Stanford welcomes Colorado with 48-7 rout

556242.jpg

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."

Hoesen leads the ways as Earthquakes take down Real Salt Lake

quakes-win-us.jpg
USATSI

Hoesen leads the ways as Earthquakes take down Real Salt Lake

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE — Danny Hoesen scored his second goal of the season and assisted on Marco Urena's second goal, lifting the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.

Hoesen opened the scoring in the 13th minute, off a long cross from Nick Lima. After touching the ball down, Hoesen gathered it off a defender's foot, stepped inside and unleashed a left footer into the top corner from just off the penalty spot.

Hoesen's long through ball down the right side sent Urena free and from a tight angle he rolled the ball past Nick Rimando in the 68th minute.

San Jose (6-6-5), which has battled injuries and call-ups to score just 16 goals in 16 games, won for just the second time in its last seven games.

Lima picked up two yellow cards in the second half and the Quakes played a man down from the 71st minute.

David Bingham made only one save in each half but was denied his seventh shutout when Jose Hernandez scored his second goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time for Salt Lake (5-11-2).

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Practically speaking, the 50th loss is no different than the one before or the one after, but this sport is built on milestones, and this one came quickly.

The Giants lost their 50th game on August 12 last year. This season, it was clinched when Ryder Jones grounded out in his fourth career at-bat, handing the Mets a 5-2 win on June 24. 

Bruce Bochy called losing 50 of your first 77 games "hard to believe" and "embarrassing." Johnny Cueto, who went seven strong, said the reality was "hard and sad." Brandon Belt, who got Cueto off the hook for a loss, agreed with his manager.

"That's a pretty good word to use -- it is embarrassing to come out and lose every day, especially with the group of guys we have," Belt said. "When you're losing as much as this, it is embarrassing. We're trying to do whatever we can to turn this thing around."

Lately, that has meant changes to the roster. It is officially audition season, and in that respect, it was not a particularly inspiring day for the bullpen. The Giants felt they would have a better mix this year, but it hasn't played out. Instead, they're once again trying to find pieces for the next successful Giants bullpen.

With Hunter Strickland suspended and Derek Law in the minors, two young relievers, a middle-innings stalwart, and a newcomer pitched the final two frames. They gave up four runs.

Sam Dyson was the first on the mound in the eighth. Belt had homered a few minutes earlier, tying a good starter's duel. Dyson gave up a leadoff triple to Curtis Granderson and walked Asdrubal Cabrera before throwing two good sliders past Yoenis Cespedes for the strikeout. With two lefties coming up and the go-ahead run still on third, Bochy turned to Steven Okert. He immediately gave up a seeing-eye RBI single to Jay Bruce. Wilmer Flores doubled off George Kontos later in the frame to make it 3-1. 

In the ninth, Kyle Crick showed some of the wildness that kept him in the minors for seven years. He, too, gave up a leadoff triple, a sin you always pay for. A walk helped put another run into scoring position and a wild pitch extended the Mets’ lead to four. 

Before the game, Bochy talked of getting an extended look at Jones. He was 0-for-4 in his first big league game but he’ll be back out there tomorrow. It’s time to fight for a job, and the same holds true of some relievers who didn’t fare well Saturday. It is a group with a closer locked into a longterm deal and little else decided. 

Are Strickland or Law eighth-inning guys? Will Dyson be a worthwhile reclamation project? Will Kontos be back, and will he carve out a different role? Are Okert and Josh Osich capable of giving Bochy lefties he trusts? Is Crick’s improvement in Triple-A a sign of things to come? There are many questions to be answered over the next three months. 

“This is a good time for them, this is what players get up here for, to show what they can do,” Bochy said. “Because of our situation, we’re going to take a look at these guys and we know there are going to be growing pains.”