As feared, the Stanford Cardinal have lost their best defender for the season. Inside linebacker Shayne Skov landed awkwardly. The knee injury (which has yet to be disclosed) will end his season according to head coach David Shaw.
It is a tough loss, but all is not totally lost for Stanford. The Cardinal showed considerable resilience and battered Arizona throughout the second half. True freshman James Vaughters proved he will be a formidable defender in his own right with some huge pass rushes. Jarek Lancaster filled in for Skov and provide a yeoman's effort. And senior leader Chase Thomas is still back to anchor the Cardinal front seven.
However, considering how much Stanford's offense has struggled off the bat, there is justified cause for concern as to whether the Cardinal defense can shut down better Pac-12 offenses like Oregon, Washington and USC. The thin line between winning and losing is stretching that much thinner, as Stanford cannot afford too many critical injuries in the trenches.
For more on Stanford football, discuss the Cardinal at Rule of Tree.