Stanford learned a valuable lesson Saturday. Unless you're playing Savannah State, you better bring it for 60 minutes. The Cardinal took its foot off the gas a bit too early after dominating for three quarters, but held on for a 42-28 win over Arizona State on Saturday.
Head coach David Shaw began using backups in the fourth quarter with Stanford holding a 39-7 lead, which allowed the Sun Devils to make it interesting with 21 straight points. But when Stanford was locked in, it dominated the game on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
Led by 95 rushing yards and two touchdowns from running back Tyler Gaffney, Stanford overpowered the Arizona State defense for 240 yards on 49 carries (4.9 yards per attempt) and three touchdowns.
The marquee matchup between Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton and Stanford's David Yankey, the reigning Morris Trophy winners as the top linemen in the Pac-12, went squarely in favor of the bruising left guard. Sutton was never able to get penetration in the first half with his trademark quickness and couldn't escape Yankey's powerful grip once engaged. Sutton finished with six tackles, but had no tackles for loss.
Fiery Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov also impressed, looking as quick as he had since before his 2011 knee injury to post nine tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack. Defensive end Josh Mauro, starting in place of the injured Henry Anderson, had one sack and returned an interception 25 yards to set up Stanford's first touchdown.
Arizona State gained 229 of its 417 yards of total offense in the final 15:37 of the game.