Sports


Stanford football storms back to win its home opener, 31-7

 

Kevin Hogan threw for a career-high 341 yards and three touchdowns and the Stanford football team beat visiting Central Florida, 31-7, in its home opener Saturday.

Palo Alto grad Keller Chryst saw his first collegiate action and directed a Cardinal scoring drive late in the game, which included a 20-yard completion to Rollins Stallworth that set up Barry Sanders' 20-yard scoring run.

The Cardinal (1-1) opens the Pac-12 season with an important game at USC next Saturday at 5 p.m.

Hogan threw touchdown passes of 53 yards to Michael Rector, seven yards to Christian McCaffrey and 93 yards to freshman Bryce Love. He was 17 of 29 passing.

"We were able to move the chains and keep the drives going and that allowed the bigger plays to happen," Hogan said. "Last week we weren't very good on third down and kind of stalled, and it doesn't allow you to get into a rhythm."

Conrad Ukropina made a 52-yard field goal and all four PAT tries as the game drew 50,420 fans.

Stanford erased a forgettable first quarter, which included the ejection of defensive lineman Aziz Shittu for targeting, by dominating the final three periods.

"Once we got into a rhythm offensively, it was fun to watch," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "We did try to do some different things. Once again, the game plan-wise to get some guys in space."

Hogan completed four of his first 13 passes for 57 yards before exploding with 13 completion in his last 16 attempts before Chryst took over on the final drive.

McCaffrey rushed for 58 yards, accumulated 59 receiving yards and added another 49 yards on returns.

"He's going to get more comfortable each week," Hogan said. "We're just scratching the surface for what he can do."

McCaffrey is expected to lead the rushing attack that will be shared by several different players.

"We want to run the ball," Shaw said. "We were better on third down. We sustained more drives than we did a week ago."

Blake Martinez recorded eight tackles while Paly grad Kevin Anderson added seven. Solomon Thomas and Peter Kalambayi each had a sack.

Love and Hogan connected on the third-longest touchdown in Stanford history. Love has the speed and football moxie to create big plays.

"You see what Bryce Love can do," Shaw said. "We've got a really good combination of guys. We may not have a guy that carries the ball 30 times in a game – 20 is probably going to be the most. But it's going to spread out, and if we can keep these guys fresh and get them out in space, they can do some special things."

— Rick Eymer/Palo Alto Online Sports

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