Stanford nearly dropped out of the rankings after a subpar opener.
The No. 25 Cardinal hope to put forth a better effort Saturday night at home against Duke, with linebacker Shayne Skov set to make his season debut.
Stanford won 20-17 over local rival San Jose State last Friday, as Jordan Williamson's 20-yard field goal in the fourth quarter broke a 17-17 tie. The Cardinal were ranked 21st last week, and it was no guarantee that they would remain in the poll for the 34th straight week.
"We've got Duke coming up, it's going to be a good opponent and we just want to progress," receiver Drew Terrell said. "This wasn't the way we wanted to start the season."
The opener marked the first career start for Josh Nunes, who has big shoes to fill in replacing top overall NFL draft pick Andrew Luck. Nunes completed 16 of 26 passes for 125 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
"I was very proud of him," coach David Shaw said. "He never flinched all game. He played like the senior that ...