West Point, NY – Kevin Hogan threw for three touchdowns, Tyler Gaffney collected two scores with 132 yards rushing and visiting No. 5 Stanford marched into West Point to take a 34-20 victory against Army.
Other than a late interception, Hogan was an efficient 11-of-18 for 188 yards and threw a touchdown to three different receivers. Ty Montgomery caught one among his six receptions, amassing 130 yards to help Stanford (2-0) to a win in its road opener.
Gaffney ran 20 times, rushing for one touchdown and catching another. The Cardinal defense allowed 284 yards to the Black Knights' potent rushing attack, but surrendered just two touchdowns -- one with 17 seconds remaining.
Terry Baggett led 10 Army (1-2) rushers with 96 yards on nine attempts. Quarterback Angel Santiago ran for 54 yards on 17 carries and Larry Dixon produced a score for the Black Knights, who have dropped two straight games.
"We come into every game believing we have a chance to win," said Santiago. "We were moving the ball and driving on them, but every now and then we would have a mental mistake, and that can't happen."
Army stayed within striking distance and trailed by a touchdown, 20-13, at the break. The triple-option offense had garnered 169 rushing yards in the first half, and crossed into Stanford territory in the third after Baggett picked up a pair of first downs. However, the series stalled when Angel Santiago lost a fumble, and the turnover signaled the beginning of the end for Army.
Three-and-a-half minutes later, the Cardinal doubled their advantage. Montgomery hauled in a 27-yard pass and Hogan capped the seven-play drive by firing across the field to Gaffney for a 23-yard touchdown.
The Black Knights were able to hold off another Stanford score when Josh Jenkins intercepted Hogan's deep ball in the end zone early in the fourth quarter. However, they gave the ball right back. Army decided to go for it on 4th-and-1 from its own 29 and Santiago got stuffed for no gain.
Gaffney then wrapped it up with five carries, fighting his way into the end zone from a yard out to open up a safe 34-13 margin for Stanford with 9:59 remaining. Army's A.J. Shurr tossed a 6-yard TD pass to Edgar Poe in the final seconds to account for the final score.
"The bottom line, which I learned a long time ago, is when you're playing a triple option team, it takes a half to get used to the speed, to get used to the tempo, the misdirection that they have," said Stanford coach David Shaw. "Our guys eventually got used to it. We started to slow them down. It's a hard team to stop."
Army controlled the early momentum as Stanford's offense came out sputtering. Hogan fumbled on the opening drive and the Cardinal went three-and-out on their second series. The Black Knights turned both opportunities into scores, with Daniel Grochowski booting 39 and 48-yard field goals to open a 6-0 lead.
Gaffney got Stanford's offense going by rushing for 41 yards on its third touch, and the six-play march concluded with a bit of luck, as Hogan's 26-yard pass to Michael Rector was deflected before the receiver hauled it in for a touchdown and a 7-6 Cardinal edge with 32 seconds left in the first.
There was no luck needed on the Cardinal's next score, as Hogan heaved a perfectly placed 46-yard dart to a streaking Montgomery for a touchdown. The Stanford defense then made a 4th-and-1 stop on its own 35, and after Devon Cajuste failed to hold on to a 14-yard touchdown pass, Jordan Williamson booted a 31-yard field goal through for a 17-6 lead late in the second.
Army ran every play on its next touch, with Baggett's 46-yard run highlighting a march that culminated with Dixon's 15-yard touchdown scamper. With 1:09 left in the half, Hogan was able to motor the Cardinal into field goal range and Williamson's 47-yard kick made it 20-13 at the break.
It was the first meeting between the two programs since 1979, a 17-13 victory for Army ... The Cardinal now leads the all-time series, 6-5 ... Army had a 10:61 pass/rush play ratio ... The Black Knight haven't defeated a ranked opponent since a 17-14 win over No. 15 Air Force in 1972.