The Stanford Cardinal improved to 5-0 on the season tonight, defeating the No. 15-ranked Washington Huskies 31-28.
It took Ty Montgomery, one of Stanford’s offensive heroes tonight, only 12 seconds to give the Cardinal a 7-0 lead, returning the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.
The Stanford defense, which was outstanding in the first half, forced the first of five consecutive punts on the ensuing drive, giving the ball back to the Cardinal. However, Kevin Hogan was unable to capitalize, throwing an interception in Washington territory.
Though the Cardinal caught a number of breaks in the first half, as Washington racked up an astounding number of penalties and dropped a key pass on third down, the Stanford offense was only able add a field goal until the very end of the second quarter.
After Bishop Sankey scored a rushing touchdown with a minute left in the first half to make the game 10-7, Kevin Hogan drove his team down the field and threw a touchdown pass to Montgomery to extend the lead to 17-7 just before the break.
While the Huskies came out hot in the second half, recording a four-play drive that culminated in a 29-yard pass from Keith Price to Kevin Smith, Hogan once again answered by leading his team on another long drive and punching in the score himself.
Washington did a great job of extending of their ensuing drive, and Sankey posted his second score of the game. Montgomery answered again, though, returning another kick into the red zone. Tyler Gaffney took it from there, punching in an 11-yard touchdown to make the game 31-21 at the end of the third quarter.
The teams then exchanged punts to start the fourth quarter. After a very long drive by Washington, Trent Murphy
tipped a Price pass in his own red zone, allowing A.J. Tarpley to pluck it out of the air for the interception with six minutes to go.
However, the Huskies forced a three-and-out, and Jaydon Mickens capped off a brilliant Washington drive with a 1-yard touchdown catch with less than three minutes to play in the game. After the Huskies forced another three-and-out, the offense had one last shot. On 4th down, Price completed what looked like a first down pass, but it was reviewed and overturned.
Stanford held on to its 31-28 lead and breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Stanford will face Utah next week in Salt Lake City, so be sure to tune in for yet another great conference clash.