Uploaded: Friday, September 28, 2012, 12:56 AM
Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012, 8:52 PM
Stanford stumbles, falls to Washington
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|This was the nightmare version of Stanford upsetting USC, with the Cardinal on the wrong end of it. Instead of fooling the Trojan horse, though, the Huskies doggedly held their own.
One year after setting a school record for most team rushing yards in a single game against this same Washington team, the eighth-ranked Cardinal football team managed a mere 65 rushing yards, or just four yards shy of Bishop Sankey's 61-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-one play that ended the third quarter.
The eighth-ranked Cardinal dropped a 17-13 decision to host Washington in a Pac-12 game Thursday night that will sting for a bit.
As least Stanford (1-1, 3-1) has an extra few days to get the offense fixed up before hosting Arizona next Saturday at noon.
Stanford's offensive line seemed out of sorts, crumbling at the point of attack and getting beat time and again. That made Stepfan Taylor's life miserable. He gained a respectable 75 yards, but needed 20 carries to do so. He also caught four passes for zero yards.
Josh Nunes' efforts were also hindered by Huskies who went unblocked or were picked up late. His first road start showed a few flaws in his game though.
Nunes threw for 170 yards and an interception on 18 of 37 passing. He also fumbled the ball twice, with Ryan Hewitt picking one up and running for a first down.
"I know the protection was great all night," Nunes said. "The guys up front did a really good job. I know that I needed to make a lot of those throws. I feel like I let a few of the guys down tonight. We didn't play like we needed to. We need to be better on third down conversions."
Cardinal coach David Shaw said earlier in the week that Stanford is built around completing 60 percent of its pass attempts. Throw in a delay of game and offside penalty and less than 50 percent certainly won't get the job done.
Nunes could have had better stats if a few catchable balls were caught. Other times he just missed badly.
"We are not changing quarterbacks," Shaw said. "I thought it was not his best effort. I think he can play much better. I think we can all do a much
Some of that had to do with Washington's defense, which played the way Stanford's defense did against USC and did again against the Huskies.
Linebacker Trent Murphy, who had seven tackles on the night, also provided the Cardinal its only touchdown on a 40-yard interception return.
Jordan Williamson connected on both of his field goal tries.
Zach Ertz set a career high with 106 receiving yards on six receptions.
The Cardinal were held without an offensive touchdown for the first time since Oct. 27, 2007 at Oregon State, a 23-6 Stanford loss.
"We can't let this affect the rest of our season," Taylor said. "We need to be mature and finish out the season."
Stanford finished 5 of 18 on third downs and had only one drive of longer than 50 yards. Four of its first five drives came and went without a first down.
"The bottom line is that we get to third downs we have got to convert," Shaw said. "We're a running football team which means we've going to be in third and five, third in four, third in two, and we've got to convert those third downs."
The Cardinal never seemed willing to adjust afterward.
"We didn't play well enough to win," Shaw said. "We didn't make the throws we needed to make. We didn't make the catches we needed to make. We didn't sustain our blocks in the running game as long as we should have. We got outplayed."
— Palo Alto Online Sports
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Posted by Duck, a resident of another community, on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:00 am
Bring on the Cardinal!