In a day full of fireworks across the college football landscape, the bully ball Stanford Cardinal and triple-option based Black Knights of Army kept the skies of Palo Alto relatively empty. The 15th-ranked Cardinal rebounded from last week’s frustrating loss to USC by stoning Army, 35-0, at Stanford Stadium.
Kevin Hogan led the way for the Cardinal, producing an efficient if not spectacular day of 20-of-28 passing for 216 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Ty Montgomery was Hogan’s most frequent target, hauling in eight receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown. Devon Cajuste made the most of his four receptions, with 52 yards and each of Hogan’s remaining three touchdowns. Barry Sanders led the Cardinal’s ground efforts, toting the rock nine times for 92 yards.
It took a while for Stanford to truly get going in this one. After scoring on the game’s opening possession, the Cardinal punted on their next four touches before notching four straight touchdown marches.
Army stayed devoted to its ground efforts, rushing the ball on 56 of its 61 plays. The problem, however, is that Army gained only 198 yards on those 56 carries. Take out a 35-yard burst by A.J. Schurr and Army produced less than three yards per carry on its 55 remaining attempts.
The Black Knights threw the ball a scant five times, and probably would have been better off not throwing it at all. They gained only nine yards, had one of their three completions lose four yards, and threw an interception that was returned two yards. Accounting for interception yardage, Army averaged 1.4 yards per pass attempt.
Most telling, Army did not attempt a field goal and did not march farther than 37 yards until their final possession, a 10-play, 70-yard drive that ended in a turnover on downs.
Stanford (2-1) takes next week off before resuming Pac-12 play at Washington – remember what happened the last time the Cardinal visited Washington? – on Sept. 27, while Army visits Wake Forest next week.