Right now, the status of Stanford Cardinal linebacker Shayne Skov is uncertain, but the injury he suffered when making a hit on Juron Criner did not look good at all. Skov immediately went to the ground and could not put any weight on his leg. Skov was carted off the field, was supposedly screaming in pain on the sideline, and spent most of the second half on his back, staring at the stars, perhaps as distant as Stanford's fading national championship hopes. Head coach David Shaw said after the game that there was no news yet on Skov's injury.
The loss of Skov (who figures to be out awhile, if not the entire season) puts a serious cramp on the experience of the Cardinal linebacking corps. Skov was the mainstay of the inside linebacking corps (perhaps the best linebacker in the Pac-12) to complement Chase Thomas on the outside, and was absolutely solid in all aspects of the game. Although Stanford's defense clamped down in the second half, Arizona is probably one of the weakest teams in the Pac-12 this season.
Promising young freshman linebacker James Vaughters did emerge and make some big plays in Skov's absence, but this is now a very inexperienced corps anchoring the middle, and some fierce contests against solid Pac-12 quarterbacks await. Luckily, the Cardinal have a bye and then lowly UCLA, so Stanford will have plenty of time to recuperate and retool for Skov's absence, but Stanford might have to revise their expectations for this season as their defense is likely to drop down a notch.
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