They're.... Back!

The Cardinal bounced back from a lackluster homecoming performance and humiliated the host Washington Huskies Saturday night in a 41-0 rout that could have been a lot worse. It was an offensive and defensive gem that restored the team's confidence going into the final third of the season with a sparkling 7-1 record. Andrew Luck had the upper hand in a much-anticipated match-up with Jake Locker.

They're.... Back!

After a decidedly disappointing second-half performance against Washington State last week, when a very emotional senior offensive lineman told The Bootleg "We feel like we lost!", the resilient Cardinal came back with a rather spectacular gem, blanking Washington 41-0 and brought home a third consecutive win against UW in Seattle for the first time since winning five-straight at UW from 1967 to 1975.  My how things have turned around. The once-mighty Mutts went 20-2 against the Cardinal from 1977 to 2003.

Stanford apparently remembered to "pack its defense" on the trip north as Vic Fangio's crew bounced back after several less than stellar outings and held the hapless Huskies to their lowest offensive production since a 58-0 humiliation at Oregon in 1973 when they were held to a paltry 102 yards! The all-time Stanford "fewest-yards" allowed record of 80 yards against San Jose State in 1971 (shockingly a 13-12 loss to the sparkless Spartans when Rod Garcia managed to miss five kicks), was seriously threatened! The Dawgs ultimately managed to get 107 yards for the game, but had just 54 total yards through the first three quarters. After the game, a shell-shocked Steve Sarkisian said "That's definitely the worst offensive performance I've ever been associated with". Indeed.

It was the largest margin of victory in the 81 games Stanford has played with Washington since 1893, surpassing 40-0 victories in both the initial 1893 game and a massacre in 1949! It was the first shut-out of the Huskies by Stanford since back-to-back blankings in 1971 and 1972. Stanford's 41 points represented the program's third-highest point total against Washington and extended its impressive streak of scoring at least 34 points against the Huskies to a record three-straight! Nice!

The high profile match-up that wasn't saw Andrew Luck (#12) dominate the game with ruthless efficiency (19-24-192-1-1) and 91 rushing yards while Jake Locker struggled mightily (7-14-64 with two picks, three sacks and just one measly net yard rushing), with very little help from his teammates. The inexperienced Husky offensive line is having a rough time this season and feature running back Chris Polk never had a chance, getting just 17 yards on 13 carries. As the Versus commentator quipped, Locker was losing millions of dollars as the game dragged on. The Bootleg actually felt bad for him.

We did not feel bad for Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor (#33) who had yet another 100-yards game, finishing with 104 on 20 carries and two scores. Tyler Gaffney (#25) was back on the field and he picked up where he had left off a few weeks back, adding additional grit and toughness to the Cardinal attack.

The defense was clearly better off with the return of Delano Howell (#26), who surprising played well with a bad wrist and came up with an interception. Chase Thomas (#44) was playing like a man possessed. The football gods must have been smiling on the visitors as much-beleaguered cornerback Johnson Bademosi (#27) came through with a nice late-game pick!

Luck, who came into the game leading the entire FBS in quarterback rating in the first quarter of games, led Stanford to touchdowns on the Cardinal's initial four possessions. His 51-yard run was one for the highlight reel and may have vaulted him back into consideration for the Heisman Trophy. Nate Whitaker (#39) mercifully suffered his first missed field goal attempt of the year or things would have been even uglier for the Mongrels of Mountlake as the half ended with the Cardinal enjoying a 28-0 lead. Your guess is as good as ours what the coaches were hoping to accomplish in the final seconds.

Husky Stadium looked eerily, uncharacteristically deserted in the second half and it wasn't because of the rainy weather. Dawg fans are used to inclement weather. They are not used to bagels. UW had not been shut out at home by anyone since the year oif the American Bicentennial in '76! Either the Cardinal is awfully good, which we think may well be the case, or the Huskies are in big trouble.

Since his wife is a UW alum, your author/editor called on the way home to see if he was going to be allowed back in the house (Thankfully, he was!)

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