Cardinal Score Big In Conference Opener

Sept 22, 2001

AP Sports Writer

Stanford, Calif. (AP) - Brian Allen scored last, sprinting 47 yards pastseveral Arizona State defenders. His touchdown in the final minute of the thirdquarter gave Stanford its eventual 51-28 margin of victory.

In the end zone, the Cardinal running back didn't celebrate much. He simplyput his hands on his hips to catch his breath after the final electrifying playin a Saturday night that was full of them.

The Cardinal and the Sun Devils opened their Pac-10 schedules with a gamethat recalled every offense-rich, defense-poor game in the conference's wildhistory.

The teams combined for 1,052 total yards from scrimmage and 379 yards onkick and punt returns. They scored all 79 of the game's points in a 35-minutestretch beginning late in the first quarter. Eleven different players scoredtouchdowns - seven on TD passes. Both kickers even made tough field goals.

While both teams' defensive coordinators will be shaking their heads thisweek, both offenses were in outstanding form two games into the season. The winleft Stanford (2-0) just two places shy of a position in the AP's Top 25.

'It feels real good. That's what we want to do every time out,' Allen saidafter he and Kerry Carter combined for 180 of Stanford's 223 yards rushing. 'Igive all the credit to our offensive line and our entire offensive game plan.It was just credit to us calling the right calls and blocking well.'

The Cardinal were thought to be no more than also-rans in a tough conferencethis season, but coach Tyrone Willingham insisted that most Stanford teams withexperienced senior quarterbacks have proven to be contenders. So far, he's beenright.

Quarterbacks Randy Fasani and Jeff Krohn both proved their teams' offensesare in good hands. Fasani threw for 295 yards and four TDs, while Krohn passedfor 366 yards and three scores.

Fasani, who struggled with injuries throughout Stanford's 5-6 campaign in2000, is healthy for his senior season, and the difference has shown.

Fasani's throws were accurate all night against the Sun Devils' weak passdefense, and he also proved mobile with a 15-yard rush in the third quarter. Hewas injured last season on a foolhardy scramble.

'He did everything you expect of a veteran quarterback,' Arizona Statecoach Dirk Koetter said of Fasani. 'We got a good performance from Jeff aswell, but Stanford made more of the big plays.'

Stanford indeed got more breaks than the Sun Devils. Arizona State lost asure touchdown when fullback Mike Karney fumbled the ball through the end zonefor a touchback in the first quarter.

Krohn showed a thrilling proficiency with the long ball, throwing TD passesof 68, 58 and 40 yards to three different receivers. But the Sun Devils alsothrew two interceptions that killed good drives.

Koetter said it was Stanford's systematic dominance of Arizona State's youngdefense that allowed the Cardinal to beat the Sun Devils for the third straighttime.

'Defense is definitely going to take the rap for this one,' star defensiveend Terrell Suggs said. 'If you look at their big plays, we just never wrappedthem up and tackled. Defense is defense, and it doesn't matter how long you'reon the field.

'Twenty-eight points is more than enough to get a road win, and our defensejust didn't play up to its capability. We take the blame for this one.'

Arizona State gets a break from the conference schedule next week at homeagainst winless San Jose State, while Stanford plays for a national ranking inanother Pac-10 game at Southern Cal.

Willingham never gets too down about Stanford's failures, so he wasn'tgetting overly excited about his team's latest success, either.

'I'm pleased with the overall play of our offense, but some parts were notas clean as we would like them to be,' he said. 'There were certain points inthe ball game that our offense was right on track and put together back-to-backscores, and that was wonderful.'

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