Sports

Takeaways: Stanford relies on freshmen to finish upset of Washington


STANFORD – Midway through the third quarter in Stanford’s 23-13 win over No. 15 Washington Saturday night, senior right guard Harry Hattis was carted off the field and replaced by true freshman Jake Hornibrook.

There would be no easing into the game. On Hornibrook’s first play, Stanford running back Cameron Scarlett ran behind the freshman as Hornibrook helped move defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike and then linebacker Brandon Wellington on Scarlett’s four-yard touchdown run.

It was indicative of the Cardinal’s effort, despite being two-touchdown underdogs. For one game at least, Stanford overcame its injuries and execution issues and put together a vintage performance – dominant run game, punishing defense, opportunistic passing, and no critical mistakes.

Despite finishing with third-string quarterback Jack West and three true freshmen on the offensive line – Hornibook, the brother of former Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook, was joined by classmates Walter Rouse at left tackle and Barrett Miller at left guard– the Cardinal imposed their will with former workhorse back Tyler Gaffney looking on from the sideline.

“Called Tyler Gaffney this week and told him I wanted him up here,” Cardinal coach David Shaw said. “This was going to be an attitude game, and couldn’t think of a better person to come talk to the team and he was awesome, and our guys played like that. And I recounted, you know, coaching Tyler with our guys, and talked about doing your job, but playing with some confidence and swagger also.”

Here were the biggest takeaways as Stanford evened their record at 3-3 (2-1 in the Pac-12) heading into an open week and kept Washington (4-2, 1-2) winless on The Farm since Jake Locker led the Huskies to victory in 2007.

SCARLETT BREAKS THROUGH

After running for 97 yards against both Northwestern and Oregon and 92 against Oregon State, Scarlett crashed through the 100-yard barrier for the first time, running for 151 yards on 33 carries.

“Yeah, I knew today was going to be the day,” Scarlett said. “I’ve been sick and tired of rushing for 90 yards, the 92, 97; I see that. I wanted to get over a hundred for sure.”

Even when the Huskies knew he would get the ball late in the fourth quarter, he carried nine straight times for 29 yards, gaining two critical first downs and running more than five minutes off the clock.

“Cam Scarlett just played a lot like Tyler today,” Shaw said. “Not that he has to be like him. He’s his own man. He’s gotten better and better. He’s playing the best football of his career right now. Just hand the ball to him repeatedly against loaded boxes when they knew we were running the ball. Broke tackles. Finished runs physically.”

And Scarlett’s best play may have been one when he didn’t even get the ball. On Stanford’s 42-yard touchdown pass to Simi Fehoko, Scarlett picked up a safety blitz to allow the play to develop.

“Can’t say enough about where Cam Scarlett is right now,” Shaw said. “Just playing such great football.”

DEFENSIVE DOMINANCE

The days of giving up 45 …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

      

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