Cajuste powers Card ahead in 1Q, 10-3

Stanford leads 10-3 through one in Seattle. Here are our play and player of the quarter, a blog, and some themes to think about moving forward. Enjoy!

Pregame: Rainy and windy in Seattle, with pregame chatter centering on who that favors. It's clear that the stadium is less than packed, so to the extent that helps Stanford, no complaints here.

Shorthanded: I don't know why Stanford went from 7.5-point to 9.5 point favorites in a week that saw Stanford announce David Yankey was out for family reasons. Plus, of course, Barry Browning is injured today, and Ed Reynolds will miss a half after targeting last week. Stanford receives, which is not typical but maybe factors into getting Reynolds out there for a higher proportion of snaps.

Drive One: On the first snap from scrimmage, Ty Montgomery has six, but Hogan throws six inches long and Montgomery sees the pass bounce off both hands. Hopefully not analogous to Chris Owusu failing to pull down a bomb early in an eventual loss at Oregon State a few years ago. Regardless, have to love that opening play call, because was it ever open.

Two snaps later, Hogan gets all day on third and three and bombs it to Rector for 48, again attacking the left side of WSU's secondary. Guess they like what they see there.

After a delay of game, Jackson Cummings, practice hero, gets a two-yard carry on the ensuing second and long, but WSU blitzed into it. Stanford can't draw on third and 11 (Matt Millen says Hogan should have audibled out as WSU was playing zone, not man) and so it's a 29-yard Jordan Williamson field goal.

Stanford 3, Washington State 0, 10:59 remaining, first quarter

Houston, we have a problem as Stanford forces third and 22 – but then gives up 22 yards on a tight end post, with A.J. Tarpley beat. WSU gets a poor spot, and goes for fourth and inches from their 45. They get Wayne Lyons on pass interference, which I'll live with as a makeup call. On replay, Lyons was pulling the receiver's jersey, good call. Gutsy for Mike Leach to go for it, so let's give credit where it's due. WSU keeps dinking and dunking for 5-10 yards underneath, and are at the Card 27 with a fresh set of downs. But Connor Halliday fires inside on a third and two slant, and it's a 36-yard field goal to knot this one up.

Stanford 3, Washington State 3, 6:03 remaining, first quarter

After an unwise Montgomery return to the 20 (remember, touchbacks go to the 25 now), Hogan again fails to audible out of a play doomed from the start, this one a run into a tipped WSU blitz. The next play, though, Hogan sees the linebacker vacate to cover Montgomery, and wisely scrambles for a first. Talk about the pass opening up the box. Stanford then has to use timeout No. 2 of the half, facing second and ten. After another coverage sack (much like on first down), Stanford finds an opening on third and long. Devon Cajuste catches a post route across the middle of the field, high steps to break an ankle tackle, and is off for a 57-yard touchdown. Given how the drive worked out, congrats to Hogan for not forcing the ball the previous two snaps.

The next drive, Joe Hemschoot has a decleater on kickoff coverage, and WSU drops a would-be conversion on third and long. A 32-yard punt gives it back to the Card at the WSU 48.

Player of the quarter is Devon Cajuste, and play of the quarter is his 57-yard catch-and-run touchdown past a WSU linebacker on third and long. Now, for some other thoughts…

Yankey matters – a lot

Pass protection has been strong, but Stanford's rush attack has been pedestrian against one of the lightest teams in the conference. Missing David Yankey has been a major reason why, as we're not seeing the line get the push we're used to. How quickly can the coaches adjust?

Stretching the field

Troy Clardy was prescient in his corner this week when he complimented the deep's downfield abilities. A bomb (and a screen) to Montgomery each nearly went for a score, and a bomb to Rector and the deep post to Cajuste went for a combined 100 yards and a score. Might Stanford, with this final dimension locked into place, be the complete team we've been seeking all these years?

Players of the Quarter:
Cajuste (1Q, WSU)
Hogan (4Q, ASU)
Wilkerson (3Q ASU, 2Q ASU)
Fleming (1Q ASU)
Vaughters (4Q, Army)
Gaffney (3Q Army, 1Q Army)
Williamson (2Q Army)

Play of the Quarter:
Cajuste catches and runs for 57-yard TD (1Q, WSU)
Hogan naked bootleg ices game (4Q, ASU)
Ben Gardner blocks a punt (3Q, ASU)
Everything (2Q, ASU)
SU dominates on third downs (1Q, ASU)
Vaughters with fourth-down stop (4Q, Army)
Vaughters recovers fumble (3Q, Army)
46-yard Montgomery TD pass (2Q, Army)
Tipped TD pass to Rector (1Q, Army)

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