STANFORD, Calif. -- No. 5 Stanford began its pursuit of a national championship with a workmanlike 34-13 victory over San Jose State Saturday night before a sellout crowd of 50,424 at Stanford Stadium.
Stanford was efficient, if not spectacular, on offense, scoring on five of its first six possessions while overpowering the Spartans (1-1).
Sophomore Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan is now 6-0 as a starter after completing 17 of 27 passes for 217 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the team's season opener. Tyler Gaffney, Stepfan Taylor's successor as the Cardinal's starting tailback, rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
San Jose State gave the Cardinal a scare in last season?s opener, which Stanford won 20-17. The Spartans presented less of a problem this time.
San Jose State quarterback David Fales completed 8 of his first 10 passes and finished 29-for-43 for 216 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The Spartans managed just 35 yards on the ground, and Fales was sacked four times.
The only one of Stanford's first six possessions that failed to produce points came late in the first half, when Jordan Williamson missed a 52-yard field goal attempt with 16 seconds left in the second quarter.
Stanford increased an 11-point halftime lead to 20-6 on Williamson's 48-yard field goal early in the third quarter. A 17-yard touchdown pass from Hogan to Ty Montgomery later in the quarter made it 27-6.
San Jose State reduced the margin to 14 points with its first touchdown of the game, which came on a 13-yard pass from Fales to Noel Grigsby. However, the Cardinal put the game away when Gaffney scored on a 2-yard touchdown run that gave Stanford a 34-13 lead with 11:08 left in the fourth quarter. That score was set by Ed Reynolds? interception at the Stanford 48-yard line.
Fales was 14-for-19 in the first half, but for just 92 yards. He failed to get the Spartans into the end zone before halftime despite getting inside the Cardinal 15-yard line twice.
Hogan completed his first six passes and finished the half 8-for-13 for 94 yards and a touchdown.
Stanford scored on its first possession of the game, going 67 yards in six plays. Hogan's 40-yard touchdown pass to Devon Cajuste finished the drive and gave the Cardinal a 7-0 lead.
San Jose State cut the margin to 7-3 on Austin Lopez's 30-yard field goal, which ended a 14-play, 63-yard drive.
The Cardinal increased its lead to 14-3 on Gaffney's 16-yard touchdown run, which finished off a 75-yard drive early in the second quarter. A few minutes later, a 40-yard field goal by Stanford's Jordan Williamson made it a 17-3 game.
Lopez kicked his second field goal -- a 23-yarder -- to reduce the Spartans' deficit to 11 points with 3:32 left in the first half. That kick made Lopez 20-for-20 on field-goal attempts for his career.
NOTES: Stanford and San Jose State have met 67 times, but Saturday's game was probably the last between the Bay Area rivals for a while. The two will not meet next season. ... Both San Jose State and Stanford came into Saturday's game riding eight-game winning streaks, tied for the third-longest active streak among FBC teams. On Saturday, Ohio State extended its winning streak to 14 by beating San Diego State, but Arkansas State had its nine-game winning streak halted by Auburn. ... With the 11 p.m. ET starting time of its opener on Saturday, Stanford became the last FBC team to begin its 2013 season.