STANFORD, Calif. -- Washington entered this game sporting the Pac-12's top-ranked defense. It left bruised by a red-hot Cardinal attack that enjoyed yet another methodical, balanced performance.
Stanford beat the Huskies 31-14, racking up over 40 minutes of possession and several long touchdown drives. Quarterback Kevin Hogan was again a model of efficiency, completing 17 of 24 passes for 290 yards, two touchdowns, and a 191.5 quarterback rating. Heisman Trophy candidate Christian McCaffrey padded his credentials for the award with another shiny all-around performance: He racked up 300 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns.
Washington entered this game ranked at or near the Pac-12 cellar in most offensive categories, and they sputtered again behind back-up quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels, who was starting in place of the injured Jake Browning. Freshman running back Myles Gaskin did provide a bright spot for the Huskies, but his 108 yards on 18 carries (6.0 per rush) were not nearly enough to keep up with Stanford's offense.
What this win means for Stanford: The Cardinal continue to prove that their remarkable offensive resurgence is no fluke. This particular 478-yard outburst came against a Washington defense that entered leading the Pac-12 in several defensive categories. The Huskies did deliver another disciplined effort on that side of the ball, but Stanford wore them down with several clock-churning drives of balanced football. One 15-play, 90-yard march that lasted over eight minutes demonstrated the stability of the Cardinal offense. Stanford improves to 5-0 in conference play. Given Utah's loss, they should now be considered the favorites to win the Pac-12, but a dangerous game at Washington State awaits next Saturday.
What this loss means for Washington: The Huskies ran into a well-oiled machine, and the fact that their struggling offense was missing its starting quarterback didn't help matters. Washington drops to 1-3 in conference play, so they're obviously not competing for the title this year, but there are positives to build on. Gaskin's performance was impressive, and the offense should have a chance to build more confidence next week at home against Arizona before Utah comes to Seattle the following Saturday.
Player of the game: McCaffrey. At this rate, the only person who may be able to save Barry Sanders' NCAA single-season all-purpose yards record (3,250, set in 1988) is his son Barry J. Sanders -- by taking opportunities away from the Stanford sophomore. McCaffrey rushed for 109 yards, caught 112 more, and added 79 on kick returns. He remains firmly entrenched in the national all-purpose yards lead with 1,818 through seven games.
Stat of the game: Stanford held the ball for more than 40 minutes. Washington didn't even reach 20 minutes of possession. The Cardinal also ran 72 plays to the Huskies' 45. Those numbers tell the story of this one: Stanford's offensive line again controlled the line of scrimmage, and the outcome was never in doubt -- especially when McCaffrey got his hands on the ball.