The Card seemed similarly liberated in their playcalling. The end-around for Stanford's first touchdown, the fake reverse on an early Terrell punt return, the flea flicker attempt, repeatedly getting the ball to playmakers in space via bubble screens or rolling Luck out of the pocket – all these helped Stanford rack up nearly 300 first-half yards and a 24-0 intermission lead. Stanford seems to take more risks at home --and whether by bringing in new faces or running a more diverse offense – that was never more true than during this contest.
Stanford now enjoys a Halloween bye before starting the gauntlet run. Off a bye, they will catch Oregon at home, right after the Ducks host USC in what looks to be the de facto Pac-10 championship game, which is a break. The Card also get Cal after a visit from ranked Arizona, for what might be the de facto third-place game in the Pac-10, and Notre Dame after the Irish have played ballgames in each of the six weeks previous, so the four-game finale might not be as hard at it looks at first blush. Stanford, of course, also hosts each of its final opponents save for USC, and the Card are 9-1 in their last ten at home, compared to 2-11 in their last 11 on the road, with the wins over a putrid Washington State this year and a winless Washington last season.
You can't look at it any other way: after two emotionally crushing losses, this was a major victory for Stanford in their biggest game of the season to-date. Whether they can continue to play at this high of a level after the Halloween break will determine just how long the Cardinal's season lasts.
That's our take, but see what other writers thought. Here are stories from up and down the West Coast.
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