Welcome to The Daily’s live blog of today’s football game between No. 5 Stanford and No. 23 at Stanford Stadium. We’ll be updating this page with instant coverage and analysis. Please refresh this page for the most recent updates, and follow us on twitter @StanfordSports for updates. All times are Pacific.
7:35 PM: Taylor Kelly’s desperation heave into the end zone is intercepted by Alex Carter to end the game. After being outscored 28-13 in the second half, the final score from Palo Alto: Stanford 42, Arizona State 28.
7:31 PM: Jordan Williamson nails a 24-yard field goal to make it 42-28 with 0:30 left in the game. The outcome of the game was never in doubt, but the way that the Cardinal bled away one of its best starts in recent history and turned it into a demoralizingly close win was painful for many in the press box.
7:28 PM: Several infuriating handoffs for the Stanford faithful later, the Cardinal offense counters by sending Hogan on a huge bootleg run down the left sideline for a gain of 27. That’s what this team needed after all this stagnation.
7:24 PM: After three straight handoffs force a 4th-and-1 for the Cardinal, Stanford catches a break on a huge illegal substitution penalty on Arizona State. Stanford needs to diversify this offense if it hopes to do anything to redeem this second half in the eyes of the viewers.
7:21 PM: The Sun Devils try an onside kick, but Jeff Trojan recovers and holds on for the Cardinal as Hogan comes back into the game to a loud cheer from the Stanford crowd left at Stanford Stadium. What was a blowout after the first half is now a close game.
7:19 PM: And interesting it gets. Grice takes the ball and bounces outside for a six-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 39-28. There’s lots of people in the press box questioning Coach Shaw’s call to pull Hogan from the game as early as he did. Sloppy defense and zero offense have made this game too close for Cardinal comfort.
7:17 PM: Ed Reynolds becomes Stanford’s first victim to the new targeting rule as he gets ejected from the game after leveling Taylor Kelly after a throw. First-and-goal for the Sun Devils looking to make things interesting.
7:16 PM: Undeterred by the 4th-and-forever, Kelly hits Strong for a 34-yard gain to convert and make it a first-and-goal. Stanford defense is hurting in a big way right now.
7:15 PM: Skov answers with a huge sack to make it a 4th-and-18.
7:14 PM: Kelly is taking shots downfield that are falling incomplete. This is a huge 3rd-and-10 from the Stanford 37. The Cardinal defense really needs a stop here in a big way.
7:08 PM: Stanford punts again after another three-and-out under Crower. The second-team offense looks to be in way too early. With nine minutes left in the game, it’s still much too soon to try and bleed the clock. With the way the defense has looked on the last two Arizona State drives, this could come back and bite the Cardinal if the team isn’t careful.
7:06 PM: Crower is still in at quarterback for the next drive. It seems like Shaw and company aren’t willing to let him throw the ball, and ASU knows it. They don’t even have a safety back deep to protect against the pass.
7:02 PM: But the ASU offense strikes again as Kelly finds redshirt sophomore receiver Jaelen Strong for a 27-yard touchdown on 4th-and-2. Stanford’s lead is down to 18 points — still comfortable, but not as sizable as both teams’ performances have shown tonight. Stanford 39, Arizona State 21 with 10:55 left in the game.
7:00 PM: Grice shoots up the left sideline for a gain of 20 yards. Stanford may have a big lead, but its defense needs to stop giving up these big plays if it hopes to keep the game comfortable. The Sun Devils are driving at the Stanford 35-yard line.
6:58 PM: After an impressive Spring Game for the junior backup quarterback, Crower hasn’t looked very impressive in limited action against Army and Arizona State (so far).
6:56 PM: Crower and the offense don’t move the chains, and Rhyne will punt it away. ASU takes over at its own 43-yard line.
6:54 PM: Evan Crower is now in at quarterback. It appears as if Kevin Hogan’s evening is done. Hogan had a very respectable stat line, completing 11 of 17 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns and also an unfortunate interception.
6:53 PM: Montgomery can’t break loose for a third time on a kickoff tonight and Stanford starts its drive from the 17.
6:49 PM: I know the Cardinal has a big lead right now, but the defense just made it too easy for Kelly on that possession. Kelly’s 45-yard strike to Chris Coyle caps a 5-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. With 14:17 left in the fourth quarter, Stanford leads ASU 39-14.
6:44 PM: Stanford runs power on the first play following the blocked punt, and Gaffney scores from 16 yards out for his second touchdown of the night. Stanford leads ASU 39-0 at the end of the third quarter.
6:39 PM: Gardner blocks Kelly’s pooch punt and then returns it himself before being dragged down. A 15-yard clipping penalty on Grice gives the Cardinal the ball at the ASU 16. Just when you thought that the day couldn’t get any worse for the ASU punting unit…
6:38 PM: Kelly breaks contain and picks up 11 yards for the first down.
6:37 PM: Big bad Ben Gardner sacks Kelly. ASU faces another third-and-10.
6:35 PM: Bad defensive pass interference by Lyons on third down. He had his guy covered, just needed to turn his head around to make the play. Instead, ASU gets 15 yards and an automatic first down.
6:34 PM: Kelly throws into triple coverage and Reynolds almost had his second pick of the season. But third-and-10 for ASU now.
6:32 PM: That field-goal scoring possession ate up 6:50 off the clock. Almost half a quarter. Wasn’t the prettiest drive, but an important one to give the Cardinal defense some time to regroup.
6:31 PM: Williamson nails a 20-yard chip shot through the uprights. Stanford leads ASU 32-7 with 3:22 left in the third quarter.
6:28 PM: Hogan launches a back-shoulder pass to Rollins Stallworth, a walk-on from Nevada, in the end zone, but the pass is broken up at the last moment. Great play by the corner.
6:26 PM: Montgomery stepping up again. Hogan finds him for 12 yards. The Cardinal has now converted 7 of its 10 third downs tonight. First-and-goal at the ASU 6.
6:24 PM: Helmet-to-helmet hit on Hogan gives Stanford 15 yards and an automatic first down. Came at the right time with Stanford facing a third-and-13. The Cardinal down at the ASU 18-yard line now.
6:23 PM: ASU’s defensive line finally gets penetration and takes down Hogan for an 8-yard sack. That’s the first time that Hogan has been sacked tonight.
6:21 PM: Great effort by Gaffney to plow ahead for 14 yards. The ball popped out and it was initially ruled ASU’s ball, but upon official review, Gaffney was ruled down and Stanford keeps possession. Very close call there.
6:17 PM: That being said, Stanford has still been successful with the running game. Gaffney gains 8 yards on the first snap and 7 more on the next play.
6:15 PM: With ASU finally showing signs of life on both sides of the ball, the Cardinal needs to stay aggressive on offense. Had the right idea with the bootleg slide play involving Young on the previous drive. Just need to execute.
6:14 PM: Stanford’s defense gets good pressure on Kelly despite rushing only three. Kelly fires a dart right into Grice’s hands, but the running back drops it. The Cardinal got a lucky break there and will take over at its 29-yard line.
6:11 PM: According to our football editor Joseph Beyda, an ASU fan just walked up an aisle surrounded by Stanford fans and booed everyone there. Beyda has a knack for breaking news, as he was also the one who previously reported the raccoon sighting at the San Jose State game two weeks ago. The Daily wouldn’t know what to do without him.
6:10 PM: ASU will go for it on fourth-and-5. Big chance for Stanford’s defense to stand its ground after a shaky first drive to start the second half. But timeout is called first.
6:08 PM: Hogan makes his first mistake of the day, throwing an interception as he gets hit. Starting at the Stanford 34-yard line, ASU can make this a two-possession game with a touchdown here. The game is far from over.
6:07 PM: Hogan tried to the dish ball out to Young on a bootleg slide, but Young drops the ball.
6:05 PM: Gaffney picks up the first down on third-and-1. Will Shaw keep it conservative or stay on the attack in this second half?
6:04 PM: Holding penalty called on Kevin Anderson will bring Stanford back to its own 15-yard line.
6:02 PM: Stanford’s defense backed off on Kelly too much on that possession. Needs to stick to its aggressive first-half formula.
6:01 PM: ASU strikes quickly on its first drive. A 2-yard touchdown by Grice cuts into Stanford’s lead, 29-7.
5:58 PM: ASU shows signs of life to start the half with a 30-yard hookup between Kelly and Strong.
5:57 PM: Williamson will kickoff to start the second half.
5:55 PM: One of the most impressive things Stanford has done so far is taking Will Sutton out of the game. After the first two drives, the Cardinal offensive line found a way to not only contain him, but shut him down completely.
5:46 PM: This is the best that Stanford has looked in a while, as the Cardinal is dominating the Devils in every phase of the game. On offense, Stanford has racked up 258 yards at 7.59 yards per play. Hogan is 9-of-12 passing for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns and has yet to be sacked. Meanwhile, the normally efficient Kelly has thrown for only 86 yards on 23 pass attempts. Though the Devils have made a few mistakes, I think the 29-0 score is more indicative of how well Stanford has played today rather than how poorly ASU has performed.
5:36 PM: Hogan takes a kneel after the free kick and that’s the end of the first half. Stanford 29, Arizona State 0.
5:34 PM: Pat Skov blocks the punt. Punter forced to kick the ball out of bounds, and that’s a safety for Stanford. The Cardinal leads the Sun Devils 29-0 with 14 seconds left in the first half. ASU’s punter has seen better days to say the least.
5:32 PM: Mauro sacks Kelly. Shaw calls Stanford’s last timeout to stop the clock at 22 seconds. Last chance for Stanford to put up even more points on the board before the half.
5:31 PM: A face-mask backs up ASU to its own 20-yard line. Third-and-20. With 26 seconds left, Stanford could still have enough time to try for a field goal.
5:29 PM: Kelly gets out of trouble with a 19-yard completion down the sideline.
5:27 PM: The decision pays off though, as Stanford pins ASU as its own 3-yard line.
5:24 PM: Hogan scrambles for 7 yards, but well short of a first down. Shaw elects to punt it despite the fact that Stanford had the ball at the ASU 36-yard line. Would’ve been in Williamon’s range.
5:23 PM: Power. Power. Power. Back-to-back carries by Gaffney moves the chains. Stanford at the ASU 38-yard line.
5:21 PM: Cardinal offense will have another crack at it starting from midfield with 3:22 left in the first half.
5:20 PM: Sun Devils starting to self-destruct now with another dropped pass. After taking a delay of game penalty, the ASU punter shanked the punt. This looks like the undisciplined Arizona State team of the old.
5:19 PM: ASU’s offensive line is being manhandled by Stanford’s front seven. Devil running backs have been lucky to just get back to the line of scrimmage.
5:15 PM: The play action pass down the middle of the field had to come at some point. Hogan connects with a wide open Montgomery for a 30-yard touchdown. Williamson’s extra point attempt is GOOD, and the Cardinal lead the Sun Devils 27-0 with 4:49 left in the first half.
5:15 PM: Once again, the Cardinal will have prime field position at the ASU 37- yard line.
5:13 PM: ASU tries to sneak a draw in there on third-and-long.. Stanford’s defensive line says no way. ASU in dangerous territory right now as the punter works from near the back of his own end zone.
5:13 PM: Some of the younger players, including outside linebacker Kevin Anderson and defensive end Aziz Shittu, are on the field now.
5:09 PM: Hogan overthrows Cajuste on third down. It would’ve been a tight window to fit in. A great high punt by Ben Rhyne traps ASU at it own 10-yard line. That’s Stanford’s first punt of the day, and it comes after 23 minutes of play.
5:08 PM: Fullback Ryan Hewitt gets his first catch of the day. No gain, though.
5:04 PM: If the Cardinal can get another touchdown on this drive, it’ll be very difficult for the Sun Devils to come back from with the way that Stanford’s defense has been playing so far.
5:02 PM: Nice coverage by Devon Carrington, who played man coverage on Jaelen Strong. Stanford forces ASU’s first three-and-out of the game.
4:59 PM: Wilkerson gets the ball for the fifth time on the drive, and this time he takes it in for an 8-yard touchdown. That’s Wilkerson’s first touchdown of the season. Williamson’s extra point attempt is GOOD this time, and Stanford leads ASU 20-0 with 9:10 left in the first quarter.
4:58 PM: A short shovel pass to Wilkerson brings Stanford into a manageable third-and-3.
4:57 PM: Stanford’s offensive line finally starting to get some good push up front. Wilkerson has gained 29 yards on his first 3 carries.
4:56 PM: Another big catch by Cajuste on a post route. This one’s for 26 yards. First down, Cardinal.
4:54 PM: Back-to-back carries by Anthony Wilkerson marches Stanford out to the Arizona State 46-yard line.
4:53 PM: Zane Gonzales’ 45-yard field goal attempt is wide right. Stanford keeps its 13-0 lead with 12:28 left in the second quarter.
4:52 PM: ASU can’t get its running game going, and the Cardinal front seven gets good pressure on Kelly to force a field goal attempt.
4:49 PM: Kelly moves the chain with the keeper.
4:49 PM: Fourth-and-2. The Sun Devils are going for it.
4:48 PM: Kelly gets sacked by Blake Leuders on the keeper.
4:47 PM: So far, Stanford’s defense has looked great. Kelly managed to hit a few quick passes early on, but the Cardinal isn’t really giving him much to work with. And ASU’s running game has been nonexistent so far with just 1 rushing yard.
4:45 PM: A 2-yard loss by running back Marion Grice brings an end to the first quarter. Stanford 13, ASU 0.
4:42 PM: ASU bailed out by a holding penalty called on Usua Amanam, gets a fresh set of downs.
4:39 PM: Nice pass by Kelly to D.J. Foster on the slant route to convert the third-and-3.
4:35 PM: What does Stanford do on third-and-goal at the 1-yard line? Power, of course. Gaffney bulldozes his way into the end zone behind 9 offensive linemen. After an official review, the play stands. Touchdown, Stanford. Williamson’s extra point attempt bounces off the upright and is NO GOOD. So with that, the Cardinal leads the Sun Devils 13-0 with 2:21 left in the first quarter.
4:32 PM: Following a no gain by Gaffney, Hogan dishes the ball out to Montgomery on a slant. The junior receiver almost ran in for his second touchdown, but get pulled down at the 1-yard line.
4:31 PM: What a leaping catch by Devon Cajuste! First-and-goal at the ASU 5-yard line.
4:29 PM: It was just a matter of time before Kelsey Young touched the ball. Stanford enters ASU territory after a 32-yard end around by the speedy Young. Young only touched the ball twice in the last two games, but should prove to be the X-factor for th Cardinal offense in today’s game.
4:28 PM: Out of the jumbo package, Gaffney dives forward for three yards and a first down.
4:27 PM: Hogan pulls it on the first read-option of the year. Brings up a 3rd-and-1.
4:26 PM: Coming up next will be Stanford’s third offensive drive. The team is pinned at is own 10-yard line, so let’s see if it can drive the length of the field after having short fields to work with on its last two possessions.
4:23 PM: Kelly hit a few quick passes to move the chains, but ASU stalls at its own 39-yard line and is forced to punt. Kelly tried a back-shoulder pass on second-and-1, but cornerback Wayne Lyons was draped all over the receiver.
4:18 PM: Hogan pumps fakes before throwing a screen to Montgomery, who darts past two defenders for a 17-yard touchdown. Williamson’s extra point attempt is GOOD, and Stanford leads ASU 7-0 with 9:08 left in the first quarter.
4:11 PM: Stanford offense has nowhere to go on two straight Gaffney carries. With All-American Will Sutton at defensive tackle, it’s going to be tough to run against the stout Devils defense.
4:10 PM: What an interception by Josh Mauro! A 25-yard return down to the ASU 17-yard line. For a second, it looked Mauro might take it to the house, but he gets tripped up by the last man. Mauro couldn’t quite replicate Trent Murphy’s pick-six against Washington last year, but it was still a very impressive play by the defensive end.
4:05 PM: Stanford starts out with three designed plays before going back to its power running game. The Cardinal offense stalls after Hogan misses Montgomery deep down the right sideline and two straight no gains up the middle, and Jordan Williamson misses a 51-yard field goal.
4:04 PM: Arizona State won the toss and has elected to defer. Stanford will the get ball to start the game.
4:01 PM: The Red Zone is not quite filled up yet, but it is LOUD.
4:00 PM: And the Stanford players have rushed out of the tunnel and out of the field. Kickoff coming up.
3:51 PM: Led by veteran quarterback Taylor Kelly, ASU is known for its up-tempo spread offense. But one of the other interesting story-lines today is the fact that Stanford and Arizona State led the nation in sacks and tackles for loss season. The two teams racked up those big plays through different methods, though. The Sun Devils tend to utilize more blitz stunts than the Cardinal does, and head coach David Shaw said earlier this week that ASU has dialed up “every kind of blitz known to man.
3:45 PM: As some of you may know, ASU beat then-No. 23 Wisconsin last Saturday in a 32-30 victory that ended in a controversial and ridiculous fashion.
3:43 PM: We’re about 20 minutes away from kickoff now. All the players have returned to their locker rooms.
3:31 PM: Tonight’s game is one of the more anticipated college football match-ups of the weekend, as it is the only game between two ranked teams. For the Cardinal and the Sun Devils, both of whom are hoping to win their respective Pac-12 divisions, it’s a chance to make a big statement early in the season. Stanford has perhaps been the quietest top-5 team so far. Though the Cardinal beat San Jose State and Army in a convincing fashion, the victories weren’t flashy and didn’t rack up many BCS style points. Meanwhile, No. 1 Alabama just came off a big 49-42 win over Johnny Manziel and company, and No. 2 Oregon has…well we all know how good Oregon has looked so far. Still, as long as Stanford runs the table, it’ll secure a spot in the national championship game. Tonight, the Cardinal has a chance to show its mettle as a national title contender.
3:22 PM: The players are on the field warming up right now.
3:12 PM: In the meantime, you can check out a number of football stories that The Daily published this week for our NSO Issue: game preview, game predictions, “The Light Comes On” feature, roundtable discussion and season outlook.
3:05 PM: It was pouring 15 minutes ago, but the skies have cleared up now and the sun is out. Even amid the torrential downpour, the Red Zone, consisting mostly of freshmen who arrived on Tuesday for New Student Orientation, was rowdy and loving the rain. Stanford fans are starting to trickle in, now that the rain has stopped.
3:00 PM: Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for you joining us on this rainy Saturday in Palo Alto. We’re about an hour away from kickoff as No. 5 Stanford opens Pac-12 play against No. 23 Arizona State at home. For the Cardinal, it’s the team’s first legitimate test of the 2013 season.