First Posted: 10/6/2013
(AP) Ty Montgomery had 290 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, and fifth-ranked Stanford held on to beat No. 15 Washington 31-28 on Saturday night in a matchup of unbeaten Pac-12 North teams.
Montgomery returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a TD and caught a 34-yard pass for another score to put the Cardinal (5-0, 3-0) in control from the start and keep them there. Stanford led from wire-to-wire while winning its 13th straight game and 12th in a row at home, though Washington never went away.
Keith Price threw for 350 yards and two touchdowns and nearly led the Huskies (4-1, 1-1) back. But officials overturned Price's completed pass on fourth down in the final minutes to end Washington's rally.
Price completed 33 of 48 passes with one interception, and Bishop Sankey ran for 125 yards and two scores in an impressive though, at times, mistake-filled performance against the defending Pac-12 and Rose Bowl champions.
In the end, Washington came up at least one bounce short.
On fourth-and-10 from the Stanford 48, Price rolled to his right and stiff-armed a defender before throwing a 16-yard pass near the sideline to a diving Kevin Smith. But after reviewing TV replays, officials ruled the ball hit the ground.
The Huskies haven't started 5-0 since 1992 and need to regroup fast to avoid a second straight loss with No. 2 Oregon coming to Seattle next week.
The Cardinal sacked Price five times and forced the Huskies into some big-time blunders. Washington committed 10 penalties for 89 yards.
Stanford overcame some sloppy offense but still looked nothing like the team that Washington handed its only conference loss in a 17-13 setback in Seattle last season. This time, the Cardinal offense led by Kevin Hogan, who improved to 10-0 as the starter and a do-it-all showing from Montgomery made the Huskies pay.
Hogan completed 12 of 20 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Tyler Gaffney ran for 72 yards and another score.
But Montgomery stole the show for Stanford from the start when he sprinted up the middle untouched to return the opening kickoff for his second career return for a score. It also was the first on an opening kickoff for Stanford since Chris Owusu in 2009 against Washington.
After Sankey's short TD run capped Washington's impressive 88-yard drive late in the second quarter, Montgomery seized the momentum for Stanford again. He caught a 39-yard TD pass from Hogan down the sideline to give the Cardinal a 17-7 lead with 11 seconds remaining before halftime.
The Huskies had eight penalties for 64 yards and struggled to pick up big chunks of yardage until their final drive of the half. Stanford missed opportunities for more points in the first quarter as well, failing to convert a fourth down deep in Huskies territory and having another possession end when Marcus Peters intercepted Hogan's pass at the Washington 18.
The teams traded scores to start the second half with an outpouring of offense more typical of the Washington-Stanford days of old.
Price tossed a 29-yard TD pass to Smith to cap a 59-second opening drive. Hogan followed by diving over the pile on an option keeper to finish off a 4-yard run that put Stanford back up 24-14.
Sankey, who entered the game leading the nation with 151.8 yards rushing per game, scored his second TD for Washington on the ensuing drive, which was extended by a 19-yard scramble by punter Travis Coons on a fourth-and-11 fake. Officials also whistled James Vaughters for a 15-yard penalty for a late hit after a third-down stop.
With the Huskies picking up the pace again, the Cardinal turned to Montgomery once more. He juked a pair of defenders during a 68-yard kickoff return to the Washington 19 that set up Gaffney's TD run and put Stanford up 31-21.
Washington's best chance to rally ended when Trent Murphy tipped Price's pass near the goal line and A.J. Tarpley grabbed the interception and ran 15 yards to the Stanford 20 with 6:11 remaining. But the Huskies came back yet again.
Price threw a 1-yard TD pass to Jaydon Mickens with 2:38 to play, and Washington stopped Stanford three-and-out to get the ball back on its own 33 with 1:51 remaining before the Cardinal made one final stop.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAPAssociated Press