In case you haven’t been paying attention, smash-mouth U has added a new weapon to its arsenal: the deep pass. For the second-straight game, the Stanford offense feasted on blitzes and single coverage in the secondary Saturday night to roll past Washington State, 55-17 in Seattle.
“We have to show we’ll go down-town if it’s there for our guys,” said David Shaw, the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football. “That’s got be part of who we are.”
Quarterback Kevin Hogan threw a pair of scoring passes to wide receiver Devon Cajuste and another to Michael Rector. Cajuste, who entered the game averaging 21.5 yards per catch, improved his stats by catching four passes for 115 yards. Rector, making his first start, hauled in two receptions for 93 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
And don’t forget about wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Although he didn’t find the end zone for the first time in three games, he caught six passes for 54 yards and was open at least twice on deep throws that didn’t connect.
“That’s the difference between us now and last year,” Shaw said of the deep passing game. “We didn’t hit all of them but we hit a good portion.”
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For those wondering when redshirt freshman Barry J. Sanders would make an impact, ask no longer. He ran three times for 34 yards and caught his first career pass for 16 yards. In the fourth quarter, Sanders scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 22-yard run, and was mobbed by his teammates on the sideline.
“That’s what we expect from him,” said Shaw. “He made three guys miss.”
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Outside linebacker Trent Murphy enjoys playing at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Although Stanford dropped a frustrating 17-13 decision to Washington last year on the same turf – Husky Stadium was being renovated – Murphy returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown. On Saturday night against Washington State, he carted another interception 30 yards for a score.
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Sophomore Joshua Garnett started at left guard for David Yankey, who missed the game to be with his family for personal reasons. In only his second career start, Garnett more than held his own playing in front of family and friends. His hometown is Puyallup, Wash.
“I thought he played great,” Shaw said. “He’s a superstar in the making.”
Shaw said he expects Yankey, a returning All-American and team captain, to rejoin the team today (Sunday).
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Here’s a look at how Stanford’s upcoming opponents fared on Saturday: Washington (4-0) beat Arizona, 31-13; Utah – bye; UCLA – bye; Oregon State (4-1) beat Colorado, 44-7; Oregon (4-0) beat Cal (1-3), 55-16; Arizona State (3-1) beat USC (3-2), 62-41; and Oklahoma beat Notre Dame (3-2), 35-21.
Stanford has now won 12-straight games, the second-longest streak in the FBS behind Ohio State (17) … Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan is now 9-0 as a starter … With two interceptions, Stanford extended its nation-best streak of 28-consecutive games with a takeaway … CB Barry Browning made the trip but did not play … FS Ed Reynolds sat out the first half because of a targeting call last week against ASU, but played in the second half … Murphy and junior outside linebacker Kevin Anderson delivered fierce hits on the quarterback ... Kit Rogers served as Stanford’s Honorary Captain … Kickoff for next Saturday’s game against Washington is 7:30 p.m. at Stanford Stadium. Limited tickets remain.