STANFORD — Ty Montgomery had several drops and one of his worst games in a loss at Washington last season. A year later, he turned in a breakout performance that saved Stanford.
Montgomery finished with 290 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, and the fifth-ranked Cardinal held on to beat No. 15 Washington 31-28 on Saturday night in a matchup of unbeaten Pac-12 North teams.
"I would say Ty was the difference in the ballgame," Stanford coach David Shaw.
The Huskies outgained Stanford 489-284 in total yards but had no answer for the Cardinal's rejuvenated junior wide receiver any time he touched the ball.
Montgomery returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a TD and caught a 34-yard pass for another score to put the Cardinal (5-0, 3-0) in control from the start and keep them there. He caught three passes for 56 yards, ran 30 yards on two carries and racked up 204 yards returning kicks.
"It showed that we can stand in there and we can finish a game and we're willing to fight if we have to," said Montgomery, who was slowed — and sometimes sidelined — by a nagging knee injury last season.
Stanford led from wire-to-wire while winning its 13th straight game and 12th in a row at home. No matter the score, Washington never went away.
Keith Price threw for 350 yards and two touchdowns on an injured thumb and nearly led the Huskies (4-1, 1-1) back. But officials overturned Price's completed pass on fourth down in the final minutes to end Washington's rally.
Price completed 33 of 48 passes with one interception, and Bishop Sankey ran for 125 yards and two scores in an impressive — though, at times, mistake-filled — performance for the Huskies against the defending Pac-12 and Rose Bowl champions.
In the end, officials ruled Washington came up at least one bounce short.
On fourth-and-10 from the Stanford 49, Price rolled to his right and stiff-armed a defender before throwing a 16-yard pass near the sideline to a diving Kevin Smith. But after reviewing TV replays, officials said the ball hit the ground.