“Chrystmas Day” Stanford Crush Rice To Win Sydney Cup

It took a single defensive stand and a short, nine play opening touchdown drive to signal the total dominance the Stanford Cardinal had over the Rice Owls in the season opening Sydney Cup game played in Australia. With a massive defensive package and an equally threatening offense, Rice never stood a chance as Stanford made it an absolute 62-7 rout. Stanford starting quarterback Keller Chryst couldn’t have begun his college football season any better with a superb 14 pass completions from 24 attempts gaining 253 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Cardinal offense racked up an amazing 656 total yards the 7th highest tally in their team’s history. For the Rice Owls the few highlights were a single touchdown from running back Austin Walter and 10 defensive tackles from linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee.

Stanford starting QB Keller Chryst had a perfect start to season 2017 with 253 yds & 2 TD’s. Photo: Jodie Newell

Stanford began the game in exciting fashion with an opening 62 yard bust from running back Bryce Love. Two plays later Keller connected with tight end Colby Parkinson whose height proved too much for Justin Bickham and the Cardinal had their first touchdown in under 60 seconds. The Rice response was disappointing. Their first opening offensive drive was punctuated with 2 consecutive penalties, a loss of yardage, a penalty, then a few meager rushing yards before a punt as the big Stanford defense went after Rice debutante quarterback in Sam Glaesmann.

A great example of how the Stanford defense shut down any gaps for the Rice offense. Photo & graphics: Jodie Newell

Stanford’s next drives would see them post an incredible 38-0 lead at the half time break.  Keller Chryst passed the ball cleanly and effectively. His big offensive lineman gave him plenty of protection and was rarely troubled by the Rice defense.  Chryst was ably assisted by running backs Cameron Scarlett who scored 3 rushing TD’s and Bryce Love who chipped in with one.  Stanford accumulated a massive 429 offensive yards in the first half. It was a super impressive start to the 2017 season for the Cardinal.

Keller Chryst was afforded plenty of protection via the Stanford offensive lineman. Photo: Jodie Newell

Stanford QB Cryst hands the ball off to running back Cameron Scarlett who scored 3 TD’s. Photo: Jodie Newell

The Rice Owl offense were not able make any inroads into the Cardinal defense.  Quarterback Glaesmann struggled for a miserly 60+yards for the half. He was sacked twice and eventually was benched by Owls head coach David Bailiff.

Rice debutante QB Glaesmann struggled to counter a solid Stanford D. Photo: Jodie Newell

Jackson Tyner who had started for Rice last year, was brought in to replace Glaesmann. Tyner seemed a little more settled and was able to make some good passes from the short time he was on the field.

Jackson Tyner in action for Rice. Stanford linebacker Jordan Perez moves in for the tackle. Photo: Jodie Newell

The second half saw Stanford bench Keller Cryst with coach David Shaw giving his other quarterbacks in KJ Costello and Ryan Burns some gameday plays. Burns was the more effective of the two. He scored an impressive touchdown play when he connected with Kaden Smith. Whilst Costello didn’t score a TD, he played well and emphasized the many effective offensive looks this Stanford side showed in the big victory.

“Anything Keller can do, so can I” Stanford back-up QB Ryan Burns after he scored a TD v Rice. Photo: Jodie Newell

Defensively, Rice linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee was the obvious standout. He had a busy day trying to counter the Stanford offense. Ellerbee made ten tackles for the game and was easily Rice’s best player in a lop sided affair. Rice were at least able to score a late consolation try when running back Austin Walker made a 23-yard touchdown run. The Sydney crowd of 33,181 roared with approval as the underdogs showed a glimpse of form.

Nahshon Ellerbe returns the ball for Rice on the Stanford kick off. Photo: Jodie Newell

Stanford coach David Shaw was obviously delighted with the result, especially the game played by his starting quarterback in Keller Chryst “It was great to see Keller Chryst come and be completely healthy, and be able to run the show from the quarterback position”.

Stanford head coach David Shaw was delighted with his team’s season opening win. Photo: Jodie Newell

Rice Owls coach David Bailiff was disappointed but was philosophical citing the Sydney game experience as extremely beneficial “We are a good football team. We didn’t play like it today. As a coach I need to go back look at the film and see what we can do better”. Both teams have a week to get themselves ready. Stanford face USC in Los Angeles on September 9, whilst the Rice Owls play UTEP in El Paso Texas also on September 9.

Rice Owls head coach David Bailiff “We know we can do better”. Photo: Jodie Newell



About the Author

Jodie Newell
Love reporting on sports, politics, history and music