Corey Dillon pounded Stanford by land Saturday.
Jerome Pathon dazzled the Cardinal through the air.
The entire University of Washington defense drowned the visitors in a sea of lost yardage.
Yet, it still came down to Stanford fumbling away a kickoff in the fourth quarter before the 18th-ranked Huskies could pull away to their third consecutive victory, 27-6, before 71,488 spectators at Husky Stadium.
Dillon rushed for 173 yards. Pathon caught 128 yards of passes. That’s 301 yards of offense, compared to Stanford’s 236 total net yards.
Add in Dillon’s receptions and kickoff return, and Pathon’s end-around and punt returns, and the two accounted for 424 all-purpose yards.
But incredible as it seemed, Stanford led the game 6-3 midway through the third quarter before Washington got untracked.
“Once we threw that first half out, we were OK,” said Brock Huard, 50 percent of the tag team that coach Jim Lambright is employing at quarterback these days. “That was the worst half we’ve ever seen.”
That was certainly true of the Huskies’ offense, which came off its bye week with a rust-covered effort that was flagged for five first-half penalties, fumbled four times (two lost) and threw an interception.
But at 3-1 overall and 2-1 in Pac-10 games, Washington stands to move up another couple of spots in the Top 25 heading into Saturday’s game at Notre Dame.
At one point Saturday, the Huskies had outgained Stanford 110-12 and the game was still a scoreless tie.
The Cardinal used sharp Chad Hutchinson passes and tough inside runs by a variety of backs to grind out two 93-yard drives against UW early.
Neither time, however, was Stanford able to crack the Washington end zone, and had to settle for the two field goals.
“The thing about the kids on this defense that you’ve got to like more than anything else is that they never concede anything - ever,” said UW defensive coordinator Randy Hart.
Stanford (1-3) got field goals of 22 and 21 yards by Kevin Miller, but that was all it would get. And UW’s John Wales matched those with kicks from 30 and 42 yards away.
Hutchinson, who sustained a slight concussion near the end of the first half, started the game by completing his first eight passes for 121 yards, but after that, he hit 3 of 13, for 27 yards.
In the meantime, Dillon was grinding out what amounted to gobs of field position for the Huskies, gaining 173 yards while setting a school record with 36 carries.
That’s just about number of carries he and Rashaan Shehee had shared in each of the Huskies’ first three games, but with Shehee sitting out with a twisted ankle Dillon became a one-man show.
“I just kept getting the ball,” Dillon said.
And for a long time, Dillon’s yards were almost all the yards the Huskies were getting. Neither Shane Fortney nor Huard was throwing the ball well. With 1 minute left in the third quarter, they had combined for 8-of-21 accuracy for 112 yards, along with three fumbles and a Huard interception that cost the Huskies a first-half scoring chance.
But with 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Pathon ran past Stanford cornerback Corey Hill and accepted a 42-yard strike from Huard, and the Huskies basically dominated virtually every snap of the game after that.
Moments later, Pathon was catching a 15-yard touchdown pass from Huard and the rout was on.
“Jerome Pathon today was out of this world,” Fortney said.
Washington 27, Stanford 6
Stanford 3 3 0 0 - 6
Washington 0 3 3 21 - 27
Stan-FG Miller 22 Wash-FG Wales 30 Stan-FG Miller 21 Wash-FG Wales 42 Wash-Pathon 15 pass from Huard (Wales kick) Wash-Dillon 2 run (Wales kick) Wash-Pathon 23 pass from Fortney (Wales kick) A-71,488.
Stan Wash First downs 10 22 Rushes-yards 32-59 49-152 Passing 177 220 Comp-Att-Int 14-25-1 13-30-1 Return Yards 20 34 Punts-Avg. 6-44.0 3-45.0 Fumbles-Lost 3-2 6-2 Penalties-Yards 6-56 6-40 Time of Possession 28:40 31:20 Individual statistics RUSHINGStanford, Mitchell 11-61, Comella 9-15, Bookman 3-4, Hutchinson 6-(minus 9), Husak 3-(minus 12). Washington, Dilloh 36-173, Reed 2-3, Pathon 1-2, Huard 4-0, Fortney 5-(minus 7), Sarshar 1-(minus 19).
PASSINGStanford, Hutchinson 12-21-1-148, Husak 2-4-0-29. Washington, Fortney 8-14-0-118, Huard 5-16-1-102.
RECEIVINGStanford, Mitchell 5-26, Dunn 4-61, Kirwan 2-10, Walters 1-52, Manning 1-14, Bookman 1-14. Washington, Pathon 6-128, Dillon 4-45, Cleeland 2-38, Coleman 1-9.