5:00 PM ET, October 2, 2004
Stanford Stadium, STANFORD, CA
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- While coach Buddy Teevens was disappointed by Stanford's dominant performance, Washington's Keith Gilbertson was encouraged by a one-sided defeat.
My, how times and expectations have changed in this Pac-10 rivalry.
J.R. Lemon ran for a career-best 162 yards and three touchdowns, and Stanford snapped a six-game losing streak against Washington with a 27-13 victory Saturday.
Nick Sanchez returned a blocked punt for a score on the final play of the third quarter for the Cardinal (3-1, 1-1), who came back strong after last week's disheartening loss to top-ranked USC -- but still couldn't please their coach, who lamented their turnovers and scattered defensive lapses.
"It's nice when you can play poorly and still come out with a win," said Teevens, who won just six games in his first two seasons. "It's not what the guys expected out of themselves. It wasn't the stellar performance we had hoped for."
The winless Huskies might not agree. Led by Trent Edwards' 254 yards passing and Lemon's relentless rushing, Stanford racked up 449 total yards in the first three quarters against Washington's undermanned defense.
Only Edwards' three interceptions and Lemon's end-zone fumble kept the final score respectable -- but nearing the midway point of a difficult rebuilding season, Gilbertson was cautiously optimistic about his young club's progress.
"I told them I was anxious to see them on Monday and start coaching them again," he said. "You've got to feel like you have some hope, and I certainly haven't given up hope here. We got better. We did improve. That's the No. 1 thing, and we did that."
Stanford got just its third victory over Washington (0-4, 0-2) in the schools' last 23 meetings, and the first since 1994. Despite their coach's doomsaying, the Cardinal are off to a promising start leading to next Saturday's visit to Notre Dame.
Lemon scored twice in the first quarter on a 3-yard run and a 58-yard dash as time expired. He added a 1-yard TD plunge in the third.
"I love seeing that green. That's the best thing to see," Lemon said of the open spaces cleared by his linemen. "I wish we could be undefeated right now. I feel like we should be."
The Cardinal moved the ball with ease, racking up 292 yards in the first half -- but Edwards, who went 23-of-33, threw three interceptions in the first 2½ quarters, all ruining scoring chances. Lemon also wasted Stanley Wilson's interception return to the Washington 4 in the fourth quarter by fumbling in the end zone.
"I think we played a horrible game," Lemon said. "We played a messy, sloppy game."
Though freshman quarterback Carl Bonnell showed promise in his first start and Casey Paus led a late rally, Washington struggled in its first trip to Stanford Stadium since Oct. 28, 2000, one of the most tumultuous days in the program's history.
Washington went 80 yards in 36 seconds in a driving rain that day, scoring the decisive TD in a thrilling 31-28 victory -- but earlier in the game, safety Curtis Williams was paralyzed by a spinal cord injury. He died 19 months later.
Though Bonnell was just 9-of-25 for 118 yards, he showed speed and elusiveness against Stanford's pressure. Washington even ran the option occasionally.
"Everybody's just disappointed, because we expect to be winning," Bonnell said. "This is a school that always wins."
The Huskies scored on Kenny James' 1-yard run late in the second quarter, capping a 64-yard drive.
Kenneth Tolon's 44-yard run to the 1 set up Lemon's third TD. After Bonnell was sacked at midfield on Washington's next drive, Brandon Harrison blocked the Huskies' punt.
Sanchez chased the ball nearly 40 yards before finally catching up at the 11. It was Stanford's first blocked punt recovery for a score in nearly four years.
"It's something we've been practicing all year," Harrison said of the formation that led to the block.
"If we run it, he's going to block it, and I'm going to score," Sanchez said.
Paus, who started the first three games for the Huskies, threw a 28-yard TD pass to Sonny Shackelford with 4:45 to play. Washington couldn't reach midfield on its next drive, however.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-19||7-16|
|4th Down Conversions||1-3||0-3|
|TD||2:10||J.R. LEMON 3 YD RUN (MICHAEL SGROI KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 93 yards.
|TD||0:00||J.R. LEMON 58 YD RUN (MICHAEL SGROI KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 63 yards.
|TD||5:01||KENNY JAMES 1 YD RUN (MICHAEL BRAUNSTEIN KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||3:38||J.R. LEMON 1 YD RUN (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 92 yards.
|TD||0:00||NICK SANCHEZ 11 YD BLOCKED PUNT RETURN (MICHAEL SGROI KICK)||7||27|
|TD||4:45||SONNY SHACKELFORD 28 YD PASS FROM CASEY PAUS (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yards.