Stanford welcomes Colorado with 48-7 rout

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Stanford welcomes Colorado with 48-7 rout

BOX SCORE

STANFORD -- Andrew Luck brought out Stanford's stars and delivered his best passing performance of the season.Luck threw for a season-high 370 yards and three touchdowns to pad his Heisman Trophy resume, and the seventh-ranked Cardinal stayed perfect with a 48-7 victory over Pac-12 newcomer Colorado on Saturday night.With former Stanford standouts Tiger Woods and John Elway joining the crush of NFL scouts on the sidelines, Luck completed 26 of 33 passes to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 13 games. The latest romp delighted a rare sellout crowd of 50,360 that included some of the program's greats."I don't think we noticed it," Luck said, chuckling that he missed some of his favorite athletes. "It's awesome to hear that."Luck was the star attraction in this one.The strong-armed and fleet-footed quarterback called his own plays again for long stretches, although the no-huddle offense first displayed last week against UCLA was used sparingly. Only a 423-yard passing performance in a loss at Arizona in 2009 did Luck throw for more yards, and he didn't even play the final 10 minutes against Colorado."Every game he does something," Stanford coach David Shaw said, "that not many human-beings can do."Luck had all the help he could ever want.Max Bergen blocked a field goal and returned it for a score and fullback Ryan Hewitt caught two touchdown passes to help the Cardinal (5-0, 3-0) cruise past another opponent. Stepfan Taylor, Tyler Gaffney and Jeremy Stewart each had a 1-yard scoring run as Stanford matched the longest winning streak in school history, set over three seasons from 1939-41.Tyler Hansen passed for 202 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the third straight loss for the Buffaloes (1-5, 0-2), who had five defensive players suspended for undisclosed reasons. The program is still searching for its first league victory, and the worst loss of the season will do little to lift spirits."I expected more, I did," first-year Colorado coach Jon Embree said. "I understand the circumstances. I don't have to accept them, but I understand. We have to keep competing and finding a way."The Buffaloes limped onto The Farm after a blowing a 10-point lead in the final 3 minutes against Washington State last week. Afterward, Embree declared he was tired of losing and ripped into his team for crumbling again.They couldn't have asked for a better start at Stanford Stadium.Stewart fumbled a short opening kickoff to give Colorado the ball on the Stanford 36-yard line. The promising start quickly fizzled when the offense stalled and special teams imploded.Bergen ran untouched through the line and blocked a 29-yard field goal attempt by Will Oliver. Bergen picked up the ball on a bounce and ran 75 yards for a score, giving Stanford a 7-0 lead."I took a few looks to my side, but I just wanted to score," Bergen said. "That was the only thing on my mind."Even though Luck and the offense had a lengthy wait to take the field, they showed little rust.Shaw limited the no-huddle offense that gives Luck complete freedom to call plays, instead allowing his quarterback to take a few calls to the line of scrimmage for most of the game. With bigger matchups against Washington, Southern California and Oregon looming, there was no need to dig deep into the playbook against a struggling Colorado team missing a chunk of its secondary. Colorado receiver Paul Richardson also sat out with a knee injury.On one of the rare occasions Luck ran the hurry-up offense, he found Levine Toilolo for a 27-yard completion. Taylor capped the drive with a 1-yard scoring run to put the Cardinal ahead 13-0 after a missed extra point.Not everything for Stanford went smoothly.Luck threw only his second interception of the season in the second quarter, and again it came on a tipped passes by receiver Chris Owusu. This time, Terrel Smith benefited for an easy pick off that led to Colorado's first score.Rodney Stewart took a short pass on the far sideline, cut back across the field and sprinted 76 yards down the Stanford sideline. Two plays later, Tony Jones caught a 5-yard touchdown pass to trim the Cardinal's lead to 13-7.Just when the Buffaloes started to gain momentum, Luck turned a close contest into a rout.On third and 26, Luck stepped up in the pocket, moved to his right and connected with Griff Whalen in stride for a 27-yard completion. Jeremy Stewart followed with a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Cardinal ahead 20-7.Luck added a 1-yard TD pass to Hewitt just before the half to put Stanford ahead 27-7. Hewitt also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass on the Cardinal's first possession of the third quarter.Gaffney ran for a 1-yard touchdown on fourth down to push Stanford's lead to 41-7 late in the third quarter. Whalen caught a 30-yard pass from Luck for another score early in the fourth quarter"Sometimes he makes some pretty unbelievable plays," Whalen said of Luck. "At this point, I don't think we're exactly surprised."

NBA Gameday: Facing Griffin a chance for Skal to add to knowledge base

NBA Gameday: Facing Griffin a chance for Skal to add to knowledge base

The Sacramento Kings return to the court Sunday for an early matinee game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. They’ll face a veteran squad jockeying for playoff position and in need of a win.

Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere each set new career highs in assists in Friday night’s loss to the Golden State Warriors. The rookie duo combined to hand out 15 of the team’s 27 dimes as the Kings stayed with the high-powered Warriors until late in the game.

Los Angeles is fresh off a huge win over the Utah Jazz and currently sit just a half game behind Utah for the fourth spot in the Western Conference standings. They’ve dealt with injuries all season long, but the Clippers are getting healthy at the perfect time.

OPENING LINE:
Clippers by 13.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Skal Labissiere vs. Blake Griffin -- Every game is an opportunity for Labissiere to add to his knowledge base. Despite a litany of injuries over the years, Griffin is still a force to be reckoned with in the post. He can score in a variety of ways and he’s averaging a career-high five assists be game this season. Labissiere is coming off a strong performance where he posted 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 27-45, third place in Pacific

Clippers: 44-30, second place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: C Kosta Koufos (planned rest) out, Arron Afflalo (planned rest) out, SG Malachi Richardson (torn hamstring) out, SF Rudy Gay (torn Achilles) out.

Clippers: SG JJ Redick (sprained ankle) out, C Diamond Stone (knee) out.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Clippers lead the season series 2-0 and currently have a three game winning streak against the Kings. During the Sacramento-era, the Kings hold a 69-65 advantage and they lead the Clippers 113-88 all-time.

QUOTE:
“It was a good experience, I call all of those experiences growing pains. Those are just things we have to go through. We’re trying to get to that level at some point.” -Skal Labissiere on the loss to Golden State

 

Ex-Giants pitcher doesn't make Mariners rotation, optioned to Triple-A

Ex-Giants pitcher doesn't make Mariners rotation, optioned to Triple-A

Chris Heston's bid to make the Mariners' Opening Day rotation came up short.

The former Giants pitcher was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday morning, Seattle announced.

Traded by San Francisco to Seattle in December, Heston struggled in his first spring with the Mariners. The 28-year-old allowed 14 hits and nine earned runs in 11.2 innings over five appearances.

Heston, who was a major part of the Giants rotation in 2015, pitched in 38 games over three seasons in San Francisco. He compiled a 4.16 ERA and struck out 148 batters in 188 innings.

The highlight of Heston's time with the Giants came on June 9, 2015 when he no-hit the the Mets in New York. He struck out 11 and walked none, but hit three batters.

In addtion to Heston, the Mariners also re-assigned former Giants reliever Jean Machi and former A's pitcher Cody Martin.