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Luck picks apart Buffaloes in Stanford’s 13th straight win

Stanford’s Andrew Luck riddled Colorado’s defense for a season-best 370 passing yards on Saturday. (Associated Press)
Stanford’s Andrew Luck riddled Colorado’s defense for a season-best 370 passing yards on Saturday. (Associated Press)

STANFORD, Calif. – Andrew Luck brought out Stanford’s stars and delivered his best passing performance of the season.

Luck threw for a season-high 370 yards and three touchdowns to pad his Heisman Trophy résumé, and the seventh-ranked Cardinal stayed perfect with a 48-7 victory over Pac-12 newcomer Colorado on Saturday night.

With former Stanford standouts Tiger Woods and John Elway joining the crush of NFL scouts on the sidelines, Luck completed 26 of 33 passes to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 13 games. The latest romp delighted a rare sellout crowd of 50,360 that included some of the program’s greats.

“I don’t think we noticed it,” Luck said, chuckling that he missed some of his favorite athletes. “It’s awesome to hear that.”

Luck was the star attraction in this one.

The strong-armed and fleet-footed quarterback called his own plays again for long stretches, although the no-huddle offense first displayed last week against UCLA was used sparingly. Only in a 423-yard passing performance in a loss at Arizona in 2009 did Luck throw for more yards. He didn’t play the final 10 minutes against Colorado.

“Every game he does something,” Stanford coach David Shaw said, “that not many human beings can do.”

Luck had all the help he could want.

Max Bergen blocked a field goal and returned it for a score and fullback Ryan Hewitt caught two touchdown passes to help the Cardinal (5-0, 3-0) cruise past another opponent. Stepfan Taylor, Tyler Gaffney and Jeremy Stewart each had a 1-yard scoring run as Stanford matched the longest winning streak in school history, set over three seasons from 1939-41.

Tyler Hansen passed for 202 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the third straight loss for the Buffaloes (1-5, 0-2), who had five defensive players suspended for undisclosed reasons. The program is searching for its first conference win, and the worst loss of the season will do little to lift spirits.

“I expected more, I did,” first-year Colorado coach Jon Embree said. “I understand the circumstances. I don’t have to accept them, but I understand. We have to keep competing and finding a way.”

The Buffaloes limped onto The Farm after a blowing a 10-point lead in the final 3 minutes against Washington State last week. Afterward, Embree declared he was tired of losing and ripped into his team for crumbling again.

They couldn’t have asked for a better start at Stanford Stadium.

Stewart fumbled a short opening kickoff to give Colorado the ball on the Stanford 36-yard line. The promising start quickly fizzled when the offense stalled and special teams imploded.

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