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Stanford knocked off San Jose State 20-17, but needed a late defensive stop to secure the victory. Josh Nunes, making his first career start, completed 16-of-25 passes for 125 yards. While he will look to improve on that performance, Stanford will likely still rely on Stepfan Taylor to carry the offense. Taylor rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown in Stanford's season opener.
The Cardinal defense will also get a boost as linebacker Shayne Skov will make his season debut. Skov hasn't played since suffering a serious knee injury in Stanford's third game last season.
The Blue Devils also enter the game 1-0 after they beat Florida International 46-26 to begin the season. Senior quarterback Sean Renfree completed 21-of-30 passes for 290 yards against FIU. Renfree threw for just 179 yards against Stanford last season in a 44-14 Cardinal victory.
Game Time: 7:30 p.m. PT
Location: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, Calif.
Point Spread: Stanford favored by 14 points
Television: Pac-12 Network
The Stanford Cardinal are at No. 25 in the latest AP Top 25 college football rankings released on Tuesday. The Cardinal fell from No. 21 the previous week after a narrow victory over San Jose State on Saturday.
This marks the 33rd straight week that Stanford makes an appearance in the AP Top 25, which is good for the ninth-longest current streak in the country. The Cardinal started their run on Sept. 5, 2010.
They will try to keep their streak going when they face the Duke Blue Devils at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Foster Field.
Two other Pac-12 teams showed up in the rankings. USC fell out of the top spot to No. 2, while Oregon rose one spot to No. 4.
The Alabama Crimson Tide are ranked No. 1
The No. 21-ranked Stanford Cardinal picked up a victory in their season opener on Saturday, but it didn't come easily as they defeated the San Jose State Spartans by a final score of 20-17. The Cardinal squeaked out a win after converting on a 20-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, but it remains to be seen whether that will be enough to keep them in the AP and USA Today Coaches polls moving into Week 2.
No. 22-ranked Kansas State defeated Missouri State 51-9 while unranked Notre Dame crushed Navy 50-10, further putting pressure on Stanford in the back end of the polls.
Meanwhile, Pac-12 rivals USC and Oregon each picked up impressive blowout victories against lesser opponents. The Trojans crushed Hawaii 49-10 while the Ducks defeated Arkansas State 57-34. But No. 1 USC might not stay atop the AP and USA Today Coaches poll for much longer after second-ranked Alabama blew out eighth-ranked Michigan by a final score of 41-14.
The No. 21 Stanford Cardinal were tested in their first game of 2012, beating the San Jose State Spartans 20-17 on Saturday.
After taking an early 14-0 lead, the Cardinal fought off a second half comeback by the Spartans and Jordan Williamson kicked a career-long 46-yard field goal that ended up being the game-winner. Ed Reynolds picked off San Jose State quarterback David Fales with just over a minute left to preserve the victory.
Here is video of the postgame press conference, with reaction from Taylor, Nunes, Reynolds and Head Coach David Shaw:
It took a fourth quarter interception of a David Fales pass by Stanford Cardinal sophomore safety Ed Reynolds to put away the pesky San Jose State Spartans for good, 20-17, in Friday night's season opener at Stanford Stadium.
It was a tale of two halves for the Cardinal, who led 17-3 at the half and looked to be in control before heading to the locker room at the end of the second quarter. But an offensive barrage led by Fales put the Spartans in position to pull of the first major upset of a top-25 team in 2012.
Spartans quarterback Blake Jurich scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to make it a one-possession game at the 11:08 mark. After a quick three-and-out by the Cardinal, Fales connected with wide receiver Noel Grigsby on a 21-yard pass that tied the game.
A 20-yard field goal from Jordan Williamson early in the fourth would prove to be the difference in the game for Stanford, who generated just 287 total yards of offense.
Josh Nunes, who is making his first start since Andrew Luck left for the NFL was 16-for-26 for 124 yards and a touchdown. Running back Stepfan Taylor was Stanford's offensive player of the game with 124 yards on the ground and a touchdown of his own.
Josh Nunes is picking up right where 2012 NFL No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck left off and has the Stanford Cardinal up 17-3 at halftime in the season opener at Stanford Stadium against the San Jose State Spartans on Friday night.
Nunes was 5-for-6 and threw a nice lofted pass to the corner of the end zone to Drew Terrell to put the No. 21-ranked Cardinal up 14-0 in the first quarter. San Jose State answered with an Austin Lopez 38-yard field goal to cut the Spartans' deficit to 11, but Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson answered right back with a 46-yarder of his own to take a 14-point lead into the half.
Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor carried the ball 14 times for 86 yards and a touchdown and averaged a whopping 6.1 yards per carry in the half. He also added two receptions out of the backfield. Ty Montgomery leads all receivers with four catches for 35 yards for the Cardinal.
SB Nation released its first weekly BlogPoll of the 2012 season, and USC and Alabama are neck and neck for the top spot separated by a mere .13 points per blog.
The top three spots in the poll are awfully crowded, with USC, Alabama and LSU separated by just .44 points per blog. The Tigers had claimed the No. 1 spot in the summer BlogPoll, but it's likely that the loss of cornerback Tyrann Matthieu dropped the Tigers two spots to No. 3.
Stanford landed at No. 21, receiving 6.10 points per blog, down two spots from their No. 19 ranking in the summer BlogPoll. Pac-12 rival Oregon claimed the No. 4 spot with 21.63 points per blog and a single first place vote.
The Cardinal will open the 2012 season on Saturday at home against San Jose State.
For more on Stanford Cardinal football, check out Rule Of Tree.
Stanford Cardinal football was ranked No. 21 in the 2012 AP Preseason poll.