ASU Cruises Past Stanford, 41-3
Sept. 29, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- In a matter of seconds, Arizona State turned a close game into a blowout.
Rudy Carpenter threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to Rudy Burgess late in the second quarter and Omar Bolden returned an interception for a score on the next play from scrimmage to lead the 23rd-ranked Sun Devils to a 41-3 victory over Stanford on Saturday night.
Arizona State (5-0, 2-0 Pac-10) had been struggling offensively up until that point, giving up five sacks and being held to a pair of field goals by a Stanford team that had been unable to slow down its first two conference opponents.
Then on a third-and-8, Burgess took a pass from Carpenter and sped past the Cardinal defenders to the end zone for the first touchdown of the game with 2:31 left in the half. Keegan Herring ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 14-0.
After a touchback on the ensuing kick, T.C. Ostrander tried to connect with Richard Sherman for Stanford (1-3, 0-2). But Robert James knocked the ball away and into the hands of Bolden, who raced 29 yards for Arizona State's second touchdown in a span of 9 seconds.
The Sun Devils coasted from there and are off to just their third 5-0 start since 1982 under new coach Dennis Erickson. Dimitri Nance added a 17-yard TD run and Herring scored on a 72-yard scamper in the fourth quarter as Arizona State won in its first road game of the season.
Stanford finished a season-opening four-game homestand under new coach Jim Harbaugh with only one win, a 37-0 decision over San Jose State. The Cardinal were outscored 141-51 in the three conference losses -- all to ranked teams -- and must now play their first road game next week at No. 1 Southern California.
Carpenter finished 20-for-27 for 259 yards and the score to help the Sun Devils win here for the first time since 1997. Ryan Torain ran for 103 yards on 16 carries.
Stanford, playing without injured running back Toby Gerhart, finished with 0 yards rushing. Part of that was attributable to the seven sacks allowed by the Cardinal, but Anthony Kimble also was held to 20 yards on 10 carries after running for 119 yards a week ago against Oregon. Ostrander finished 20-for-35 for 237 yards and Sherman had six catches for 105 yards.
Arizona State got field goals from Thomas Weber on its first two possessions to take a 6-0 lead. The Sun Devils began their first drive at the 48 after a facemask penalty on the opening kick to set up Weber's 41-yard field goal.
Ostrander fumbled on a sack by Dexter Davis on Stanford's first drive. Dane Guthrie recovered at the 21 to set up Weber's 32-yard field goal that made it 6-0. Weber added two more field goals in the third quarter.
That was all the scoring until the two big plays late in the half. Stanford got on the board on the final play of the half with Derek Belch's 42-yard field goal. Belch missed two other field goals attempts.