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Cajuste was Stanford’s secret weapon

Little-used receiver burns Cougs for two TDs

Seldom- used Stanford receiver Devon Cajuste, left, helped the Cardinal break the game open with a pair of long touchdown receptions. (Tyler Tjomsland)
Seldom- used Stanford receiver Devon Cajuste, left, helped the Cardinal break the game open with a pair of long touchdown receptions. (Tyler Tjomsland)

SEATTLE – With the game tied 3-3 in the first quarter, Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan threw to a little-used wide receiver from Seaford, N.Y., to quickly turn the game into a rout.

Hogan hit Devon Cajuste, a 6-foot-4, 228-pound junior, on two scoring passes in the span of about three minutes to begin a scoring barrage that ended with the 55-17 victory.

Catching Cajuste in stride both times, Hogan hit the wide receiver on a 57-yard touchdown pass after the big receiver outran the Washington State defensive backs. The touchdown put the Cardinal up for good 10-3 after WSU had tied it with a field goal.

After quickly getting the ball back, Hogan hit Cajuste early in the second quarter on a 33-yard touchdown that helped take the wet crowd out of the game early.

Stanford coach David Shaw said that if Washington State sent its safeties to help out with the run that he would have Hogan go deep.

“We have the speed and the ability to go deep,” Shaw said. “Even if we don’t hit it … we have to show the willingness to take the shot.”

Coming into the game, Cajuste had only six catches for 129 yards and one touchdown. In the first half alone against WSU, he had four catches for 115 yards and the two scores.

Cajuste came into the season with only one reception, a 7-yard completion last year against Colorado.

“It was the most amazing moment in my life,” he said of the single catch.

Then tied 3-3, he looked up to see the ball headed his way.

“I knew I was going to be open,” he said. “I caught it with my face and then I thought, ‘I’m still running.’ ”

Then he realized he had scored a 57-yard-touchdown.

“I was like, ‘That just happened?’ It was absolutely surreal,” he said.

The defense quickly stopped the Cougars and got the ball back into Hogan’s hands. Again, the safeties came up to stop the run and Hogan found Cajuste open streaking down the field.

“It’s a statement. If you want to go one-on-one with us, we are going to make you pay for it,” Cajuste said. “We got to come out and show that we could do it.”

Hogan said he knew before the game that he was going to take shots down the field against the Washington State defense.

“On the second one, (Cajuste) ran a hell of a route and beat the corner,” Hogan said. “All I had to do was get the ball up so I could make it easy for him.

“It takes pressure off the run game seeing those guys we have outside making plays.”

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