Stanford rolls past Washington, which loses quarterback to injury

SEATTLE -- A three-year starter at Stanford, Anthony Kimble accepted being relegated to a backup role with the emergence of Toby Gerhart.

Given the opportunity to be the showcase back again Saturday night, Kimble took full advantage.

Kimble ran for a career-high 157 yards, including an 83-yard dash early in the second half and Stanford took advantage of a costly injury to Washington star quarterback Jake Locker in the Cardinal's 35-28 win over the Huskies.

Kimble took over for Gerhart midway through the first quarter when Gerhart went to the sidelines with a mild concussion and responded with the best game of his career, averaging more than 10 yards per carry, and scoring a pair of touchdowns.

"It hard. I started for three years, but Toby has been doing a great job," Kimble said. "It was frustrating to a point, but as long as we win ... it's understandable."

Kimble's career performance was part of a season-best night for Stanford's offense, which rolled up 466 yards of offense against a Washington defense that allowed 520 yards per game in losses to Oregon, BYU and Oklahoma. Kimble also had a 13-yard touchdown run in the first half to help Stanford beat Washington for the second straight time in Seattle, the first time the Cardinal accomplished that since 1973 and 1975.

"Everybody on this team trusts and knows Anthony Kimble and he is a heck of a player," Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh said.

The Cardinal improved its record to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the Pac-10.

Meanwhile, Washington was left to lament an 0-4 start for the first time in coach Tyrone Willingham's career, and ponder the future of Locker, who broke his right thumb midway through the second quarter.

The 0-4 start (0-2 Pac-10) may have sealed Willingham's fate in Seattle as well; Willingham's record fell to 11-29 in his four seasons with the Huskies amid rising discontent from boosters.

"This one is very difficult for me to stand before you because I felt like we had a football team that would be able to go out and win," Willingham said. "Not being disrespectful to Stanford, they played a good game, but I felt like we could win the football game and we couldn't put ourselves in the right position."

Locker had accounted for nearly 70 percent of Washington's offense, but was injured midway through the second quarter. Willingham believed that Locker was hurt throwing a block on a 27-yard reverse to Jordan Polk. Locker left two plays later and immediately went to the locker room. He returned to the sidelines early in the third quarter wearing sweats and with his right hand wrapped.

"We'll be working to see exactly what the dimensions of that are," Willingham said of Locker's injury. "So that will determine, once we figure that out, what kind of a timetable he will be on."

Redshirt freshman Ronnie Fouch filled in admirably for Locker, completing 13 of 27 passes for 186 yards, and threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse midway through the third quarter to pull Washington within 28-21. Fouch also directed a 95-yard scoring drive in the closing minutes, capped by his 1-yard dive over the pile with 1:25 left.

But the ensuing onside kick bounced out of bounds and Stanford ran out the clock.

"I'm very proud of our football team," Harbaugh said. "Our guys, our players played their tails off."

Stanford quarterback Tavita Pritchard took another step in his development, passing for 222 yards and three touchdowns, the last an 18-yard strike to Ryan Whalen with 10:22 left to extend Stanford's lead to 35-21.

Playing about an hour from where he was a high school star, Pritchard was outstanding only a week after rumblings that his job could be in jeopardy.

Pritchard missed only three throws in the first half, and hit backup tight end Jim Dray for an 11-yard touchdown to give Stanford a 14-7 lead. After Washington pulled even at 14, Pritchard needed only five plays to give the Cardinal the lead again, finding Doug Baldwin open on a crossing route and watching the speedy receiver sprint past most of Washington's secondary for a 61-yard score late in the first half.

"Just settling down a little bit and build on the things we do well," Pritchard said. "We tightened up things this week at practice and went back to the basics a little bit."

Brandon Johnson had a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs for Washington.