By Jose Saldana
No. 14 Stanford football certainly started the season off with a bang didn’t it?
The Cardinal (1-0) defeated the Rice Owls (0-1) 62-7 with a combination of a back-breaking running attack, good passing and an imposing defense.
In the first half, the Cardinal put up 38 points behind the combined dominance of the rushing attack of juniors Bryce Love and Cameron Scarlett. Love began the game with a 62-yard burst through the Rice defense on his first carry of the game, while Scarlett took the goal-line duties to the tune of three touchdowns in the first half.
Love ended with 13 carries for 180 yards and one touchdown before head coach Shaw put an end to his night in the third quarter with the game out of hand.
Scarlett also contributed to the passing game as he caught one pass that he took for 56 yards.
Senior quarterback Keller Chryst was solid and flashed his ability with some great throws to his tight ends. He was 14 of 25 for 253 yards before sophomore K.J. Costello came in for him. His night wasn’t perfect, however, with a low completion percentage and a couple of balls that were interceptable.
The defense was suffocating as it only allowed 3.8 yards per carry and allowed fewer than a hundred yards passing. Sophomore defensive Jovan Swann was able get his hands on an interception after Rice quarterback Sam Glaesmann lost his grip on the football in the waning moments of the game.
The defense’s only allowed touchdown came during garbage time when Rice’s running back Austin Walter ran 23 yards for a score.
Swann’s interception capped off what was a dominating game by both sides of the ball for the Cardinal.
Chryst had incredible receiving options in the forms of freshman tight end Colby Parkinson, who caught two touchdowns, and sophomore tight end Kaden Smith, who hauled in a touchdown pass from fifth-year quarterback Ryan Burns late in the game.
Freshman wide receiver Connor Wedington was Chryst’s favorite target, however, as Wedington caught six passes for 82 yards, including a one-handed snag.
Sophomore kicker Jet Toner got the first action of his career and converted a 40-yard field goal to end the first half. He would also convert a 34-yarder in the beginning of the fourth and all of his extra point attempts.
Costello saw his first action of college football when he subbed in for Chryst in the fourth quarter. He scored his first collegiate touchdown when he tumbled down the left sideline for a 25-yard rushing touchdown.
The lead was high enough that Shaw put in true freshman offensive tackles, and former five-star recruits, Walker Little and Foster Sarell at the tackle spots.
The Cardinal will have next week off before heading to Los Angeles for an important matchup against No. 4 USC (0-0) on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m.
Contact Jose Saldana at jsaldana ‘at’ stanford.edu.