STANFORD Pick a moment.
Ty Montgomery lowering his shoulder and plowing through Jimmy Pruitt popping the cornerback's helmet off in the collision to complete a 17-yard touchdown reception. Tyler Gaffney bouncing off a defender and dragging another into the end zone. Trent Murphy manhandling linemen for two sacks.
Yup, the same physical formula that carried Stanford to a Rose Bowl victory looked as effective as ever in a season-opening 34-13 victory over San Jose State late Saturday night.
"There are not a lot of teams that look like us anymore, and that's fine. We don't live on stats," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "We don't work on trying to score as many points as we can. We want to control the ball. We want to score on every possession. We want to play great defense."
The Cardinal controlled the flow from start to finish, something it failed to do while eking out a 20-17 victory over the upstart Spartans in last season's opener. While the competition will get tougher in the weeks ahead, Stanford appears ready to live up to its lofty preseason expectations.
The Cardinal began by answering some of the looming questions about replacing starters at running back, wide receiver and tight end.
Gaffney ran for 104 yards and two touchdowns in his first game back after playing minor-league baseball last year. Devon Cajuste, who had one career reception entering this season, caught three passes from Kevin Hogan for 62 yards and a touchdown. And Montgomery, saddled for most of his sophomore year with a partially torn ligament in his knee, finished with four catches for 81 yards and his first touchdown since the 2012 Fiesta Bowl when Andrew Luck was the quarterback.
"They have a chance to be pretty good," Shaw said of his revamped receiving corps.
Tight ends Luke Kaumatule and Charlie Hopkins each caught one pass their first career receptions but didn't do much else besides block as Stanford utilized its wide receivers more.