The post-Andrew Luck era at Stanford didn't get off to the start many hoped as the Cardinal needed a late defensive stop to hang on and beat San Jose State 20-17.
The Stanford offense was able to muster just 287 total yards while converting just 2-of-13 third down attempts. Josh Nunes, who is replacing Luck at quarterback, completed 16-of-26 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown. Stepfan Taylor was huge for the Cardinal, rushing for 124 yards and a touchdown.
A year after Stanford defeated San Jose State 57-3, the Cardinal needed a defensive stand to seal this victory. Down three points, SJSU had the ball near midfield with over a minute left to play, but Ed Reynolds intercepted a David Fales pass with 1:10 left to seal the win.
San Jose State hung in the game thanks to a strong defensive effort. The Spartans limited Stanford to just 4.6 yards per pass. Noel Grigsby caught seven passes for 93 yards and a touchdown to lead San Jose State offensively.
Box Score Hero: Stepfan Taylor carried the load for the Cardinal and finished with 124 yards and touchdown on 26 carries.
Rankings Ramifications: Stanford entered the game as the No. 21 team in the Associated Press poll. A three-point win against San Jose State may cause some voters to question how much the Cardinal will miss Andrew Luck. With the volatility of early season rankings, it's possible Stanford could drop out of next week's polls.
But Did They Cover? Stanford entered the game as 26.5 point favorites, so they failed to cover by a wide margin in this one.
For More On This Game:
Next Week's Schedule:
Sept. 8, 10:30 p.m. ET: Stanford vs. Duke
Sept. 8, 8 p.m. ET: San Jose State vs. UC Davis