Palo Alto, CA – The Stanford Cardinal (6-4, 4-3) opened the 2018 season with three straight wins, working themselves up into the Top 10 rankings.
But with senior running back Bryce Love (20) struggling with injuries, including one that sidelined him in the fourth quarter against Notre Dame back in late September, the Cardinal had dropped their last four games coming into their home finale against Oregon State.
Many of the questions the Cardinal have faced in response to the shaky stretch may have been answered in their 48-17 blowout of the Beavers (2-8, 1-6).
Stanford showed the type of hard-nosed, physical style of play they have become known for in recent years tonight, with Love and the offense totaling nearly 250 yards on the ground along with three rushing touchdowns from three different ball carriers.
Love lead the Cardinal on the ground with 90 yards and a score on just 11 carries.
With senior wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside (19) out due to an injury suffered against the Washington Huskies last week, the Cardinal needed to find additional support from one of their weapons.
It was the 6 foot 7 inch tight end Colby Parkinson (87) that stole the show for Stanford offensively in this one. The sophomore brought in six catches for 166 yards and four receiving touchdowns.
Quarterback K.J. Costello played one of his most complete games to date as well, completing 23-of-33 attempts with four scores and one interception through the air, along with a 45-yard scamper that moved the Cardinal down within the five-yard line.
Stanford head coach David Shaw touched on the effects of the devastating wildfires burning at both ends of the state after the game, saying “Thoughts and prayers to all those families that are affected by the fires. I know how difficult this week has been.”
And about his team’s success, Shaw was quick to point out those likely playing for the last time at The Farm.
“So excited about our seniors. A lot of our seniors contributed a lot tonight,” he said. “Both up front on the offensive and defensive lines; Bryce Love; Cameron Scarlett; Jake Bailey. Guys came in and just made some great plays for us.”
Despite the lopsided score, Oregon State showed promise on a variety of fronts, as they have throughout this introductory season for first-year head coach and former Beavers quarterback Jonathan Smith.
The Beavers’ Jake Luton (6) totaled over 300 yards passing in their surprisingly tough loss to USC last week and managed to eclipse 200 yards in this one along with two touchdowns and an interception.
Freshman running back Jermar Jefferson (22) has been a standout for the Beavers throughout the season, having eclipsed 1,000 yards on the ground, and produced another impressive rushing performance tonight with 109 yards on 19 attempts.
These statistics were far from enough for Coach Smith or his team, however.
“Score 17 points in this league, you’ll have a tough time winning,” he said. “Credit to those guys. They play hard. They’re well-coached. They’re sound. That locker room is pretty disappointed right now.”
Stanford is now 6-0 this season when forcing a turnover and 0-4 when they do not.
The win gives the Cardinal their eighth straight against the Beavers. They haven’t fallen to OSU at home since 2006.
Oregon State heads to Seattle next to take on the Washington Huskies, while Stanford will head across the Bay for the 2018 edition of the Big Game against the Cal Golden Bears in Berkeley on Saturday.