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Har-BOUGH's Tree LEAVES Dawgs PINING over loss
Tree more physical on both sides of the ball
Malamute, 26 September 2009

Former Norco high school star Toby Gerhart ran for 200-yards and Chris Owusu returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown to lead Stanford to a 34-14 victory over 24th ranked Washington at Stanford Stadium in front of 36,930 fans.

In its 35-28 victory over Washington last season, Stanford was the more physical of the two teams. The Tree rushed for 244 yards; the Dawgs only managed 140 yards on the ground.

This time around the Tree ran for 321 yards; Washington (2-2, 1-1) managed just 99 yards rushing.

In our forecast on Wednesday, we said that to win the game the Huskies needed to control the ball; also, they needed to minimize errors, hold Gerhart to under 100 yards rushing, and keep Owusu from taking it to the house on special teams.

Mission unaccomplished. Stanford (3-1, 2-0) won time of possession, 33:32 to 26:28; the Dawgs committed three turnovers; Gerhart doubled our bogey and, untouched, Owusu raced straight up the gut on his kickoff return, his third kickoff return for a touchdown this season.

Motoring their 2004 Gilby (*) -- the cash for clunkers program seemingly  a total failure for them -- the Huskies posted a miserly 14 points on the board, seven of them by way of their defense when Justin Glenn ran an errant lateral back 51 yards for a touchdown to tie the score at seven.

But that was short lived. One play from scrimmage later, Gerhart exploded on a 60-yard run to give Stanford a 14-7 lead going into the second quarter. That was followed by a 40-yard field goal by Nate Whitaker, which gave the Cardinal a 10-point lead.

At 9:54 in the second quarter, Jake Locker hit Jermaine Kearse on 19-yard sideline pass, which brought the Dawgs within three, 17-14.

The Cardinal closed out the scoring in the first half by mounting a 14-play 68-yard drive that took seven minutes and eight seconds off the clock.

Coach Jim Harbaugh's (pardon the pun in our headline) Cardinal added 10 points in the second half, while holding the feckless Huskies scoreless.

Without a running game to support him, Locker posted his worst passing efficiency rating of the season, 101.11. He completed 16 of 31 passes for 191 yards and the touchdown pass to Kearse. However, he threw two ill-advised picks which questioned his judgment. When he's scrambling for his life, Locker would be far better off running the ball rather than throwing it into coverage. 

"I made a couple of poor decisions and we just weren't able to execute like we wanted to," Locker said.

"We were the favored team, we were playing at home. We expected to do that and to win," Harbaugh said. "We wanted to do that decisively."

Gerhart noted that in their previous games this season, the Huskies were weak against the run. "We felt we could do the same thing if we went straight downhill on them. It worked out."

An 18-wheeler running downhill, Gerhart appeared unstoppable at times, even with two defenders wrapped around him. He bowled over some, deked a few and outran others, exploiting the huge holes his offensive line blew open for him. Gerhart won the underlying battle of Riverside County, besting former Redlands East Valley phenomenon Chris Polk, who ran for 75 yards on 19 carries and caught 2 passes for 23 yards. Harbaugh used Gerhart to throw strikes, while Coach Steve Sarkisian was throwing spares with Polk, who would have benefited from some better blocking.

The Tree's special teams kept the Huskies in poor field position most of the night. After Stanford's 7 kickoffs, the Dawgs average starting point was from their own 21-yard line.

Of the Dawgs' four possessions in the second half, the farthest penetration carried to the Stanford 33. On a fourth and five at the 33, Locker was sacked for 7 yards.

The game ended mercifully with the Tree planted firmly inside the Washington 10, following a 13 play, 62-yard drive, which took the final 8 minutes and 9 seconds off the clock.

Now for the good news. The Dawgs' road uniforms were a haberdasher's delight, and, with a long of 60, Will Mahan averaged 50.3 yards on his 3 punts.


(*) - The 2004 Gilby had an EPA rating of 14 points per game, under combined home and away driving, where EPA stands for Estimated Points Analyzers.

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
UW 7 7 0 0 14
Stanford 14 10 3 7 34

Time Team How Player (s) Score
1st qtr        
14:50 SU TD Chris Owusu 91-yard kickoff return; Nate Whitaker kick. SU, 7-0
2:05 UW TD Justin Glenn 51-yard fumble recovery. T, 7-7
1:48 SU TD Toby Gerhart 60-yard run; Whitaker kick. SU, 14-7
2nd Qtr
11:47 SU FG Whitaker 40-yard boot. SU, 17-7
9:54 UW TD Jermaine Kearse 19-yard pass from Jake Locker; Erik Folk kick. SU, 17-14
2:41 SU TD Stephan Taylor 1-yard run; Whitaker boot. SU, 24-14
3rd Qtr
3:20 SU FG Whitaker 25-yarder. SU, 27-14
4th Qtr
9:20 SU FG Andrew Luck 9-yard run; Whitaker kick. SU, 34-14


Statistic UW SU
Total First Downs 16 22
  Rushing 6 16
  Passing 9 5
  Penalty 1 1
Total Net Yards 290 424
Net Yards Passing 191 103
Net Yards Rushing 99 321
Completions-att-int 16-31-2 7-14-0
Punts, yards, average 3-151, 50.3 1-39, 39.0
Sacks by (number, yards) 0-0 1-7
Kickoff Returns: number, yds, tds 6-116-0 3-131-1
Punt returns: number, yds, tds 0-0-0 1-0-0
Kickoff Yards 3-169 7-477
Net Yards per kickoff 12.7 48.7
Average yards per kickoff 56.3 68.1
Touchbacks (kickoffs) 0 1
Third-down conversions 7-14 7-11
Interception returns: no., yds, tds 0-0-0 2-4-0
Penalties, no., Yards 2-26 4-25
Fumbles: number/lost 1-1 2-2
Time of Possession  26:28 33:32

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Andrew Luck (111.80) 7 14 103 0 0
Jake Locker (101.11) 16 31 191 1 2
Tree's Rushing No. Yds TDs Long  
Toby Gerhart 27 200 1 60  
Andrew Luck 8 59 1 26  
Tyler Gaffney 6 23 0 16  
Stephan Taylor 6 22 1 11  
Chris Owusu 1 15 0 15  
Jeremy Stewart 1 3 0 3  
TEAM 1 -1 0 0  
Washington Rushing No. yds tds long
Chris Polk 19 75 0 20  
Jake Locker 7 20 0 10  
Johri Fogerson 2 4 0 2  
Tree Pass Receiving No. yds tds long
Coby Fleener 3 57 0 42
Tyler Gaffney 1 17 0 17  
Chris Owusu 1 13 0 13  
Owen Marecic 1 12 0 12  
Jeremy Stewart 1 4 0 4  
Washington Pass Rec. No. yds tds long
James Johnson 3 37 0 19  
Kavario Middleton 1 11 0 11  
Johri Fogerson 3 17 0 8  
Chris Polk 2 23 0 15  
D'Andre Goodwin 3 42 0 32  
Jermaine Kearse 3 54 1 19  
Paul Homer 1 7 0 7  
Punting punts yds long Avg
David Green 1 39 39 39.0
Will Mahan 3 151 50.3 61  
Attendance: 36,930          

Richard Linde, aka Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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