Q3: McCaffrey is the difference (31-7)

"Working back to who else but Christian McCaffrey, who patiently jogs behind a pulling Graham Shuler all the way toward the left boundary, and then sprints through the wash and across the goal line, upheld on review. Great patience. Again, he's threatening his first-ever game with 100 yards on the ground (90 yards currently) and in the air (91 yards)."

The Washington offense may not have crossed midfield, but their kick return very nearly did. Instead, a shoestring tackle at the UW 43 saves a would-be touchdown, after several Cardinal special-teamers couldn't quite wrap up. A few more missed tackles and Myles Gaskin has a first down at the Card 42, their first foray into Stanford territory. Five plays, 57 yards and 2:11 later, and UW is on the board with a 14-yard Gaskin run. He ran five straight times: for three, 12, 28, zero and 14 yards. Whole bunch of missed Cardinal tackles as UW, I think wisely, realized that sticking with the run was the best approach with Carta-Samuels struggling. USC should have kept it on the ground as we couldn't stop that either, and now it'll be on the defensive coaches to figure out a way to shut down the UW run.

Stanford 17, Washington 7, 12:49 remaining, third quarter

Offense, moving left to right from the press box, could do a lot to quiet a noisy UW section with a long, soul-sucking drive here. McCaffrey for two, then six. Remound Wright again spins out of backfield contact –he's spun out of more tackles for loss this year than anyone in the country on a per-play basis – to move the chains. Marx beat on the next snap, as Hogan is spun around and his pass falls incomplete. Francis Owusu then drops a possible first down on a flat route – guess he expected the ball to be on the defender's back. Doesn't matter, because for the second or third time tonight, a dead-to-rights McCaffrey finds first down yardage, this time getting 11 on a third down screen that was blocked for maybe six. Horrible spot brings up a fourth and short, and I again love that we are going for these. Remound Wright for four to midfield, move the chains despite the poor spot.

Next snap, McCaffrey on a wheel route, and that's always a good call. He catches near the 25 on the right sideline, and then accelerates out of a tackle around the 20 in which the defender looked to have the angle. Can't teach that speed, and McCaffrey scores untouched. The play finishes off an eight-play, 75-yard drive taking 2:21.

Stanford 24, Washington 7, 9:21 remaining, third quarter

So what adjustments does the Stanford D have in store? UW pass for 11, then zone-read for two. Huskies have been mixing in quarterback Jake Lindquist, and they appear to have all the right offensive calls at the moment: Carta-Samuels comes back into the game to convert on third and six with a pass over the middle. But on third down, the defensive front quickly recognizes screen, and Mike Tyler stays at home and bats away Carta-Samuels' throw. Carta-Samuels is getting tipped a lot at the line tonight.

Time for the offense to definitively put this one away. Screen to Sanders picks up 11 to move the chains, then McCaffrey and Hogan pick up eight on two carries. Line gives outstanding protection – with Remound Wright sliding in nicely to pick up the blitz – and then Hogan works off his primary man and is able to find Dalton Schultz for 22 yards to the UW 28. Screen to McCaffrey goes for eight, as he is now threatening 100 yards both on the ground and through the air. Hogan to Greg Taboada, who skies nicely to reel in a throw Hogan hung a little high at the UW 7. Working back to who else but Christian McCaffrey, who patiently jogs behind a pulling Graham Shuler all the way toward the left boundary, and then sprints through the wash and across the goal line, upheld on review. Again, he's threatening his first-ever game with 100 yards on the ground (90 yards currently) and in the air (91 yards). A special talent. Nine plays, 80 yards, 4:54, and this game's no longer in doubt.

Stanford 31, Washington 7, 0:51 remaining, third quarter

As I screen-watch the incomparable Andy Drukarev, he mentions that this is the same UW team that held USC to 12 points. Good point. Media relations mentions that Stanford has now hit 30 in six straight games for the first time since 2011. See ya in the playoffs, folks.

Stanford 31, Washington 7, End third quarter


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)!


The Bootleg Top Stories