Old time football wags with gray hair will tell you that special teams win and lose 1/3 of the games. They would be right when it comes to Stanford's 31-28 win over the Washington Huskies in Palo Alto on Saturday night. Though Washington out-gained Stanford by over 200 yards, Cardinal kick returner extraordinaire Ty Montgomery was the difference. His opening kick 99 yard return started the scoring and his 68 yard 3rd quarter kick return put the Cardinal in position for the score that was the ultimate clincher. Montgomery's 204 return yards, along with his touchdown catch with 11 seconds to go in the half, told the tale down on The Farm. Washington drops to 4-1 on the season, while Stanford remains undefeated five games into the campaign.
Washington's final drive of the game was stalled due to a dropped pass by tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and a controversial replay ruling on a play in which Kasen Williams was originally ruled to have caught a pass on the right sideline. If the play had stood as called the Huskies would have been in long field goal range. Replay appeared to show that the ball touched the ground beneath Williams however, and Stanford was able to run out the clock.
Though hardly a panacea for the painful flight home, the Huskies received another standout performance from quarterback Keith Price. The fifth year senior came into the game completing over 72% of his passes and was 33 out of 48 against the Cardinal for 350 yards and two touchdowns. The pass that will keep him up at night, though, was a 4th quarter pass with just over six minutes to go. Washington was in field goal range and driving for a possible touchdown when Price's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage by an onrushing lineman and intercepted by senior linebacker A. J. Tarpley.
Bishop Sankey continued his workhorse efforts on the ground for the Dawgs. A week after toting the rock 40 times in the rain in Seattle, Sankey carried 27 times for 125 yards Saturday night.
As painful as this loss is for his charges, Head Coach Steve Sarkisian must look ahead. He can't afford to let his team worry too long about what might have and could have happened at Stanford. It's Oregon week, and the Huskies had best be ready to strap it down and get after the run-run Ducks.