Peter Kalambayi is stepping up for Stanford's defense
The Stanford Cardinal defense suffered from a high rate of attrition after the 2014 season, and it showed when they fell to defeat against Northwestern in the opening week of the season. Starters such as DE Henry Anderson, NT David Parry, ILB A.J. Tarpley, CB Alex Carter and FS Jordan Richards are all on NFL rosters, OLB James Vaughters is on the practice squad in Green Bay, while slot corner Zach Hoffpauir is playing baseball.
New defensive leaders were needed, and one who has taken on that challenge is junior outside linebacker Peter Kalambayi. As a sophomore, Kalambayi saw significant action as part of the pass-rusher rotation, generating five sacks and 23 total pressures from 174 pass rush snaps.
More was expected from him as a starter and he has delivered so far, with a +9.9 overall grade through the first two weeks. Kalambayi was one of the few Stanford players to emerge from the Northwestern game with a good grade, and followed that up with a more disruptive performance against UCF. He has one sack and six total pressures in 30 pass-rush snaps so far this season, giving him an impressive 15.8 pass rushing productivity rate. Kalambayi has also made his presence felt against the run, with 10 tackles, zero missed tackles and six run stops giving him an 11.1 run stop percentage.
Kalambayi is quickly becoming a key figure for the inexperienced Stanford defense. A defense which faces a stern test this week when they take on USC in the Coliseum.