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Stanford uses balanced attack to top Arizona State

STANFORD, Calif. -- Andrew Luck threw for 236 yards, Toby Gerhart ran for 125 yards and a touchdown and Stanford greatly boosted its bowl hopes with a 33-14 victory over Arizona State on Saturday night.

The Cardinal (5-3, 4-2 Pac-10) used a balanced attack to match their 2008 win total and end a three-game losing streak in the series in which they had been outscored 120-23 by the Sun Devils (4-3, 2-2), including 41-3 here in 2007.

Freshman Jamal-Rashad Patterson scored on a 22-yard reverse for his first career touchdown, Stepfan Taylor ran 33 yards for a TD and Owen Marecic had a 2-yard scoring run on just his seventh career rushing attempt. Marecic's TD came on the heels of his 28-yard reception that set up his score late in the second quarter to put Stanford up 24-0 at halftime.

Third-year coach Jim Harbaugh and his team are trying to earn the school's first bowl berth since 2001.

Arizona State center Thomas Altieri suffered a right leg injury late and was assisted as he limped off the field with 1:57 left. He later was using crutches.

Losing this one would have been a big blow for Stanford, which has a bye next week before finishing its schedule with four tough games: home with Oregon, at Southern California, home against archrival California and home versus Notre Dame.

The Sun Devils struggled to generate any offensive momentum and were held to four first downs and 99 total yards in the first half before finally getting on the board early in the third. They also were hurt by 10 penalties.

Arizona State was at 1 yard of offense with just more than a minute left in the opening quarter. Danny Sullivan missed on his first four passes before connecting with Chris McGaha for a 16-yard gain with 48 seconds left in the first.

Sullivan found McGaha again early in the third on an 18-yard TD pass for Arizona State's first points, then threw a 40-yard scoring pass to T.J. Simpson in the fourth but took a hard hit on the play. Sullivan wound up 12 for 23 for 143 yards and two TDs as Arizona State had a two-game winning streak snapped. Backup quarterback Brock Osweiler played down the stretch as Sullivan nursed a sore knee that wasn't considered serious.

Ryan Whalen had seven catches, one of eight Stanford players with a reception.

Bo McNally recorded nine tackles as Stanford bounced back from two tough setbacks and improved to 4-0 at home this season and 8-1 at Stanford Stadium the last two seasons. The Cardinal lost 43-38 last week at Arizona.

Stanford caught a break late in the first quarter when Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict was flagged for a personal foul for leaping over a Stanford player. That gave Stanford first down on the 15 after Nate Whitaker missed a 47-yard field goal wide right. Whitaker later kicked a 27-yarder, then added another field goal early in the fourth quarter.

Gerhart, facing the nation's No. 2 run defense, carried 27 times on the way to his 15th career 100-yard game and moved past Anthony Bookman and into third place on the school's all-time list for rushing yards with 2,645.

Arizona State failed to make an interception for the first time in 15 games, ending the longest streak in the nation.