Cardinal Humbled With Experience At West Point, Get Their Second Win Of The Season
Stanford embraced their mantra of winning with character and cruelty this past weekend when the 5th ranked Cardinal traveled nearly 3,000 miles to take on the Army Black Knights. With the remembrance of September 11th just a day before Stanford traveled 3 time zones to the east, it was a very humbling experience for both players and coaches.
Stanford got off to a slow start, perhaps because of that early 9am PST game time. QB Kevin Hogan fumbled on the 3rd play from scrimmage, which led to an early Army field goal to go up 3-0; the first time Stanford had been trailing this season. Stanford got their first points on the board with just 30 seconds left in the first quarter to take the lead 7-6, and they never looked back on their way to a 34-20 victory.
Tyler Gaffney had another outstanding game on the ground, once again rushing for over 100 yards and furthering himself from the rest of the running backs as Stanford’s best ball carrier. Gaffney ended the day with 155 total yards; 132 rush yards on 20 carries and a catch for 23 yards that resulted in a touchdown. He also had a 4th quarter rushing touchdown, giving Gaffney 3 total on the year.
Kevin Hogan only had 188 pas yards on the day, but threw for 3 touchdowns and just 1 interception. Hogan was replaced halfway through the 4th quarter, proving that head coach David Shaw was not trying to put up any style points this game. His team played good enough to leave the east coast with a win and get back to the Farm to prepare for conference play next week.
Defensively, Stanford was a little shaky, but overall good enough to get the win. The Black Knights ended the day with 284 rushing yards; that’s almost 100 more yards than Oregon put up against the Cardinal in 17-14 OT thriller last season in Eugene. However, they did hold the passing game to just 49 yards and the 34-20 final score made the game look closer than it was. After a one play, 46 yard touchdown pass from Hogan to Ty Montgomery early in the second quarter to put the Cardinal up 14-6, it did not feel like the Black Knights had any chance to win this game.
Army won the time of possession battle this week, the first time Stanford did not have more TOP since the game against Washington St. last season (however, WSU was held to -16 rushing yards in that game). But even with 8 less minutes on offense and 80 less rushing yards, the Cardinal did what they needed to do; to get out of West Point with a “W”.
The day before the game, members of the Cardinal football team were given a tour of the campus. Players took to Twitter to thank the students and soldiers of West Point and show their respect for what they got to experience this past weekend. Cardinal FB Ryan Hewitt did not play this weekend because of a bruised knee, but still got to make the trip and take part. “Absolutely blown away by the mentality and humility of our nations military. Truly humble people that help maintain our right to liberty.” Hewitt said. Shayne Skov, LB, also remarked on Twitter about the tour. “Leaving West Point…but left in amazement by the honesty, humility and hospitality of the students and soldiers on campus.”
Stanford has their first test of the season next week as they match up against 23rd ranked Arizona St. at Stanford Stadium at 4pm on FOX.