Love, love, love that we went for fourth and three from the UW 29. The resulting seven-yard pitch to McCaffrey is icing on top. McCaffrey then takes two more pitches, the first for 19 yards to the three, and the second down to the one-yard line. Remound Wright inches short on the "vulture" – his short-yardage dive over the pile, and after review, he's still inches short. Whatever, another snap and another chance to tire out the opposing D. Wright repeats his jump, this time for six points, and it's all right now early on the Farm. Maybe we can start going for more fourths and short? Worked out okay here, as Stanford marched for 15 plays and 90 yards in 8:11, all season bests for scoring drives. (Note that Bryce Love's 93-yard screen came after a offensive penalty, so this scoring drive was indeed longer.)
Stanford 14, Washington 0, 12:44 remaining, first half
Aziz Shittu tips away first down and Dante Pettis drops a second-down short cross. Third and ten sees Karta-Samuels underthrow a narrow window, three and out. 58-yard punt that travelled maybe 40 in the air, but bounced before McCaffrey could close.
Jailbreak screen to Daniel Marx goes for 15. Okay, the coaches are just showing off now – that's pretty! However, Wright for one and Hogan sack for minus-four means that a third-down scramble for nine is all for naught. Alex Robinson's first offering of the night is an ugly duckling, but nets 46 after a nice bounce. Hogan's sack, by the way, was his first in his last 157 snaps.
Huskies start their drive with a first down, though they have yet to be in Stanford territory tonight. And after a Washington false start on third and two and poor Carta-Samuels underthrow (not his first), that streak will continue yet a little longer. 50-yard punt, no return: it's clear who the early UW MVP is tonight.
Stanford 14, Washington 0, 7:07 remaining, first half Total yards 173 to 50, possession 15:20 to 7:33, plays 28 to 15. If anything, the scoreboard may understate how lopsided this one has been so far. Barry J. Sanders sighting as Stanford comes out heavy and runs him twice for five yards. Hogan then snowed under for his second sack of the night. Hopefully the staff realizes that short run, short run, third-and-long pass may have worked against a shorthanded UCLA, but that can't be the default sequence against stouter defenses, like the one tonight.
Stanford 14, Washington 0, 5:04 remaining, first half
Carta-Samuels again tipped at the line to bring up a third and one. On the payoff down, Washington doesn't think about running, which speaks to the reputation this defense has earned over the years. Instead, it's Carta-Samuels rolling out and firing downfield on the run – lower percentage play, and Stanford's able to defend it well, having dropped bodies into coverage.
McCaffrey gets nothing, and it feels like it's time for ESPN to put up one of those stats – first three drives, lots of yards; last few drives, hardly anything at all. Might need to pass to open up the UW front here, and sure enough, it's Rector for seven on the left hash. Kevin Hogan then makes two guys miss on third and three, ducks under Josh Garnett's block of yet another man, and takes what he can before stepping out in front of a fourth defender. I submit that his ankle must be pretty darn healed because that was incredibly athletic.
Overheard in the press box: Casey Tucker is not having a first half for his highlight film. He's not moving his feet and is getting beat repeatedly.
Elsewhere, with Washington State and, presumably, your Cardinal, winning tonight, wonder if GameDay really is heading to the Palouse for Halloween? Would be some nice exposure and recognition of a matchup that looks a lot harder now than it did preseason.
After a Stanford timeout, Card start playing with a little tempo, with the game clock heading toward one minute. Austin Hooper is wide open for a quick screen after my eyes, and presumably several defenders', went to the sideline for what looked like a quick hitter to a receiver. Nice play design to break into Husky territory, and after Wright takes a screen, dances through several tacklers, and dives out of bounds at the eight, Cardinal will have 47 seconds for this series, plenty of time. Devon Cajuste can't quite hang onto a second-down fade, UW also with good coverage as Hogan looked for Dalton Schultz in the back left of the end zone. Before third down, we see a visibly frustrated Hogan after a delay of game. Then a give up and kick hand off to Wright from the 13. It was clicking so well when we went no huddle, but bogged down as soon as we neared the end zone and started to slow down.
As the first half expires, Conrad Ukropina nails a 28-yarder to give the Card a three-score halftime lead (covering the spread, no less). Card go 66 yards on 12 plays in the half's final 4:10.
Stanford 17, Washington 0, Halftime
Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up)!