Sports


Stanford wins eighth straight, nears North Division title

 

Kevin Hogan threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another, Christian McCaffrey rushed for 147 yards and threw for a touchdown and No. 9 Stanford beat host Colorado, 42-10, in a Pac-12 Conference football contest Saturday.

The Cardinal (8-1, 7-0 Pac-12) hosts Oregon next Saturday at 4:30 p.m. with a chance to clinch the outright North Division title and a berth in the conference championship game on Dec. 5 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

Stanford, winners of eight straight, remains at home for the remainder of the regular season, hosting California and Notre Dame on the final two Saturday's in November.

McCaffrey surpassed 100 yards on the ground for the seventh consecutive game, matching Toby Gerhart's team record.

He added quarterback to his growing resume, tossing a 28-yard pass to tight end Austin Hooper for the final touchdown of the game.

"This guy can throw the ball," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "There's not many positions that the young man can't play. I would say offensive and defensive line are probably it. He can play middle linebacker, fullback, receiver and quarterback. He's just one of those phenomenal football players that we're very fortunate to coach."

The play was introduced during the week in case Colorado sold out on stopping McCaffrey and the running game.

"We had run it in practice and coach gave us the go ahead," McCaffrey said. "Hogan said 'hey man don't throw it if it's not wide open' and Hooper kind of nudged me and said 'throw the ball.' So we knew I was going to throw it and he made a great play in the end."

Hogan added scoring passes of 43 yards to Michael Rector and six yards to Dalton Schultz on a fourth-down play. He added a one-yard run for a score.

"Third down play, they were pressing so I gave him a go route and he got around him, stacked him and just made a play," Hogan said of the pass to Rector.

Bryce Love raced 47 yards on the first play of the second half. Shaw was looking to utilize Love in such a situation, though the Colorado defense did not respond the way he expected.

"That's all him," Shaw said. "We talked about that play all week. Colorado overloads on that, but they didn't overload there like we thought. They made Bryce go back inside and you saw pure, unadulterated speed."

McCaffrey thought he scored on a 13-yard run out of the Wildcat formation in the first half, but the play was reversed and the ball spotted on the one-yard line. Enter short yardage specialist Remound Wright for the touchdown. The same formation set up Hogan's scoring toss to Schultz.

Stanford used over seven minutes, running 15 plays, including a fourth-down conversation, to drive 81 yards on the game's opening drive.

"Our mentality coming in was this team has been playing well," Shaw said of the Buffaloes, coached by former San Jose State mentor Mike McIntyre. "There were different things we had to do to get an advantage on these guys."

Colorado scored on its first possession, traveling 75 yards on six plays over 1:42 to tie the score. The Buffaloes accumulated 156 total yards the rest of the way.

"Our guys hunkered down in there and played good team defense," Shaw said.

Hogan recorded a school-record 32nd career win, surpassing Heisman Trophy runner-up Andrew Luck. In three quarters of work, Hogan completed 17 of 23 passes for 169 yards and ran nine times for 40 yards.

Stanford, the national leader in time of possession, held onto the ball for 38 minutes, limiting Colorado to 53 plays a week after the Buffaloes ran 114 against UCLA.

McCaffrey, the national leader in all-purpose yards, collected 220, which included 15 receiving and 58 returning yards in addition to 147 rushing.

"He's a special player, makes my job so much easier and makes everyone's job so much easier," Hogan said. "He can do it all, you can put him back there to throw passes; you can put him out there to catch, run great routes. He does it all, he's a great football player."

Quarterback-turned-safety Dallas Lloyd and freshman Justin Reid each intercepted a pass. Mike Tyler had two of Stanford's four sacks, with Palo Alto grad Kevin Anderson and fellow senior Sam Shober each contributing one. Anderson and Solomon Thomas led the Cardinal in tackles, each with five.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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