STANFORD – Sam Roush appeared to comply with his bloodlines when he was named the 2021 Tennessee Class AA co-defensive participant of the 12 months.
Roush’s maternal nice uncle is Professional Soccer Corridor of Famer Merlin Olsen, who spent 15 years as a defensive sort out with the Los Angeles Rams. His maternal grandfather, Phil Olsen, additionally performed defensive sort out within the NFL, whereas his father, Luke Roush, performed security at Duke.
Roush had a breakout efficiency for Stanford final week that’d make his football-playing family members proud – however it was on the opposite aspect of the ball, as a decent finish. Roush led the crew with seven catches for 61 yards within the Cardinal’s 10-7 win at Washington State.
Stanford will probably want one other large efficiency from Roush on Saturday if it hopes for one more upset within the Pacific Northwest, this time as a three-touchdown underdog in opposition to No. 12 Oregon State (2:30 p.m., Pac-12 Community).
Roush performed tight finish and defensive finish in highschool, and he mentioned his defensive-minded members of the family don’t thoughts that he strains up on offense now.
“They’re simply pleased that I’m having enjoyable,” Roush mentioned.
Roush had 11 catches for 118 yards in his first 19 video games with Stanford. However since becoming a member of the beginning lineup after Benjamin Yurosek suffered an undisclosed damage in opposition to UCLA, Roush has caught 10 passes for 104 yards previously two video games.
“He didn’t play a lot or any tight finish in highschool,” Cardinal coach Troy Taylor mentioned. “He’s actually extra of a defensive lineman and so his development has been large.”
Roush performed a component within the greatest play in opposition to Washington State, a 27-yard reverse cross from QB Justin Lamson that obtained Stanford to the 1-yard line and led to its solely landing.
Roush was presupposed to be huge open on the trick play – not solely did it come off a reverse, but additionally Lamson would run 20 occasions and throw just one cross, making a throw much more stunning. A security got here as much as cease the run, however a linebacker stayed glued to Roush, forcing him to make a contested catch.
“I imply, the ball expertise he confirmed on that cross from Lamson,” Taylor mentioned. “It was a extremely good throw and an unbelievable adjustment. He got here up with late palms, adjusted to the ball, opened up his hips. We’ve seen that in observe the place he’s simply gotten higher and higher and extra snug.”
Out of concern for head accidents, Roush’s dad and mom didn’t let him play soccer till he began highschool at Valley Christian in San Jose. Midway via his junior 12 months, he moved to Nashville and performed for Lipscomb Academy and then-head coach Trent Dilfer.
Although his accolades as a senior got here as a defensive participant, he was recruited as a decent finish and enrolled early at Stanford. He performed totally on particular groups and on operating downs as a freshman.
“He needs to be good in all facets of taking part in tight finish and the run recreation and cross safety,” Taylor mentioned. “He simply needs it so dangerous, and generally you may press whenever you need to be good at every thing. And so I believe as you get extra expertise and he’s taking part in extra, I believe he’s turn out to be extra snug, extra assured, and just a little bit extra constant. He’s turn out to be an actual issue and benefit for us at that place.”
Roush continued on the punt protection crew this season, so he nonetheless will get the possibility to hit folks like his forefathers used to.
“I get to sort out folks each from time to time, and that’s a number of enjoyable,” Roush mentioned. “However catching passes and blocking folks is nice too.”
Stanford (3-6, 2-5 Pac-12) and Oregon State (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12 , No. 12 CFP) share one factor in frequent on Saturday — a loss will finish their big-picture dream for the season.
The Cardinal should win out (they host Cal and Notre Dame to finish the common season) to get the six wins wanted to turn out to be bowl eligible. The Beavers are going to a bowl, however should win out — and get assist — to maintain hopes for a berth within the Pac-12 championship alive.
Stanford’s maligned protection confirmed spark final weekend on the highway at Washington State, limiting the Cougars to only 57 whole yards within the second half . Oregon State’s Damian Martinez has rushed for a median of 97.6 yards a recreation and the Beavers collectively are averaging 5.21 yards per rush. Stanford is permitting about 127 yards dashing a recreation.
Martinez wants 122 dashing yards to achieve 1,000 for the season and changing into the 18th participant at school historical past to achieve that milestone. He has rushed for at the least 100 yards in 4 video games this season. He’s ranked second within the Pac-12 with a median of 97.6 yards a recreation.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Beavers received the final two within the all-time sequence in opposition to Stanford after an 11-game dropping streak. … All three of Stanford’s wins have come on the highway. … Oregon State has 30 sacks, second-most within the Pac-12 and tenth nationally. … Stanford huge receiver Tiger Bachmeier has 20 receptions during the last three video games. Two weeks in the past in opposition to the Huskies he turned the primary true freshman in Stanford’s historical past with 10 catches in a single recreation. His 327 receiving yards are probably the most by a real freshman within the Pac-12 this season.
The Related Press contributed to this report.