The Stanford Cardinal held on to defeat the Washington Huskies on Saturday afternoon, 31-26, riding a strong first half effort to hold on to a much-needed victory. The Cardinal improved to 2-2 after back-to-back wins.
It was, however, a tale of two halves.
This game was really all Stanford in the opening two frames.
Old school Stanford football was back in top form, especially on offense. Through three drives, they went 5-for-5 on third-down conversion attempts and had a terrific mix of run and pass.
Austin Jones took care of the first two scores on the ground and Nathaniel Peat punched in the third score of the game to push the lead to 21-3 halfway through the second quarter.
After adding a field goal to end the second half, the Cardinal looked in firm command of the game, heading to the break with a 24-3 lead.
Mills finished the first half completing 14-of-20 passes for 149 yards. Mills top target in the first half was Elijah Higgins, who hauled in four receptions, but Michael Wilson led all first-half pass-catchers with 43 yards, including this terrific ball from Mills and great after-the-catch effort on the ground.
Really like the way Davis Mills is slinging it in the first half -- and nice work after the catch by Michael Wilson pic.twitter.com/OxhniQq8SL— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) December 5, 2020
Mills really was feeling it in the first half.
I love this ball placement by Davis Mills pic.twitter.com/LjCkh5u6Ed— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) December 5, 2020
Jones was the top rusher, carrying it 15 times for 72 yards and his two scores in the first half.
But then the second-half Huskies came to play. They scored three touchdowns on their first three drives to start the second half and even kicked a field goal to close to gap to one possession after a great play by CB Trent McDuffie stripped Jones for his first career fumble.
Amazing play on the back side from Washington CB Trent McDuffie to strip this ball pic.twitter.com/NnV1lsKKA0— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) December 5, 2020
Despite the great field position, the Cardinal defense did a terrific job of limiting the Huskies on offense and allowed just the field goal to keep the lead at 31-26.
Fortunately for Stanford fans, the old school football and first-half form returned to close out the game for the Cardinal. Mills led an incredible 14-play drive that took well over 7:00 off the game clock before icing the game with a fourth-down conversion by Jones.
Mills finished the game with 252 passing yards and a touchdown while Jones finished with 138 yards, the final two yards of the day being what sealed the deal on fourth down.
Stanford only punted once and only needed the special teams unit on two end of drive situations including a Jet Toner 44-yard field goal to end the first half.
The Cardinal are back in action on Saturday, December 12 against the Oregon State Beavers in a game moved to Corvallis, Oregon just this past week.