they know.
But maybe you needed it, just to keep your delusions in check. Maybe the people who were “due” were all of you.
But that’s unfair, too. You didn’t undo this franchise. All you did was believe, and there’s nothing wrong with that – as long you know there will be more days like this before your team starts handing out the 40-10’s.
In the meantime, there is beer.