With a number five ranking in the BCS standings, the Stanford Cardinal still have a shot at playing for the national championship if some things in front of them go their way. In nine days, they’ll have a chance to help themselves if their stout defense can shut down the Oregon Ducks‘ offense once again, which would put them in an even better position to achieve that goal.
Unfortunately, and in probably the worst news the Cardinal could have expected, they’ll have to go about that without arguably their best player on that side of the ball, as the school has announced starting defensive end Ben Gardner will miss the rest of the season following a pectoral injury that will require surgery.
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) October 29, 2013
This is a tremendous blow as Gardner would have been a pivotal piece in helping slow down that Oregon spread attack. In even more bad news, as a fifth-year senior, Gardner’s collegiate career is finished.
Gardner finishes this season with 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss.