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Oregon Football

Five Players to Know: Stanford Defense

September 20, 2019

Stanford has been known for its defensive prowess many years under David Shaw. However the past two weeks have not been kind to the Cardinal defense giving up points and big yardage plays.

We’ve always expected them to be physically dominant up front and fundamentally sound. There’s a lot of questions surrounding this Stanford defense but they still have talent.

With that in mind here are the the players to know from this Stanford defense. 

Casey Toohill (52) Outside Linebacker

The 6-4, 247-pounder is an absolute thumper for the Cardinal. Against UCF he had 8 total tackles -- 5 of them solo -- and added half a tackle for loss. Toohill is able to get after the quarterback using his size, but he is also a great run-stopping linebacker. He’s also big enough to cover bigger tight ends, but is a step slow if you’re able to create a mismatch with him and a speedy receiver. 

Thomas Booker (34), Defensive End

The 6-4, 281-pounder is a real wrecking ball. He had 7 total tackles last week, 4 of them solo. He also added half a tackle for loss and had a quarterback hurry. Booker is relatively quick for his size, enabling him both to get after the quarterback and plug a gap in running situations. Oregon has to make sure they don’t let Booker get a mismatch with a tight end on the line of scrimmage, as he can take advantage of those situations.

Paulson Adebo (11), Cornerback

The 6-1, 190-pound junior offers size and length and is able to cover bigger targets. If Juwan Johnson is a go this weekend, I would expect them to put Adebo on him. He has good ball skills and is a solid Pac-12 cornerback. Stanford has a few good corners, but overall it’s not a group that really pops off the screen at me. I’d expect Oregon to take some shots early and really test them out.

Kendall Williamson (21), Strong Safety

The 6-1, 201-pound sophomore is a hard-hitting player who’s tall enough to help in coverage, but is also able to put his head down and lay a hit. Against UCF and USC, this secondary really struggled, but it still has a lot of talent to be a solid unit. It’s going to be all about whether Justin Herbert is able to recognize the mismatches the Cardinals give you, and if he can deliver on those throws.

Curtis Robinson (2), Inside Linebacker

The 6-3, 236-pound senior is a veteran presence for this Cardinal's defense. Their linebacker corps has a whole lot of size, but not as much speed. I am personally a big fan of Robinson, as he seems to be a really smart player in the middle. Oregon will need to be able to throw across the middle, as they don’t have a lot of proven players out wide who are really able to go up and snag a 50-50 ball. Arroyo is going to have to scheme up some plays across the middle with guys like Jacob Breeland and Jaylon Redd to get the offense rolling.

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