What They're Saying: Stanford 42, SJSU 17
WR Richard Sherman scored a TD on a punt return
WR Richard Sherman scored a TD on a punt return
Editor
Posted Sep 20, 2009


Stanford turned in its most complete performance in recent memory in a 42-17 rout of San Jose State in their Saturday night home-opener. ... And, most importantly, two down, four more to go. That's our take. Stay tuned as we update this story with links to newspaper and Internet articles from across the region on Sunday.

Stanford turned in its most complete performance in recent memory in a 42-17 rout of San Jose State in their Saturday night home-opener. The Card, now 2-1 and 1-0 in the Pac-10, will next head to Seattle next weekend to visit Washington, fresh off a 16-13 upset of then-No. 3 USC.

The 0-3 Spartans vie with Washington State for the weakest opponent on the Cardinal’s roster – but Stanford did exactly what it was supposed to against inferior teams -- -- took care of business. Jumping out to a 14-0 lead midway through the first, and never trailing, the card gave San Jose state no reason to think this game would be competitive, no reason for hope. More impressive than the certainty of the Stanford victory, however, was the manner in which Stanford outplayed their opponent in all phases of the game.

Special teams? Stanford scored touchdowns on both a kickoff and punt return, the first time this author has ever seen the Card score two special teams touchdowns in one game. The defense did its part as well. Many had complained, rightfully, that Stanford’s D needed to make more big plays after two games with nary a stack nor an interception. Consider it mission accomplished: Cory Gatewood pick -- six all but iced the game in the beginning of the third quarter, and Stanford's defensive front, after getting absolutely bludgeoned by Wake Forest, tallied six sacks against the hapless San Jose State line, with Thomas Keiser (three sacks) and Will Powers (two) notching especially big days.

Offensively, Stanford achieved the balance every head coach strives for. On the ground, Stanford ran for a dominant 214 yards, averaging more than five yards per play. Toby Gerhart’s 116 yards and two touchdowns led the way, to the surprise of absolutely no one. (Stanford does have to cut down on the fumbles -- -- with Gerhart, Jeremy Stewart and Stepfan Taylor each coughing it up once.) Through the air, Andrew Luck had his prettiest stat line yet, reflective of the best day he's had thus far in a Stanford jersey: 11-of-15 yards, one touchdown, one interception and 171 yards. It’s not a stat people think a lot about, but Luck’s 11.4 yards per pass attempt bears evidence to the strength of the aerial attack.

That Stanford can commit four turnovers and still win so comfortably speaks volumes about the team’s talent, as do the three non-offensive touchdowns. Individual players are now markedly more athletic than their counterparts, allowing them to make game-changing plays with regularity. Admittedly, Stanford's Jessies and Joes, despite their success against South Bay U, are still far from competing with, let alone dominating the USCs and Cals of this world, but it wasn't that long ago that San Jose State's then-RB Yonus Davis was the most athletic player on the field, and let his Spartans to a 35-34 upset of the Card. Great individual players, as cliché as it sounds, find a way to make plays, and Stanford's crew showed today that they have potential, potential which us jaded fans haven't seen for far too long.

And, most importantly of all, a win is a win. I know I didn't make too many friends when I said after the Washington State game that Stanford's sole focus for this season should be to get to six wins, but after watching Stanford play last week, and Washington play this week, I'm more convinced than ever that six truly would mark a strong season. Two down, four more to go.

That's our take. Here’s what newspaper and Internet writers from across the region thought:

National

Recap: Stanford vs. San Jose St
Sports Network
”Toby Gerhart ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries to power the Stanford Cardinal to a 42-17 victory over the San Jose State Spartans in non-conference action.”

Stanford dominates San Jose State in 42-17 victory
Janie McCauley
Associated Press
”Chris Owusu opened the game with a 94-yard kickoff return and also caught a touchdown pass, Toby Gerhart ran for 113 yards and two TDs and Stanford beat San Jose State 42-17 in its home opener Saturday night in the third annual Bill Walsh Legacy Game.”

Stanford

Stanford stomps Spartans in home opener
Jack Salisbury
The Stanford Daily
“One year ago, Stanford was forced to battle San Jose State for four quarters in a 23-10 victory that was a lot closer than the 13-point margin would indicate.
This year? The Cardinal cruised.”

Keiser's three sacks fuels Stanford defense's rebound
Elliot Almond
San Jose Mercury News
“Defensive end Tom Keiser was troubled by the Cardinal's defensive effort in a loss to Wake Forest last week. He set out to make amends against San Jose State by recording three sacks Saturday night in Stanford's 42-17 victory.”

A special kind of football victory for Stanford
Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online
“The Stanford football team was downright special Saturday night, as in scoring two special team touchdowns in its 42-17 victory over visiting San Jose State in a nonconference contest in front of an announced crowd of 33,560.”

Cardinal dominant, as expected
Ray Ratto
San Francisco Chronicle
”The Bill Walsh Legacy Game, the last to be played for the foreseeable future, deserved a better send-off, but it wasn't like the result was a surprise.“

Cardinal put a heavy hit on Spartans
Tom FitzGerald
San Francisco Chronicle
”Turning its annual beating of San Jose State into a track meet, Stanford scored in every manner but a steal of home Saturday night.”

Even his teammates enjoy watching Owusu
Elliot Almond
San Jose Mercury News
”Stanford wasted no time scoring Saturday night when Chris Owusu returned the opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.”

San Jose State

Football Falls 42-17 At Stanford
San Jose State Athletics (Official Site)

Purdy: SJSU's season on brink of disaster
Mark Purdy
San Jose Mercury News
” San Jose State's football team needs to get its arms around the possibility that a potentially promising season is on the verge of turning into a miserable autumn of painful failure.” [And we thought Jon Wilner was harsh.]

Spartans' Jurovich not consoled by big yards in loss to Stanford
Elliot Almond
San Jose Mercury News
” Wide receiver Kevin Jurovich had nine catches for 103 yards — his second consecutive 100-yard game for San Jose State. The impressive individual performance wasn't enough to take away the sting of a 42-17 defeat to Stanford on Saturday night.”


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