Andrus Peat opens holes for Stanford rushing offense in opener

Stanford just does what it does. It shouldn't be a surprise by now, as the Cardinal have replaced head coach Jim Harbaugh, quarterback Andrew Luck, offensive linemen David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin and kept on rolling, but David Shaw's team was in especially fine form in a 34-13 win over San Jose State to begin its 2013 campaign.

The defense allowed 3.7 yards per play and 35 rushing yards, with outside linebacker Trent Murphy recording two sacks and safety Ed Reynolds intercepting Spartans quarterback David Fales once.

The biggest revelation, however, was the reconfigured running game behind left tackle Andrus Peat. The 6-foot-7, 312-pound sophomore made his first career start Saturday and Shaw could not have been more impressed with Peat's play.

"You know, from the naked eye not looking at the film, I don't think he missed a block," Shaw said. "It was impressive. Football is intense, and when he was in the right position like he was tonight, so athletic, so big and so long, he had no issues."

With Peat setting the edge and guards David Yankey and Kevin Danser mauling the interior of the SJSU defense, Tyler Gaffney rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in his first game back after one year of playing minor league baseball.

The Stanford offensive line was just as solid in pass protection and did not surrender a sack.

UCLA, Oregon, USC and Notre Dame have the personnel at defensive end and outside linebacker to give Peat much stiffer tests as the season goes on, but his first appearance as a full-time player was impressive.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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