Former Palo Alto High standout Kevin Anderson is expected to make his first collegiate start at outside linebacker when Stanford opens its 2014 football season against visiting UC Davis on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Anderson, who has been waiting in the wings for this opportunity since helping Paly win a state title in 2010, had 26 tackles last season in a backup role to All-American Trent Murphy.
Stanford head coach Davis Shaw said he expects solid production out of Anderson this season.
"You saw him make a difference when he came into the game," Shaw said of Anderson's efforts last season.
Also hoping to make a difference is wide receiver/kick returner Ty Montgomery, who has been cleared to play after undergoing offseason surgery on his right shoulder. Montgomery ranked No. 2 nationally in kickoff returns last season, averaging 30.3 yards per return. Shaw, however, said Montgomery will be used sparingly.
Saturday's game is designated as the annual Bill Walsh Legacy Game, in honor of the late Stanford coach whose impact continues to be felt at all levels of football in the Bay Area and around the nation. It's also Educator Appreciation Day, with free admission to Bay Area educators K-12.
Stanford will be opening its 120th season against a team it has played just twice. Stanford won the first meeting, 59-0, on Nov. 12, 1932, against the team known as the California Aggies. It served as a tuneup for the Big Game and was the last victory in the Stanford coaching career of Glenn "Pop" Warner, who went 71-17-8 (.781) from 1924-32. The College Football Hall of Famer coached Stanford to its first two Rose Bowls.
However, UC Davis stunned the Cardinal in 2005 with 20 unanswered points in a 20-17 upset at Stanford Stadium.
Stanford is 11-3 (.786) in its past 14 season openers, with six consecutive victories dating to 2008. Shaw could become the first Stanford head coach to win his first four season openers since Warner from 1929-32.
The Cardinal is 37-3 (.925) at Stanford Stadium since the final home game of 2007. Stanford's 16-game home winning streak is the nation's second-longest behind South Carolina (18). Stanford is 10-0 in its past 10 home games against non-conference opponents. Its last loss came against Notre Dame in 2007.
The Cardinal returns 49 letter-winners (22 offense, 24 defense, three specialists) and 14 starters (five offense, seven defense, two specialists) from last season's Pac-12 championship team that finished 11-3 overall.
Stanford's ongoing streak of five consecutive winning seasons is the longest in program history since an 11-season streak from 1968-78 under John Ralston, Jack Christiansen and Walsh. The program's longest streak (not including the rugby years) is 13, from 1923-35 under coaches Andrew Kerr, Warner, and Tiny Thornhill.
Stanford has three players -- Thomas Oser, Lane Veach and Brandon Fanaika -- who are out indefinitely and could be medical redshirts . . . Charlie Hopkins has been hobbled but is expected to practice Wednesday . . . Jordan Watkins has no lingering issues from last week's injury and is also ready to go . . . Casey Tucker, David Bright, Nick Davidson and Brendon Austin are the four leading candidates to play in Stanford's jumbo and elephant packages.