STANFORD – Troy Taylor’s home opener as Stanford coach was spoiled by his former team.
Sacramento State scored a 49-yard touchdown with 1:32 remaining and won 30-23 at Stanford Stadium.
The loss by the Cardinal (1-2) showed the depths to which the program has fallen. The only other time the programs met, Stanford won 52-17 in 2010 with Andrew Luck throwing TDs to Doug Baldwin and Zach Ertz.
This time, Stanford was kept out of the end zone for the final 43 minutes against an FCS opponent that seemed to match the Cardinal talent-wise and had a 448-387 edge in yardage.
Taylor had spent the previous four seasons as coach of the Hornets (3-0), who won their fourth-ever game against an FBS team.
The Cardinal played two QBs, with Ashton Daniels completing 4 of 7 passes for 69 yards in the first half and Justin Lamson completing 7 of 17 passes for 138 yards in the second half.
Both QBs threw damaging interceptions, with Daniels throwing a pick in the end zone and Lamson throwing a pass into traffic at his own 21. And neither QB could find all-conference tight end Benjamin Yurosek, who didn’t catch a pass.
Stanford ran 11 straight times on its opening possession, capped off by a 1-yard run by Casey Filkins, and then Elic Ayomanor caught a 51-yard TD pass from Ashton Daniels as the Cardinal went up 14-3 early in the second quarter.
Stanford appeared to be fully in control when it recovered an onside kick, but after Daniels’s interception, Sacramento State scored TDs on its next two possessions to go into halftime up 17-14.
The teams traded field goals in the second half until the Hornets produced the go-ahead score on third-and-6. Stanford’s final drive started at the 25 with 1:32 left, but Lamson’s pass went incomplete on fourth-and-26 from the 29.
The Cardinal hosts Arizona next Saturday before finishing with seven ranked opponents in its last eight games.