STANFORD, Calif. -- Tavita Pritchard passed for 159 yards and rushed for a touchdown while rallying Stanford from a halftime deficit to beat San Jose State 23-10 in the Bill Walsh Legacy Game on Saturday night.
Toby Gerhart rushed for a career-high 148 yards and scored with 9 seconds to play for the Cardinal (2-2), who gradually erased the Spartans' early 10-0 lead with outstanding defense. Stanford held San Jose State to 38 total yards in the second half -- including minus-24 in a horrific fourth quarter.
The Spartans wasted a strong start behind quarterback Kyle Reed, who completed his first 16 passes. The California transfer went 23-of-26 for 165 yards for the Spartans (2-2), who have lost six of the last seven games in the longtime Bay Area rivalry now named after the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach who spent time at both schools.
Aaron Zagory's 52-yard field goal late in the third quarter gave Stanford its first lead at 13-10, and Reed's fumble under pressure with 4:44 to play gave the ball to Stanford at the Spartans 7, setting up Zagory's third field goal.
Stanford then smothered San Jose State's offense one last time, sacking Reed on fourth down with 1:41 left. The Cardinal sacked Reed eight times.
Pritchard's job was in jeopardy after back-to-back losses, but the junior led the Cardinal's comeback with his scrambling ability and a handful of big throws despite finishing just 13-of-28. He even connected with himself for one of his longest completions in the second quarter, catching his own deflected pass behind the line of scrimmage and running 25 yards with it.
Using a no-huddle offense, Reed led San Jose State to a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter on Brandon Rutley's 4-yard TD run. Reed, who completed his first 13 passes in last week's victory over San Diego State, didn't throw an incompletion against Stanford until missing on a long throw to Chris Ward with 3 seconds left in the first half.
Jeff Clark led the Spartans with eight catches for 52 yards.
San Jose State cornerback Christopher Owens made a heady play to prevent a sure score in the second quarter, chasing down Stanford receiver Doug Baldwin and popping the ball out of his arms at the 2-yard line. The ball went through the end zone for a touchback, although the field judge inexplicably ruled a touchdown for Stanford before he was reversed on the obvious video replay.
Pritchard capped a 64-yard drive with a 1-yard TD sneak just 38 seconds before halftime.
Just 33,293 fans attended the rivalry game at Stanford Stadium, with wide swaths of empty seats in the upper deck.