Sports

Cardinal defense throws another football shutout

 

Devon Cajuste caught a career-high three touchdown passes, Kevin Hogan threw for 216 yards and four touchdowns and No. 15 Stanford's defense dazzled in Saturday's 35-0 nonconference football victory over visiting Army.

"I think the defense is exactly where we want it to be," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "Offensively, we're close. We hate being close. We have explosive capabilities."

The Cardinal (2-1) gets an extra week to work on the offensive side of things before traveling to meet Washington on Sept. 27 in Seattle.

Close didn't cut it last week when Stanford lost at home to USC. Close was good enough to topple UC Davis and Army.

"We're not where we want to be," Hogan said. "It was a good day executing, but we know we can get better. We stalled there in the first half. We have to find a way to continue those drives and put more points on the board."

Thanks to an Army fumble deep in its own territory late in the first half, Stanford took a 14-0 advantage into the locker room at the intermission.

Alex Carter separated Larry Dixon from the ball and Palo Alto grad Kevin Anderson recovered at the Army 15-yard line.

"In the second half our run efficiency really picked up," Shaw said. "We wanted to get back to the running game. We were physical and that got it back."

Barry Sanders broke free a few times, and led the Cardinal with a career-high 92 yards on nine carries, which including a 44-yard run that set up Cajuste's third touchdown catch. The Cardinal finished with 199 yards on the ground.

"I think overall the offense just started to click in the second half," Sanders said. "The offensive line was staying on blocks and we had a few good runs."

Ty Montgomery had the ball in his hands a lot and that's always a good thing for Stanford. He caught eight passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a short score after taking a direct snap out of Stanford's wildcat formation.

Montgomery recorded more than 100 all-purpose yards an eighth straight game

The Cardinal more than doubled Army's offensive production, 415 to 207 yards, and that's during a game in which the Stanford offense struggled at times.

It was the second shutout for Stanford's defense in three games. The Cardinal beat UC Davis 45-0 to open the season before losing 13-10 to USC last week.

"I can't say enough about what the defense did," Shaw said. "It was outstanding."

Army coach Jeff Monten said Stanford was just more physical.

"The last play of the game was a perfect example. It was a good play, but we can't block them," Monken said. "They knocked us back. That happened too often."

Junior linebacker Blake Martinez led Stanford with 11 tackles.

"I feel we're in a great spot right now," Martinez said. "Obviously, there's going to be mistakes that we made that we're trying to get corrected. We're jelling pretty well."

Stanford punted on four of its first six possessions. Montgomery fumbled a punt return that the Black Knights recovered in the second quarter, and Stanford had a touchdown taken away for the second straight week when David Bright was called for holding on Kelsey Young's TD run.

The Cardinal improved to 8-0 after losses under Shaw and hasn't dropped consecutive games since 2009.

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