WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — Before the season, Stanford coach David Shaw’s biggest concerns were on offense. There doesn’t seem to be much to worry about now.
Kevin Hogan continues to shine at quarterback, Tyler Gaffney is a bruising force in the backfield, and Ty Montgomery is repeatedly finding wide-open spaces in the secondary. All three played major roles in No. 5 Stanford’s 34-20 victory over Army on Saturday.
Hogan, who took over as the starter last season after nine games and led the Cardinal (2-0) to five straight wins, including at Oregon and in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin, was 11 of 18 for 188 yards and three touchdowns with one interception as the Cardinal overcame a spirited effort by the Black Knights (1-2).
A week after rushing for 104 yards and scoring twice in a season-opening win over San Jose State, Gaffney ran for 132 yards on 20 carries against Army and scored twice in the decisive second half — on a 23-yard pass from Hogan and 1-yard run.
“We as coaches continually remind ourselves that this is game seven (for Hogan). He hasn’t truly even broached his sophomore year yet,” Shaw said. “There’s so much growth that has happened. He’s so mature that you forget how young he still is.
“As far as the overall offense and what we want to do, we’re more diverse than we’ve been in years,” Shaw said. “We want to be a team that can put out eight linemen on a play and bring in three receivers on the next play. We want to be able to change personnel groupings and have the diversity to be good in everything that we do. So far, so good. We left some points out there, but the emphasis is there because we’ve got the guys to do it.”
Gaffney is another story. He returned for his senior season after a year playing baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league system. He missed the first half of spring workouts, which he sat out in previous years playing baseball anyway, and has had two stellar games, ably helping fill the big hole left by the graduation of Stepfan Taylor, the school’s record-setting running back.
DEFENSE FAILS CAL IN 52-34 LOSS TO NO. 4 OHIO ST : BERKELEY (AP) — The Sonny Dykes Era has been as advertised in his first three games as California’s coach: the offense is piling up points, and the defense has been a dud.
Freshman Jared Goff threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns in another prolific performance that was wasted by a dreadful defensive display in Cal’s 52-34 loss to No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday night.
The Golden Bears (1-2) fell behind 21-0 in the first 6 minutes and allowed 608 total yards — the third straight week they’ve given up more than 500 yards — despite Kenny Guiton making his first career start at quarterback for the Buckeyes.
“I don’t really know the answer to that honestly,” Dykes said. “We have just started so poorly now for three weeks. It’s something that as a coaching staff we’ve talked a lot about and talked to the players about. Don’t really have an answer at this point. It’s something we’re going to have to figure out and get fixed.”
The same formula that got Dykes hired is starting to resurface out West.
Louisiana Tech led the nation with an average of 51.5 points under Dykes last season. But the Bulldogs ranked last in the country in yards allowed (526.1) and 116th in points (38.5) per game.
Cal allowed 508 yards in a loss to Northwestern and 553 in a close win over Portland State, which plays in the Football Championship Subdivision. To put that in perspective: the Bears allowed 500 yards at home four times in Jeff Tedford’s 11-year tenure.
SACRAMENTO STATE BEATS SOUTHERN OREGON 63-56 IN OT: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Garrett Safron threw a career-high seven touchdowns, including the 14-yard game-winner to DeAndre Carter, to rally Sacramento State past Southern Oregon 63-56 in overtime on Saturday night.
Southern Oregon’s Melvin Mason broke loose for a 59-yard touchdown to put Southern Oregon up 56-49 with 1:48 to play in regulation. Sacramento State (1-2) quickly answered on a Carter 6-yard pass from Safron with 1 second remaining to send the game into overtime.
Both Safron and Carter set school records for touchdowns. Carter finished with five TDs, two in the fourth quarter.
Safron was 34 of 52 for 368 yards and added 51 yards on the ground.
Southern Oregon (0-3) tied the game at 49 when Austin Dodge hit Dylan Young for a 36-yard touchdown. Dodge threw for six touchdowns.
The Raiders, set a FCS record by averaging 642 offensive yards per game last season, had 599 total yards.
NORTHERN ARIZONA DEFEATS UC DAVIS 21-10: DAVIS (AP) — Lucky Dozier lived up to his name, as his 78-yard interception return for a touchdown helped Northern Arizona to a 21-10 win over UC Davis.
With 1:56 left, Marcus Alford sealed the win for Northern Arizona (1-1) with a 47-yard interception return to provide the final margin.
Zach Bauman became the Aggies’ all-time leading rusher with 3,803 yards, breaking Marcus King’s school record of 3,794 set in 2001. Bauman finished with 56 yards on 18 carries.
UC Davis (0-3) held a 10-7 lead entering the fourth quarter based on Jimmy Laughrea’s 23-yard touchdown run and Brady Stuart’s 25-yard field goal.
Northern Arizona had the last laugh though, as Laughrea tossed the two costly fourth-quarter picks. Laughrea finished 16 of 33 for 154 yards.
Though both teams play in the Big Sky Conference, the result will not count against their conference record.