STANFORD -- The final scheduled game in the long series between South Bay neighbors was devoid of drama but stocked with dominance.

Stanford jumped to an early lead and overpowered San Jose State 34-13 on Saturday night before an announced crowd of 50,424, the largest at Stanford Stadium since 2008.

The Cardinal looked the part of the nation's fifth-ranked team, combining stout defense with timely passing by quarterback Kevin Hogan and an unstoppable running game.

Tailback Tyler Gaffney, who spent last year as an outfielder in the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league organization, led the Cardinal with 104 yards and two touchdowns.

"I thought we played hard, and for the most part we played well," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "There were some periods that were not our best."

The Spartans (1-1), who came close to an upset last year, were overwhelmed on both sides of the ball. Quarterback David Fales completed 29 of 43 passes for 216 yards -- his lowest total at San Jose State -- while the Spartans failed to generate a productive rushing attack. (Starting tailback Tyler Ervin did not play because of a foot injury.)

San Jose State relied on its short-passing game and tried several unusual formations, including one in which several linemen were positioned out wide with the receivers. But the Spartans couldn't make big plays when they were needed most.


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Shaw said he was impressed by Fales.

"He was phenomenal," Shaw said. "There were about five throws tonight that are Sunday throws as we call them."

Stanford held a 17-6 halftime lead, then expanded the cushion in the third quarter on a 48-yard field goal by Jordan Williamson and a 17-yard touchdown pass-and-run from Hogan to receiver Ty Montgomery.

The Spartans countered with their first touchdown, and a turnover by the Cardinal gave San Jose State a chance to make the finish interesting.

But Stanford safety Ed Reynolds intercepted Fales, and the Cardinal scored the game-sealing touchdown a few minutes later.

The events stood in stark contrast to last year's game, in which San Jose State controlled the third quarter and pushed Stanford to the limit before losing 20-17.

Stanford, the last major college team to start the season, made it look easy on its first offensive possession, as Hogan hit wide-open receiver Devon Cajuste on a 40-yard touchdown strike to cap a six-play drive.

The Spartans responded with a clock-eating possession that covered 62 yards but ended on the Stanford 13 when Fales, under heavy pressure, threw incomplete on third down. Austin Lopez kicked a 30-yard field goal.

Stanford took over -- and took control. The Cardinal powered 75 yards for a touchdown that pushed the lead to 14-3 early in the second quarter.

The drive included a 15-yard pass from Hogan to Cajuste and ended with Gaffney scooting 16 yards into the end zone. Running off right tackle, he sidestepped safety Simon Connette and scored his first touchdown since November 2011.

The Spartans went right back down the field but were denied a touchdown when Fales' third-down completion to Kyle Nunn was short of the first down.

Trailing by 14 points and facing fourth-and-three on the 5, the Spartans elected to kick a field goal. Lopez converted from 23 yards, and the half ended with Stanford leading 17-6.

  • Spartans wide receiver Noel Grigsby caught a pass for a school-record 36th consecutive game. He previously shared the mark with Jalal Beachman (2006-10).

  • The teams aren't scheduled to meet in the future, but both coaches have expressed interest in renewing the series at some point. San Jose State received a $215,000 guarantee for the game, according to a school official. The neighborly aspect of the Bill Walsh Legacy Game has kept the payday artificially low over the years. By comparison, the Spartans will receive $1.5 million for playing at Auburn next year.

  • Road teams usually wear white uniforms, but San Jose State received permission from Stanford and the Pac-12 to wear gold jerseys and blue pants. Stanford wore its home red.

    DIGITAL EXTRAS
  • For more game coverage, visit www.mercurynews.com/sports.
  • To view a Stanford-San Jose State photo gallery, go to http://photos.mercurynews.com.