Cardinal making the most of turnovers

So far the Stanford Cardinal have gotten plenty of bang for their buck when it comes to turnovers. Much was made early in the year about Stanford's lack of interceptions. Head coach David Shaw said he was surprised that four games into the season the Cardinal had failed to register an interception. But didn't make too big a deal of it, noting that if the Cardinal defenders continue to play within their system, the picks will come. And they have.

Fumbles have come easier. The Cardinal have been regular pick-pockets, forcing opponents to put the ball on the ground 15 times this year with Stanford recovering eight of those.

With three picks in the last three games -- including a 62-yard interception returned for a touchdown against Washington, Stanford now has 11 turnovers on the season (tied for 15th nationally in turnover margin). And every time they have taken the ball away, they have made the opposition pay for it.

The Cardinal are 11-of-11 this year on converting turnovers into points -- including 10 touchdowns. Conversely, they have given up the ball five times -- three interceptions and two fumbles. One of the interceptions was returned for a touchdown by Duke and a fumble recovery by Washington State led to a touchdown. Two of the turnovers have resulted in punts and another a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown.

Here's a look at Stanford's turnovers this year and what they've done with the ball on offense after the giveaway.

Against San Jose State:

  • Ben Gardner recovers a fumble, Andrew Luck throws a 13-yard touchdown to Zach Ertz on the next play.

  • Henry Anderson recovers a fumble, three plays later Luck throws a 2-yard touchdown to Ryan Hewitt.

  • Blake Lueders recovers a fumble, Brett Nottingham throws a 39-yard touchdown pass to Coby Fleener on the next play.

Against Duke:

  • Devon Carrington recovers a fumble, three plays later, Jeremy Stewart rushes for a 30-yard touchdown.

Against Arizona:

  • No turnovers

Against UCLA:

Against Colorado:

  • Michael Thomas gets the first interception of the season and returns it 27 yards. Nine plays later, Luck connects with Griff Whalen on a 30-yard touchdown strike.

Against Washington State:

  • Thomas forces a fumble and returns it 33 yards. Seven plays later, Stewart scores on a 1-yard touchdown run.

Against Washington:

  • Thomas nabs his second interception of the season and returns it 62 yards for a touchdown.

  • Corey Gatewood recovers a fumble, four plays later Jordan Williamson converts a 32-yard field goal.

  • Barry Browning gets the second interception of the game (third of the season) and seven plays later, Anthony Wilkerson scores on a 38-yard touchdown run.