Davis Mills, Connor Wedington cleared to play
No excuses, but dang is it tempting for Stanford in hindsight after the school and Pac-12 announced Friday that the COVID-19 test that kept starting quarterback Davis Mills out of the season opener was a false positive. Connor Wedington and several other players were held out due to contact tracing protocols.
Mills, Wedington, defensive end Trey LaBounty and an unnamed fourth player will be available this Saturday versus Colorado. That is assuming the game happens. As of Friday morning the Cardinal's home opener is expected to start at 12:30 PST, but games are being cancelled across the country during a record-breaking surge in COVID-19 cases, so whether any game is played feels like a tossup until kickoff.
Mills' absence from the game at Oregon was a crippling blow to the offense and creates a number of painful what-ifs for a unit that got inside the Ducks' 35-yard line seven times but only scored 14 points. Of course, it's impossible to know exactly what difference Mills would have made in those situations, but it seems reasonable that it cost the Cardinal points.
Jack West and freshman Tanner McKee were solid in a combined effort (16-of-26 for 216 yards) and West's performance in particular (13-of-19-154) was encouraging after his disastrous first career start last season versus UCLA.
Stanford also came up three yards short of having two 100-yard rushers — Austin Jones (100) and Nathaniel Peat (97).
With Mills back under center the expectations for the offense against a much less imposing Colorado defense skyrocket.