Steve Stenstrom completed 30 of 39 passes for 330 yards and four touchdowns, including one to David Shaw with 1:43 left to give Stanford a 31-28 victory over San Jose State on Saturday.
The game featured a coaching matchup between Stanford’s Bill Walsh and San Jose’s John Ralston, who led Stanford to Rose Bowl victories in 1971 and 1972 and gave Walsh his first full-time college coaching job.
Trailing at halftime, 21-14, San Jose State (0-2) kept coming back against the Cardinal and took the lead for the first time with 11:33 to play on John Mountain’s two-yard touchdown run.
The Cardinal got within field-goal range on its next drive, but Eric Abrams’ 45-yard attempt hit the left upright. Stanford (1-1) drove to the San Jose 23 on its next possession, but Troy Jensen stopped Ethan Allen for a loss and the Cardinal had to settle for a 42-yard field goal with 5:46 left.
A blocked punt by Branyon Davis set up the winning drive.
San Jose State’s final drive ended inside the Cardinal 30 when Vaughn Bryant made an interception.
San Jose State quarterback Jeff Garcia completed 23 of 37 passes for 380 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for two touchdowns.