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Stanford offense explosive in victory over Oregon State

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The Stanford defense may have some concerns but the Cardinal offense is firing on all cylinders.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The big question about Kevin Hogan was answered as Hogan did play, but unsurprisingly his throws were limited in the early going with Christian McCaffrey and the rushing attack carrying most of the load on offense. Hogan did attempt to scramble early on with the bad ankle and threw an interception that bounced around falling into the hands of a defender. Oregon State marched the ball right down the field scoring with relative ease tying the game at 7 with two and half left in the first quarter.

The Cardinal came roaring back with a couple of big runs to from Love and McCaffrey. Then, Kevin Hogan hit Austin Hooper for a deep touchdown pass, and it is readily apparent that Austin Hooper represents a growing problem for opposing defenses hoping to keep the Cardinal from scoring.

The Beavers utilized shifting, misdirection and tempo to keep the young Stanford defense guessing. In response to the Hooper touchdown Oregon State again marched right back down the field tying the game again now at 14. With 28 total points in the first 16 minutes the Cardinal once again find themselves in a bit of an early shootout for the second week in a row.

The Stanford offense looked calm and collected, but the Stanford defense looked utterly baffled. Things took a serious turn for the defense however when Aziz Shittu went down with an injury and was helped off the field just before halftime. Stanford clung to a 21-17 lead headed into the halftime.

The second half started slowly with the score remaining unchanged for much of the third quarter until Hogan threw deep into double coverage. A brilliant effort by Michael Rector, however, turned the play into a huge touchdown giving Stanford a 28-17 lead with 6:42 left in the third quarter. Hogan appeared to be hobbling even more noticeably at this point in the game though.

The Cardinal went back to the ground game with Christian McCaffrey putting up Heisman like yards only to have Barry J. Sanders finish the drive for him giving Stanford a 35-17 lead. The Beavers responded with a touchdown of their own and pulled to within 11. On the first play from the line of scrimmage, Barry J. Sanders ran a stretch play and took it to the house for a 65 yard touchdown run putting the Cardinal back up by 18, 42-24 with 13 minutes left in the game. Not surprisingly the Cardinal took to the ground to drain the rest of the clock. Stanford wins 42-24

Christian McCaffrey was able to run for over 200 yards yet 0 touchdowns in a dominating performance. McCaffrey rushed for almost twice the amount of yards as the rest of the team combined. The number of injuries is a growing concern, but the offensive line looked sharp, and the defense tightened things up over halftime. If the offense can continue to play this well and the defense can continue to improve then expect to see the Cardinal as a contender.