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Saturday, October 22, 2011
Instant analysis: Stanford 65, Wash. 21

By Kevin Gemmell


PALO ALTO, Calif. -- A quick overview of Stanford's 65-21 win over Washington.

How the game was won: With muscle and grit and a try-and-stop-us attitude. The Cardinal ran wild with Stepfan Taylor and Tyler Gaffney both going over 100 yards. They imposed their will and simply outmuscled the Huskies.

What it means: Stanford, while publicly saying it didn’t care about making statements, certainly made one with a blowout win over a ranked team. People have been waiting six games to see Stanford play "someone." Well, they played "someone" and they crushed "someone." It only gets tougher with USC and Oregon on the horizon.

Unsung hero of the game: Hard to call Andrew Luck an unsung hero. But he added two passing touchdowns to his Heisman résumé on 16-of-22 passing for 169 yards. He was efficient and effective. Plus he had three carries for 23 yards.

What Stanford learned: It needs to tackle better. Period.

What Washington learned: Despite its progress, which has been impressive, it’s not ready to challenge the upper-echelon of the Pac-12.

Turning point: Michael Thomas’ 62-yard pick six in the closing minutes of the first half squashed any Washington momentum going into the lockeroom.