A week removed from a very tough 31-28 win over the Washington Huskies, the Stanford Cardinal struggled mightily against the Utah Utes on the road, being upset for their first loss of the season 21-27.
David Shaw’s squad started off strong, marching down the field on a seven-play touchdown drive that culminated in a 1-yard Tyler Gaffney score to make the game 7-0.
However, that is where the success of the offense stopped for quite some time. The
Cardinal did not score another offensive touchdown until midway through the fourth quarter. The Utes answered back quickly as well with an 8-play drive of their own. Travis Wilson capped it off with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Karl Williams.
The back-and-forth battle in the first quarter did not take a break, though, as Ty Montgomery returned his second kick for a touchdown in as many weeks to give the Cardinal a 14-7 lead. Utah answered right back again, this time with a huge 51-yard score by Dres Anderson who had a huge game.
The Stanford rushing defense was not itself tonight, allowing Bubba Poole to rack up huge chunks of yardage throughout the first half. The first quarter finished with a 14-14 tie, but Dres Anderson was able to punch in another touchdown in the second quarter to take a 21-14 lead into the half.
Utah’s defense was exceptional in the third quarter. After a Travis Wilson interception, the Utes repeatedly got to
Kevin Hogan in the backfield, forcing two huge fumbles to regain possession. Two field goals gave Utah a 27-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Montgomery was a hero once again with a huge gain on a screen play on third down to put the Cardinalin the red zone midway through the fourth quarter. Hogan then hit Devin Cajuste in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown to cut the lead and make the game 27-21.
The defense forced a three-and-out, and all of a sudden the Cardinal had the ball back down by only one score with eight minutes to go in the game. Hogan led his offense on a beautiful, long drive but ultimately could not put the ball into the end zone and the Utes held on to their 27-21 lead.
Next week the Cardinal will head back home to take on UCLA in a rematch of last year’s Pac-12 Championship game.