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On Thursday, we took a look at Stanford’s star quarterback Andrew Luck. Today, we will take a look at some more players that make this Stanford team tick. Honestly, the Trees don’t have a whole lot of star power, which is surprising for a team that dominated most of their competition on their way to an 11-1 record. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some real superstars that are flying under the radar for Jim Harbaugh’s squad.
Luck has received the most press and rightfully so, but below are five other names that have helped this Cardinal team get to Miami. All five are guys the Virginia Tech coaching staff should be seriously concerned about. If the Hokies want to win this game, these five guys below are going to need to have a quiet night.
Chase Beeler – Center – Senior
Stanford boasts three first team All Pac-10 offensive lineman, which is more than any team in the country. One of the reasons for that is because of center Chase Beeler. Beeler transferred to Stanford from Oklahoma after his freshman season and has been a mainstay on this offensive line ever since. This year, Beeler was arguably the best center in the country earning All Pac 10 honors along with being named to the 1st team All American list by the Associated Press.
Owen Marecic – Fullback/Linebacker – Senior
If you follow Kyle Tucker on twitter or read his blogs than I’m sure you’ve read his post on Owen Marecic already. Marecic is the only two-way starter in the entire country. Marecic starts at both middle linebacker and at fullback for the Stanford Cardinal. For the Hokies, they should only concern themselves with the Stanford senior when the Trees are in a short yardage situation. He’s not a huge threat to bust anything but he’s one of the best at picking up a needed yard or two in close games.
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Stepfan Taylor – Running Back – Sophomore
The reason Stanford has been so electric on offense this season is because of their ability to run the football. Stepfan Taylor (pictured above) is Stanford’s sole tailback and he is a good one. Taylor is a lot like Darren Evans in that he’s a power runner with good speed and good moves. He’s not a huge homerun threat but if you let him get to the sideline he can be hard to catch. The good news for Tech fans is that when opposing teams have slowed Stanford’s rushing attack, their offense seems to slow as well. Maybe the key to this game isn’t in stopping Andrew Luck but in making this offense one-dimensional.
Sione Fua – Nose Tackle – Senior
The Hokies have struggled against dominant defensive tackles in the past and they’ll have their hands full with Sione Fua on Monday night. Fua is a talented defensive tackle that earned All Pac 10 honors when he was named to the 2nd team earlier this month. While his stats won’t blow you away (22 total tackles, six tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks) he is a disrupter and can really slow down this Virginia Tech rushing attack. Fua is similar to BJ Raji, who played for Boston College a few years ago. He has a low center of gravity but big enough to hold his own against the Hokies’ front line.
Delano Howell – Safety – Junior
The Stanford defense isn’t great but they do have some playmakers that can change the game in a hurry if the Hokies aren’t careful. Delano Howell is Stanford’s starting free safety this season and is a two-year starter now at that position. He switched over from running back in 2009 and has seen his stock rise since making the switch. He leads the team in interceptions with four and leads the team with 13 pass deflections.
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