I didn’t hear everything, but I know the halftime show ends with the band’s PA announcer singing “Oh Canada” as the Spartan band nearly drowns him out. The more things change, the more they stay the same. (Bandies: thanks for playing “Welcome to Paradise”, as always.)
After a touchback, Stanford whips out a formation on third and short that we also saw in the first half. There are three backs behind Hogan, who’s lined up under center. One back is four yards back, directly behind Hogan, while the remaining two backs are each two yards back, symmetrically offset a yard or two to the left and right, respectively. I’ll call it a triangle look for now (cognoscenti, chime in here, there’s got to be a concise name for this), and it does the job, picking up the yard or two the Card need to move the sticks. Stanford again converts on a third and short, this time courtesy Luke Kaumatule’s first career college reception, a five-yarder. (Would have liked to hear his number called a few times in the first half. Oh well.) The drive again stalls outside the red zone, and so Jordan Williamson trots back out for another long field goal attempt. He looked to have the distance but missed from 52 at the end of the first half, but here, he’s true from 48 yards.
Stanford 20, San Jose State 6, 10:17 remaining, third quarter
The defensive pressure has been everything we thought it would be. Unless they’re breaking through for a sack or a tackle for loss, it’s hard to give the individual guys their props here in real time, but San Jose State goes one-yard run, incomplete pass, incomplete pass, punt from their 9-yard line, and they were lucky to do that without David Fales getting sacked.
Texas lost to BYU by double digits. This day is getting better and better. C’mon Washington State!
The Cardinal get the ball back and Jeff Trojan converts on a third down with his first career catch. We get to talking about Trojan and other walk-ons up in the box, and Jackson Cummings gets a shout out from Andy Drukarev. It’s announced that this is Stanford’s largest crowd since USC visited in 2008 (which, incidentally, was the Trojans’ last win versus your Cardinal). There was one more person at that USC game, per the official numbers. If only I’d have known, I would have given the turnstile two extra spins.
That we’re joking is reflective of the fact that Stanford is starting to cruise here, with Hogan converting two third downs with passes on this drive alone. San Jose State is chanting the LMFAO anthem “Shots”, but as Stanford drives into their corner in the east (I think?) end zone, the song can’t slow the Cardinal down. Hogan passes to convert his third third down of the drive, and Ty Montgomery does the rest, absorbing contact and tip-toeing down the left sideline for a 15-yard touchdown. It’s his first touchdown since the 2012 Fiesta Bowl (overheard in the press box: “Fiasco Bowl”), and Stanford is now 10 of 13 on third downs.
Stanford 27, San Jose State 6, 5:34 remaining, third quarter
Lil Wayne’s on that “Shots” track, and it’s Wayne Lyons here with a forced fumble and recovery after a Jabari Carr catch. The officials overturn the call, judging it an incomplete pass instead, and on super slow-mo replay, we see that the call is correct, as the ball appears to be coming out before Lyons rakes his arm in. Carr just dropped the ball.
Speaking of, I think this game has been notable for a lack of mistakes on Stanford’s part. There hasn’t been a dropped pass thus far, and the Cardinal have only one penalty and haven’t coughed it up yet. Plus, San Jose State’s longest play from scrimmage went for all of 18 yards. Oh, and Stanford is 10 of 13 on third downs, as I’ve only counted only one outright misthrow from Hogan, that a short-hopper on third down.
Ed Reynolds nearly has his first interception of the year, following his six-pick, three-touchdown performance of 2012, but for three problems. First, Reynolds was sprinting toward the left sideline and probably came down out of bounds. Second, he couldn’t quite hang onto what would have been a pretty, pretty catch. Finally, Ronnie Harris was called, rightfully, on a hold. David Shaw was demonstrative after the whistle, coming out onto the field and gesticulating to protest. On replay, the call was solid, but nice to see emotion out of the big man, as I do think that it’ll help us on the next call.
Stanford’s still played virtually mistake-free football, but turns out these Spartans can play a little bit too. They convert on an inside draw on fourth and one from Stanford’s 30 to set up the holding call on Harris. The subsequent snap marks the Spartans’ first touchdown of the game, as Noel Grigsby gets open underneath the coverage and David Fales’ timing and precision is on the money.
Tyler Gaffney has an impressive seven-yard run after being dead to rights in the middle of the Spartans’ defensive front after three, and on the second and three, Pat Skov draws a hold on a dump to the flat that would have lost a yard or two. Instead, it’s ten yards and a fresh set of downs. Gaffney runs for four more to bring it to the Spartan 29, and as we head into the final period, it’s worth mentioning that Washington State leads USC, 10-7, with five minutes to go. I love college football.
End of third: Stanford 27, San Jose State 13
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