STANFORD — Powered by big plays and a dominant defense, Stanford thumped UC Davis on Saturday 45-0 to extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 17 games.
The 11th-ranked Cardinal made it clear early that there would be no repeat of the teams’ 2005 meeting, when the Aggies, then a member of Division I-AA, rallied for an epic upset.
Favored by 47 points, Stanford scored the first time it touched the ball — Ty Montgomery returned a punt for a touchdown — and never relented in front of an announced crowd of 49,509 at Stanford Stadium.
The Cardinal led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 38-0 at halftime. It outgained the Aggies 461 yards to 115 and didn’t allow their offense to cross midfield until the final play of the game.
All in all, Stanford looked as ready for next Saturday’s showdown against 15th-ranked USC as it could have hoped against a Football Championship Subdivision opponent.
“I feel great with where we’re at,” quarterback Kevin Hogan said. “It’s not the Super Bowl, as some people might think. It’s the next big game on our schedule.
“I had a lot of time this offseason to get ready for Week 2, and I feel really good. We’ll have a good plan and a lot of stuff to show.”
The player at the heart of that plan — of any Stanford plan, for that matter — is Montgomery, who was limited in training camp as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery.
But the versatile senior showed no ill effects Saturday, fielding the first punt return of his career cleanly and charging 60 yards for the opening touchdown.
“The other 10 guys on the field did a great job,” he said. “I was able to find the seam and hit it.”
Montgomery finished with 159 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns on just eight touches of the ball. In addition to playing receiver and returning punts, he ran the Wildcat out of the backfield and is an All-America kickoff returner.
“We know people are going to key on him,” Cardinal coach David Shaw said. “We want to have the versatility to put him anywhere and everywhere.”
As expected, Stanford used its full complement of tailbacks. Kelsey Young started, but Barry Sanders, Remound Wright, Ricky Seale and true freshman Christian McCaffrey all played.
Sanders and Young had seven carries apiece, while McCaffrey showed off his speed with a 52-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown.
The Cardinal defense was airtight in recording its first shutout in two years and first at home in four. UC Davis converted 1 of 13 third-down opportunities and averaged just 2.3 yards per play. “We came out with that attitude,” Shaw said. “We have an old group, a tight-knit group that trusts each other.”
Starting receiver Devon Cajuste served a one-game suspension for violation of team policy. He will be available for the USC game.
Kicker Jordan Williamson became Stanford’s career scoring leader with 294 points.