CORVALLIS — Stanford was preparing for Oregon State's prolific running back Jermar Jefferson, anyway.
After sitting out last weekend's game at Utah, Jefferson has returned to practice and was cleared to play against Stanford on Saturday. His status had been uncertain earlier this week after he had to quarantine under the league’s COVID-19 protocol.
"Do I have a vote whether or not we see Jermar Jefferson? Are we voting?" Stanford coach David Shaw said good-naturedly. "He’s been the most explosive back in the conference. He’s a special player, and I hope for his sake, too, that he does play. All these games are better when our top players play. If you can’t play, I get it, I understand it. This is a crazy world we live in now. He’s a difference-maker."
The junior running back has run for 675 yards and seven touchdowns this season, including 226 yards and two TDs in his last outing, the Beavers' 41-38 upset win over rival Oregon. He's averaging 168.8 yards a game.
He was among a trio of players, along with linebacker John McCartan and wide receiver Rweha Munyagi Jr., who were unable to play for the Beavers (2-3) against the Utes last weekend. Oregon State rallied but fell short 30-24.
Stanford (2-2) is coming off a 31-26 victory at Washington last weekend, the team's second straight win. The Cardinal have been on an extended road trip because of coronavirus restrictions in Santa Clara County, California.
The game against the Beavers was originally scheduled for Palo Alto but was moved because of the county's three-week sports restrictions. The Cardinal have been practicing this week at Oregon State's indoor facility after leaving Seattle.
"It’s definitely different," Beavers coach Jonathan Smith said. "I just know we’re excited to be able to play the game."
— Associated Press