Stanford football (1-0) enters tonight's contest against Duke (1-0) with a lot to prove to voters and fans alike following an uninspiring win over upset-minded San Jose State in Week 1.
A strong showing on this chilly night in Stanford would do wonders for a team that has to be looking ahead to a showdown with No. 2 USC next Saturday. Senior quarterback Josh Nunes, coming off his first collegiate start, needs to show he can stretch the field tonight if the Cardinal have any hopes of matching Matt Barkley's high-scoring offense next week.
Stanford senior running back Stepfan Taylor, who gained 116 yards on the ground last week, sits just 54 yards shy of tying Brent Muster for third on Stanford's career rushing list. Look for Taylor to get the ball often in this one, as Stanford will likely protect its inexperienced quarterback as much as possible.
Should Stanford open a large lead with a balanced attack, I anticipate for Nunes to get a lot of work in the second half in an attempt to further establish his confidence.
Prediction: Stanford wins, 27-14