Most Impressive: Tyler Gaffney. When Stanford wins, it sticks to a tried-and-true formula: Gaffney and great defense. And even though it took a while for the coaches to feed Gaffney the requisite amount of carries, he responded by handling the rock 22 times for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Gaffney now has 894 rush yards this season (with a healthy 5.35 yards/carry) and he's scored 13 total touchdowns. It's not Toby Gerhart's season from 2009, but it's damn good.
Biggest Surprise: Not punting the ball out of bounds at the end of the 4th quarter. Perhaps the punt was mis-hit, but it seems like you have to punt that out to not even give Brandin Cooks the chance to return it and put the Beavers on the Stanford half of the field.
Most consistent: Stanford's defense. The Cardinal defenders did their job all night long - and they didn't let Brandin Cooks torch them. Sean Mannion's meager 4.8 yards per pass weren't enough to keep the Beavers' offense consistently attacking, and I'd say that Derek Mason's unit has turned in its two best games of the season these last two weeks. That's good news heading into the Oregon showdown.
Most pleasantly surprising: Kevin Anderson and Josh Mauro. Anderson may have had his best game in a Cardinal uniform on Saturday night, picking up 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, in addition to playing some solid coverage when pressed into that duty. Meanwhile, Mauro continues to put together a nice highlight reel for the NFL coaches, adding 3 tackles for loss as well.
Most frustrating: Personnel choices. Dallas Lloyd's fumbled snap was the worst personnel decision of the night, but on the whole, I'm not entirely sure what Charlie Hopkins or Jordan Pratt bring to the offense. I'd rather have the ball in the hands of Kevin Hogan, Davis Dudchock or Michael Rector or Barry Sanders. I understand that the Cardinal coaches want to mix up the units in the game, but by this point, the playmakers seem pretty obvious.
Um, where'd you go? Award: Kevin Hogan. Just a week after being on point against UCLA, he was a miserable 8-18 for 88 yards passing against Oregon State's so-so defense. Hogan looked like he was really laboring to throw the ball, so I'm curious if he was hurting all game. Perhaps the bye week came at a perfect time for Stanford's up-and-down signal caller.
Beast mode award: Trent Murphy. 2.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, 8 tackles and a pass deflection will earn you the beast mode award. (And Pac-12 defensive player of the week.)
Tweets of the Weekend:
If the Soviets had built a football team they'd look like Stanford.— SPECTER HELL (@edsbs) October 27, 2013
Trent Murphy gets a J.J. Watt comparison from Brock Huard.— Andy Drukarev (@StanfordRivals) October 27, 2013
Tyler Gaffney is the first Stanford player with 3 rushing TDs in a game since...wait for it... Josh Nunes. Seriously.— Jacob Jaffe (@Jacob_Jaffe) October 27, 2013
Someone bring Sean Mannion a bagel and coffee in the morning. He's going to be hurting when he wakes up. Taking a beating.— ESPN Pac-12 (@ESPN_Pac12blog) October 27, 2013
#Stanford holds nation's #1 WR Brandin Cooks to 2 yards receiving in the 1st half and Beavs under 100 yds. #DerekMasonstuff— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) October 27, 2013
If the Pirates still had Gaffney they might've gone 162-0— Ben Muth (@FO_wordofmuth) October 27, 2013