Harbaugh's former Stanford players outscore his 49ers

December 23, 2012, 10:30 pm
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SEATTLE -- Last year, the 49ers passed former Stanford players Richard Sherman, a fifth-round draft pick, and Doug Baldwin, an undrafted free agent.

Neither player was exactly thrilled former coach Jim Harbaugh did not value their services at the NFL level.

On Sunday night, Sherman and Baldwin struck back. The players combined for three touchdowns and an interception in the Seattle Seahawks' playoff-clinching 42-13 victory over the 49ers.

"They played well, both of them," Harbaugh said. "They made a lot of big plays."

Sherman, a cornerback, played Sunday while he appeals a four-game suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy. He scooped up a blocked field goal and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter to give Seattle a 21-0 lead.

Defensive lineman Red Bryant pushed past Joe Staley to block David Akers' field-goal attempt. Harbaugh said he did not believe Akers' kick was low.

Baldwin, a wide receiver, caught four passes for 53 yards and two second-half touchdowns.

Sherman added an interception of a Colin Kaepernick pass in the end zone.

"Well, if you're going throw the ball late, I'm going to bait him into that every time," Sherman said. "He tried to throw late across his body, and you don't do that against our defense."

When asked what meant more to him, beating a division rival or his former coach, Sherman said, "A division rival. It was just a big game for us. We needed the win to clinch a playoff berth."