FS Osiomogho Atogwe

2002 Statistics

Coach: Buddy Teevens
2-9, 1 year
2002 Record: 2-9
at Boston College LOST 27-34
at Arizona State LOST 24-65
at Notre Dame LOST 7-31
at UCLA LOST 18-28
at Oregon LOST 14-41
at California LOST 7-30

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

Injuries, inconsistency, and inexperience marred Buddy Teevens' inaugural season in Palo Alto. The Cardinal struggled to a 2-9 record, including a 1-8 mark in the Pac-10, and closed the season on the wrong end of a blowout to archrival Cal.

This season, with an extra year to adjust to Teevens' system, the Cardinal should be improved. Although the offense remains a major question mark, especially with the departure of its best players in Johnson, Carter, and Moore, the defense should make major strides.

The schedule is faintly encouraging. A trip to Provo to face BYU will be a major test, but then the only other tough non-conference game will be at home against a depleted Notre Dame team to close out. In conference play, the Cardinal will host Washington State, UCLA, and Cal. The trickiest stretch of the schedule looms in a midseason five-game swing that features road trips to face Washington, USC, and Oregon, and home dates with Wazzu, and UCLA. If Stanford can go 2-3 through that stretch - a tall order for a 2-9 squad - the youthful Cardinal will have weathered the storm. This team will be competitive in most of these tilts, but should eventually lose most to wind up .500 at best. Establishing themselves early into their slate could prove just the opposite - but imagining that reality seems far-fetched for this leaderless squad. Someone must take the QB-throttle to make 2003 have purpose…otherwise, the slow and painful nature of the inevitable takes hold.

Projected 2003 record: 2-9
TE Alex Smith
QB - 2.5 DL - 1.5
RB - 2 LB - 3
WR - 3 DB - 3
OL - 2 ..

Passing: Kyle Matter, 214-116-10, 1219 yds., 8 TD

Rushing: Kenneth Tolon, 66 att., 346 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Alex Smith, 30 rec., 380 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Michael Sgroi, 9-15 FG, 23-24 PAT, 50 pts.

Punting: Eric Johnson, 58 punts, 39.8 avg.

Kicking: Michael Sgroi, 9-15 FG, 23-24 PAT, 50 pts.

Tackles: Oshiomogho Atogwe, 71 tot., 47 solo

Sacks: Amon Gordon, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Leigh Torrence, 3 for 55 yds.

Kickoff returns: Grant Mason, 5 ret., 14.2 avg.

Punt returns: Luke Powell, 19 ret., 8.1 avg.


OFFENSE: Kerry Carter-RB, Tom Kolich-C, Casey Moore-FB, Greg Schindler-OG, Paul Weinacht-OG, Ryan Wells-WR, Kwame Harris-OT (NFL), Teyo Johnson-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Colin Branch-FS, Trey Freeman-DT, Matt Leonard-DE

written by Collin Mickle

For the second straight year, Stanford will depend on running back position by committee. Although two key members of 2002's quorum - tailback Kerry Carter and fullback Casey Moore - have departed, several talented players are prepared to replace them. Junior Kenneth Tolon is a powerful, efficient runner with a nose for the end zone (team-high four TDs). Sophomore J. R. Lemon showed flashes of talent in '02, although he played sparingly.

At fullback, converted linebacker Kris Bonifas is expected to replace Moore, a four-year starter and a seventh-round NFL draft choice (Carolina). Bonifas has been a revelation, both as a tough short-yardage runner and as a receiver out of the backfield. In head coach Buddy Teevens' system, the fullback logs a significant number of carries, in addition to pass-catching and lead-blocking responsibilities.

In the pass-happy Pac-10, unless defenses are superior, high scores and gaudy numbers are the rule. In this high-powered offensive conference, Stanford was an anomaly. The Cardinal ranked ninth or tenth in the Pac-10 in pass offense, scoring offense, and total offense, thanks largely to uncertainty and instability at quarterback. Fortunately, there is a good omen - a talented trio of quarterbacks returns to compete for the starting slot. Senior starter Chris Lewis, who missed six games with a rotator cuff injury, regained the top job in the spring. But redshirt freshman Trent Edwards came on strong in spring drills, passing sophomore Kyle Matter (the starter for the last six games of the '02 season) on the depth chart. Head coach Buddy Teevens refused to anoint Lewis the permanent starter, meaning that either of his backups could unseat him. Look for this position's plight to either make or break the entire team's 2003 effort. The defense will hold their own, but no offensive leadership would ultimately garner their many quality yard-gainers void.

Lewis - or his replacement - will have a redeveloping corps of receivers due to the departure of star wideout / tight end Teyo Johnson, who split the Farm after his sophomore season (2nd round pick, Oakland). Speedy senior Luke Powell, a one-time All-America kick returner, will shoulder the bulk of the offensive load. After Powell, however, the inexperienced wide receivers are a huge question mark. Juniors Greg Camarillo and Nick Sebes, and sophomores Grant Mason and Gerren Crochet all saw very limited action as reserves. Senior Brandon Royster and sophomore Justin McCullum are both coming off injuries from a year ago and are also in the mix. Redshirt freshman David Lofton moved from quarterback to wideout in the spring and seemed to adjust well, making him an added weapon.

Inexperience is also the norm on the offensive line. If tackle Kwame Harris (a first-round pick of the 49ers) had returned for his senior season, Stanford would have had one of the nation's top tandems at the position, with Harris and senior Kirk Chambers, who has started every game in his Stanford career. Instead, Chambers is the only starter returning up front, and will have to show plenty of leadership to mold the motley group of youngsters into a cohesive unit. Three redshirt freshmen could wind up in the starting lineup, along with Chambers and senior Mike Sullivan. This area will directly impact any quarterback development issues - the season will have a frustrating tone if these positions falter and sequentially the offense struggles.


WR Luke Powell


Returning Starters in bold
QB Chris Lewis-Sr Kyle Matter-So
FB Cooper Blackhurst-Sr Kris Bonifas-So
TB Kenneth Tolon-Jr J.R. Lemon-So
WR Luke Powell-Sr Nick Sebes-Jr
WR Greg Camarillo-Jr Gerren Crochet-So
TE Alex Smith-Jr Brett Pierce-Sr
OT Kirk Chambers-Sr Matt McClernan-Fr
OG Ismail Simpson-Fr David Beall-Fr
C Brian Head-So Tim Mattran-Fr
OG Jeff Edwards-Fr Josiah Vinson-Fr
OT Mike Sullivan-Sr Jon Cochran-Fr
K Michael Sgroi-So ..



written by Collin Mickle

A still-young unit that was abused throughout 2002 is rapidly maturing within its own potential. Stanford should have the most-improved defense in the conference. Since the Cardinal finished last in the Pac-10 in scoring defense, this is obvious.

The true strength of the Cardinal defense will be at linebacker, where all three starters and three top reserves return. The unit will be the foundation of a solid defense for several seasons to come, thanks to its youth - starting middle linebacker Jake Covault and his backup, Brian Gaffney, are the only seniors. Talented sophomores Jon Alston and David Bergeron will start at the outside linebacker spots, but could face tough competition from junior Jared Newberry and sophomore Michael Craven, both of whom spent time as starters in 2002. Craven, who started the first four games last season, is the likeliest of the three reserves to return to the lineup.

Three starters return in the secondary, corners Leigh Torrance and Stanley Wilson and strong safety Oshiomogho Atogwe. Along with nickelback T. J. Rushing, the trio forms a quality nucleus in the defensive backfield, and are the main reason that the Cardinals managed to stay out of the Pac-10 basement in pass defense, with a respectable 16 interceptions. Special team aces Kevin Schimmelmann and Timi Wusu will compete for the starting free safety job.

A solid pass rush is important in the gun-slinging Pac-10. Stanford mustered only 23 sacks, while allowing 38. This spring, head coach Buddy Teevens and co-defensive coordinator Tom Williams tinkered with the lineup of their defensive front, moving junior defensive end Amon Gordon inside to tackle, where the Cardinal had to replace two starters. Gordon, who had the team's highest sack-total (four), played well inside this spring, but will have a tough time adjusting to a season's worth of pounding on the interior. Junior Louis Hobson, the other starting defensive end, remains outside. Joining Gordon inside will be sophomore noseguard Babatunde Oshinowo, who was solid in a reserve role last season, or senior Ian Shelswell, a 320-pound gap-clogger. A rotation would prove empowering over four quarters.


LB Michael Craven


Returning Starters in bold
DE Louis Hobson-Sr Michael Lovelady-So
DT Amon Gordon-Jr Scott Scharff-Jr
NT Babatunde Oshinowo-So Casey Carroll-So
DE Will Svitek-Jr Julian Jenkins-So
OLB Michael Craven-So Kevin Schimmelmann-So
MLB David Bergeron-Jr Jake Covault-Sr
OLB Jared Newberry-Jr Jon Alston-So
CB Stanley Wilson-Jr Grant Mason-So
CB Leigh Torrence-Jr T.J. Rushing-So
SS Timi Wusu-So Trevor Hooper-Fr
FS Oshiomogho Atogwe-Jr Marcus McCutcheon-So
P Eric Johnson-Sr ..




Punter Eric Johnson and PK Michael Sgroi both return, solidifying the Cardinal's special teams. Johnson, who is entering his third year as the starting punter, averaged almost 40 yards per 2002 punt, and is expected to improve his distance and hang time. Sgroi hit 9-of-15 FGAs, despite suffering from a nagging back injury most of the fall.

Powell, the only Stanford player ever named first-team All-America at kick returner, will handle both kick and punt return duties. Speedy and explosive, Powell is a home-run threat every time he touches the ball. That is good news for the Stanford offense - they need all the positive field position it can.

The defensive depth, especially at linebacker, bodes well for the coverage units. Last season, the Cardinal special teams were abysmal, allowing 24.5 yards per kick return and 11.5 per punt. If Stanford is to improve on its record, improvement on special teams is a necessary place to start.