David Shaw announces Stanford will be without key offensive weapon against Washington
E.J. Smith will not play for Stanford (1-1, 0-1 Pac-12) this weekend when it takes on No. 18 Washington (3-0).
Stanford head coach David Shaw announced the news when he met with reporters on Tuesday. The third-year running back is a starter for the Cardinal, but was left off this week’s two-deep. Junior back Casey Filkins will get the nod as the starting back against UW.
“We’ll play multiple backs, as we have in the past,” Shaw said. “Excited about what Casey put on film last week. I think there are some plays he’d also love to have back. Look forward to him having a heck of a game.”
Smith is a major loss for the Cardinal, particularly so against Washington. He’s a home-run hitter out of the backfield, and Stanford will likely need some of those against the 14th-best scoring offense in the country.
He has 206 yards and three scores so far this season on 30 carries. Smith is second in the Pac-12 in rushing yards per game (103) and sixth among qualified rushers in yards per carry (6.9).
He had six explosive runs in the first two weeks, including an 87-yard touchdown run on first play from scrimmage in the season-opener against Colgate.
The 5-foot-11, 198-pound Filkins has 22 carries for 97 yards (4.4 per carry) and two scores. Through the first two weeks, he worked primarily as the No. 2. He had a 15-yard carry against USC, his only explosive play of the year.
Junior Caleb Robinson and sophomore Brendon Barrow are listed as co-RB2 on Stanford’s two-deep for the week. Barrow has three carries for 13 yards this year. Robinson has four for 12. Neither logged a carry last season.
Shaw said they hope to have Smith back for an Oct. 1 matchup with No. 15 Oregon.
Stanford and Washington play this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PT on FS1.