What They're Saying: Stanford 35, UW 28

Statistics can paint a great mile-high view of Stanford's 35-28 victory over Washington Saturday, but, make no mistake, the Card improved to 3-2 because of three men: Jake Locker, Anthony Kimble and Tavita Pritchard. The Bootleg gives the Stanford duo its credit and brings you articles from Washington and Stanford sources on the win that moves the Card halfway to bowl eligibility.

Stanford 35, Washington 28

Individual performances propel Card

Usually, I analyze football from a team perspective. In that light, Stanford's 244-140 rushing edge proved the difference Saturday, as I had predicted in my preview of the contest. Stanford was lucky to win in many ways -- they had fewer first downs, less time of possession, and 70 more penalty yards than the Huskies, but a 6.8 yards per carry average was too much for Washington to overcome.

And while that analysis would be wholly accurate, it would only tell part of the story. To my eyes, Saturday night was really about three players:

1. Jake Locker: As much as losing Toby Gerhart hurt the Cardinal, Jake Locker's loss hurt the Huskies five times more. Locker wasn't so much irreplacable through the air, where backup Ronnie Fouch threw for 186 yards and a score, as he was on the ground. The agile quarterback entered Saturday's contest with double the rushing yards of any of his teammates, so when Locker left the contest, Washington's rush game lost its only real rushing threat and went belly-up. Freshman David Freeman, who led with 65 yards, may be the answer in two years' time, but he simply wasn't ready Saturday.

2. Anthony Kimble: In marked contrast to Washington, when Stanford lost its best player, his replacement made his presence felt. Kimble has been waiting for an opportunity for the entire season and didn't disappoint. He finished with 157 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns, one an 83-yarder that blew the game open in the third quarter.

3. Tavita Pritchard: Just like Kimble, Pritchard surely entered Saturday's contest with something to prove after a tumultuous first four games. 16-of-24 with 222 yards and three touchdowns later, Pritchard had most certainly quieted his critics for the week. He most impressed me by finding eight different receivers with his 16 completions. His ability to spread the ball allowed for Ryan Whalen to put together breakout performance of seven receptions, 76 yards and a touchdown, the first of his collegiate career.

Seeing players a line or two down on the depth chart, like Whalen and Kimble, enter games and shine when called upon is a great indicator of the health of this team. It suggests that the entire three-deep is working hard, not just the starters, and, in turn, that team chemistry and morale is strong. The season is long, and a brutal November stretch of USC, Oregon and Cal is going to test that chemistry, but right now, Stanford football looks to be in a pretty good place.

That's my take. Let's see what some other scribes thought about Saturday's final.


National:

Kimble leads Stanford past Washington 35-28
Associated Press
Anthony Kimble ran for a career-high 157 yards, including an 83-yard dash early in the second half and Stanford took advantage of a costly injury to Washington star quarterback Jake Locker in the Cardinal's 35-28 win over the Huskies.


Local:

San Francisco Chronicle
Seattle - -- Toby Gerhart, Stanford's leading rusher and the fourth-leading rusher in the Pac-10 heading into the weekend, left Saturday's game against Washington on the Cardinal's second possession with a mild concussion.
 
San Francisco Chronicle
The Stanford offense proved that it is more than a handoff to Toby Gerhart - or a screen pass to Gerhart. Much more, in fact.
 
San Jose Mercury News
Stanford apparently isn't just a one-man offensive show. With star running back Toby Gerhart sidelined much of the game Saturday because of a mild concussion, the Cardinal found other cogs at just the right time.

Kimble helps deliver a huge ground game
Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online

Anthony Kimble has run the same play dozens of times for a few yards here and there. On Saturday, a simple cut off the right tackle resulted in the biggest run of his career and put him squarely in the Stanford record books.


Washington:

Seattle Post Intelligencer
Quarterback Jake Locker suffered a broken right thumb in the Huskies 35-28 loss to Stanford and is out indefinitely.
 
Seattle Times
He knew he had to win this game. He was the team leader and now, more than ever, Jake Locker had to lead. ... Locker threw a block that wrecked the season.
 
Seattle Times
Washington is 0-4 now, if you're still following closely.
 
Thedawgblawg.com
Via Seattle Post Intelligencer
If you made a list of the all-time worst defenses in college football, this defense may not be at the top of the list, but they'd be on the list.
 
Seattle Post Intelligencer [Blog]
This is a little late in coming, but it was pretty late last night when everything got put on the web, so I took the opportunity to watch the game again.
 
Stanford 35, Huskies 28: It couldn't be worse
Molly Yanity
Seattle Post Intelligencer [Blog]
In addition to seeing quarterback Jake Locker on the sideline with a broken throwing hand, Huskies fans learned their team – without the excuse of facing top-tier opposition – remains hapless after a 35-28 loss to Stanford.


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