Stanford, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Ty Montgomery returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a score and added a touchdown grab, while Stanford's defense stood tall down the stretch, as the fifth-ranked Cardinal edged No. 15 Washington, 31-28, in a Pac-12 clash at Stanford Stadium.
Washington's Keith Price put forth a valiant effort, throwing for 350 yards and two touchdowns, including a 1-yard scoring strike to Jaydon Mickens that brought the Huskies within three with 2:38 left in the contest.
Following a Stanford three-and-out, Price moved the Huskies into Stanford territory and on 4th-and-10 from the 49-yard line, the Washington quarterback evaded a number of defenders behind the line before firing a strike to Kevin Smith, who appeared to make a diving grab along the right sideline for a first down.
However, video review showed the ball slipped through Smith's hands and hit the ground, giving possession back to the Cardinal, who ran out the remainder of the clock with a pair of kneel downs.
"It's unfortunate the game had to come down to a judgment call like that," Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian said. "That part was unfortunate because it was two good football teams battling and competing with one another and I wish the game would have got won on the field and not in the booth upstairs with some guy that didn't get to feel the emotion in the hard-fought football game that game was."
Stanford signal-caller Kevin Hogan completed 12-of-20 passes for 105 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while adding 37 yards and a score on 10 carries for the Cardinal (5-0, 3-0 Pac-12), who extended their winning streak to 13 games.
"We were in a fight and down to the last minute, obviously," Montgomery said. "We showed that we can stand in there and we can finish a game and win in a fight if we have to."
Price connected on 33-of-48 throws with an interception, while Bishop Sankey carried the ball 27 times for 125 yards and two touchdowns for the Huskies (4-1, 1-1), who were looking for their first 5-0 start since 1992.
Sankey's 15-yard TD scamper late in the third brought the Huskies within 24-21, but Montgomery returned the ensuing kick 68 yards, setting up Tyler Gaffney's 11-yard touchdown run that restored the Cardinal's 10-point edge.
Following an exchange of punts, Price led his squad down to the Stanford 7, but on the 18th play of the trek, Price's pass was batted at the line and landed in the arms of Stanford's A.J. Tarpley to end the march with just over six minutes left in the game.
Montgomery sparked Stanford from the start, fielding the opening kickoff near his own goal line and picking up a pair of big blocks before racing down the right side for a 99-yard score to make it 7-0 just 12 seconds into the game.
Jordan Williamson buried a 33-yard field goal on the second play of the second quarter to extend the lead before Washington's offense broke through late in the frame.
Price and Sankey moved the Huskies 88 yards in 12 plays, with Price completing all five passes on the trek and Sankey scampering 27 yards on six carries, including a strong 7-yard TD run up the middle to bring Washington within 10-7 just 1:03 prior to halftime.
Hogan quickly answered, converting a 3rd-and-1 from the Stanford 48 with a 13- yard scramble before floating a perfect pass down the right sideline for Montgomery, who hauled in the 39-yard score to send Stanford into the break holding a 17-7 cushion.
A 30-yard Sankey run on Washington's third play of the second half set up Price's 29-yard touchdown pass to Smith, but the Cardinal countered with a 10- play, 67-yard march that Hogan capped with a 4-yard TD run to make it 24-14 with just over nine minutes left in the third.