September 08, 2015

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Stanford has another key loss to deal with early in the season.

Three days after dropping their opener at Northwestern, the Cardinal announced Tuesday that starting defensive lineman Harrison Phillips would miss the remainder of the season with a torn knee ligament.

Phillips was injured in the 16-6 loss to Northwestern that knocked Stanford (0-1) out of the AP Top 25 after just one game.

''It's sad,'' coach David Shaw said. ''He's just starting to show what he can do. I thought he made some plays during the game.''

The Cardinal could ill afford an injury on an already thin defensive line. Solomon Thomas, Aziz Shittu and Brennan Scarlett will handle the bulk of the load but Shaw says he will need other players to step up in Phillips' absence.

Linebacker Blake Martinez said Phillips will be missed as a run-stuffer, a pass rusher and as a tone-setter on Stanford's defense.

''Just his kind of personality out there, his hard-working, go-get-it attitude was huge for our d-line,'' Martinez said.

Phillips is a sophomore and will be able to use a medical redshirt if he chooses to get back this year of eligibility.

Shaw said the injury will give more time inside to players like defensive ends Jordan Watkins and Nate Lohn, and outside linebacker Luke Kaumatule.

''That's where it hurts is our depth,'' Shaw said. ''We're going to have to lean on some guys. We have to play more than three guys.''

The Cardinal get their next test Saturday night against Central Florida (0-1). Stanford has not lost its first two games of a season since going 1-11 in 2006, the year before Jim Harbaugh arrived and resurrected the program.

Shaw said he liked the attitude he saw from his players after the defeat.

''We came back last night, had a really good practice, really upbeat,'' he said. ''I love our seniors, particularly our captains. They got the team fired up in a position to say we're so much better than we showed and it's time to play up to our capabilities.''


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