Winning With Ty(ler) Good Enough For Now
The Cardinal held a 20-13 lead going into half against a Black Knights team that lost to the Ball State Cardinals, 40-14. The final score was 34-20 and the Cardinal sat so comfortably in the lead that they played a backup quarterback. However, Hogan threw an interception just when Stanford was pulling away in the fourth quarter, and I couldn’t help but think, what if this were an SEC team? I'm picking knits, but Hogan can't to make mistakes like that in moments like that. That will hang as a harbinger for this touted, conservative team.
The good news is that even when the Cardinal have a headline-worthy halftime score, the nation is busy worrying about a high-scoring Nebraska/UCLA game. Stanford has continued to stay under the radar, and I think they put together a good enough fourth quarter to erase any sort of uncertainty in the rankings, though there is a chance that their close first half may have a slight affect.
Right when I thought UCLA and Stanford were going to make the Pac-12 look bad on the big stage, they both pulled out big wins. (Stop being such a cynic, Henry…)
Ty And Tyler
For now, all questions have been answered on the Cardinal playmakers. I may be getting down on the team as a whole, but Ty Montgomery and Tyler Gaffney were phenomenal. Ty Montgomery gained 233 yards, 160 from scrimmage. He accounted for 69 percent of Kevin Hogan’s passing yards. Tyler Gaffney had 155 yards of his own from scrimmage, catching and rushing for a touchdown. What impressed me most was that the Ty(ler) combo both attacked in air and on the ground. They sure made it worth the price of popcorn. Any thoughts on good nicknames for these two? Tweet at me.
James Vaughters, a breakout candidate of mine, recovered a fumble that lead to an important touchdown drive for Stanford. Hogan righted his wrong (the aforementioned interception) by showing poise and lighting up the scoreboard.
While the stat that Army rushed for 284 may reflect poorly upon first glance, consider this: Army averaged 329 yards going into the game and has not rushed for less than 300 yards in a game since Nov. 10, 2012, against 23rd-ranked Rutgers. Three of Hogan’s 11 completions went for a touchdown. Kicker Jordan Williamson is a perfect 4-for-4 this year in field goals (2-for-2 on the night). Gaffney's statistics belong in this category.
Even though Stanford knew Army was going to rush nearly play (the Knights amassed 61 carries), Army’s rushing attack still averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Stanford had two turnovers to Army's one. Both of those turnovers came from Hogan, Stanford’s starting quarterback. Army possessed the ball for about 56 percent of the game. Stanford was 0-for-1 on fourth downs.