STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Andrew Luck threw for a season-high 370 yards and three touchdowns, and seventh-ranked Stanford 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 with a rare interception to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 13 games. Max Bergen blocked a field goal and returned it for a score and Ryan Hewitt caught two touchdown passes to help the Cardinal (5-0, 3-0) cruise past another opponent.
Tyler Hansen passed for 202 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the third straight loss for the Buffaloes (1-5, 0-2). The program is still searching for its first league victory.
Stepfan Taylor, Tyler Gaffney and Jeremy Stewart each had a 1-yard scoring run as the Cardinal matched the longest winning streak in school history, set over three seasons from 1939-41. The sellout crowd of 50,360 included some of Stanford’s greats, and what a show the program’s latest star provided.
The yards passing was the second highest of Luck’s career, and he didn’t even play the final 10 minutes. Only a 423-yard passing performance in a loss at Arizona in 2009 did Luck throw for more yards.
The Buffaloes limped onto The Farm after a blowing a 10-point lead in the final 3 minutes against Washington State last week. Afterward, Colorado coach Jon Embree declared he was tired of losing and ripped into his team for crumbling again.
They couldn’t have asked for a better start in this one.
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.
Even though Luck and the offense had a lengthy wait to take the field, they showed little rust.
Stanford coach David Shaw limited the no-huddle offense that gives Luck the freedom to call plays. 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.
Embree suspended five defensive players indefinitely for violating unspecified team rules, including starting defensive back Parker Orms. Receiver Paul Richardson also sat out with a knee injury.
On of the rare occasions Luck had control of a hurry-up offense, he found Levine Toilolo for a 27-yard completion. Stepfan Taylor capped the drive with a 1-yard TD 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-
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)