Sports


Bailey's kicking game gives Stanford's defense a big lift

 

While the defense was stout in Saturday's tough 10-5 loss to Colorado, specialist Jake Bailey contributed mightily.

The sophomore from Solana Beach, averaged 50.6 yards on six punts and boomed kicks of 56, 56 and a career-best 61. Two boots pinned the Buffaloes at their own 7 and 12.


Jake Bailey
Bailey was named the Ray Guy Punter of the Week by the Augusta Sports Council on Monday.

For the record, the longest punt in school history was 79 yards by Frankie Albert in 1940 against Oregon State.

Bailey ranks 21st nationally with an average of 44.2 and also handles kickoff duties. He has 14 touchbacks in 26 kickoffs this season and has helped the Cardinal rank as the top coverage team in the Pac-12.

Colorado averaged 39 points coming into the game and its previous low was 17 against USC. That was small consolation to junior linebacker Joey Alfieri, who said there has been no finger pointing while the offense tries to get back on track.

"We definitely had some miscues, too," said Alfieri, who collected a team-high eight tackles and had 1.5 sacks. "We got lucky they missed some field goals. We can definitely play a lot better."

Asked if the defense feels added pressure, Alfieri said, "We just need to dig deeper. We need to strain a little more and play harder."

David Shaw, the Director of Football, said his offense has performed well in practice the last two weeks. Center Jesse Burkett echoed those sentiments.

"It is very frustrating when what we get done in practice doesn't show up in a game," he said. "All we can do is keep working."

Asked if he could pinpoint the problem, Burkett said, "Self-inflicted wounds."

Shaw and his staff will continue to evaluate the quarterback position, where senior Ryan Burns has started all seven games and junior Keller Chryst has received spot duty.

"We have not been getting the play that we need," said Shaw.

They will also explore ways to rejuvenate the offense.

"We've got to score more points," Shaw said. "It's as simple as that. There were a lot of things that we have to do better and some things that we have to look into tweaking."

For the first time since 2011, Stanford (4-3 overall, 2-3 Pac-12) travels to Tucson, playing Arizona on Saturday at 8 p.m. The Cardinal has won four straight against the Wildcats, including a 55-17 home victory last season.

Arizona (2-5, 0-4) had a bye this week. The teams have faced three common opponents: USC, UCLA and Washington. Stanford beat USC and UCLA, then lost to Washington. The Wildcats have fallen to all three, but pushed the Huskies to overtime in Tucson.

Extra Points: Sophomore wide receiver Trenton Irwin had a career-high seven catches for 88 yards . . . Cory Booker '91 M.A. '92, former Stanford football player and Shaw's teammate and current United States senator of New Jersey, served as honorary captain on Reunion Homecoming . . . Senior offensive lineman David Bright missed his first game in three years due to injury . . . Stanford is now 18-6 in October under Shaw . . . Former defensive standout Coy Wire, who now works for CNN, was on campus and did live reports from Stanford Stadium.

Quotable: "We're a team. We win together and lose together." – Joey Alfieri

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