Sac State football drops opener to Stanford 52-17

Marshall Hampson

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The Sacramento State football team lost to Stanford University in its season-opener 52-17 at Stanford Stadium today.

The Cardinal did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard, scoring 3:25 into the game. Running back Jeremy Stewart capped off a 75-yard drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown. On Stanford’s next drive, quarterback Andrew Luck threw an 81-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Doug Baldwin and the Cardinal went up 14-0.

The Hornets then put up their first points after returner Kyle Monson returned a punt, weaving through the Cardinal special teams 70 yards for a touchdown.

But the momentum for the Hornets shortly stopped as Luck led the Cardinal offense multiple times throughout the half. Luck threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns.

During the second quarter, quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson dealt with a left ankle injury from being hit and left the game. Bethel-Thompson finished 9-15 for 69 yards. Transfer quarterback Jeff Fleming has only been on the roster for a week after transferring from New Mexico State. He finished 6-12 for 44 yards and 10 yards on four carries.

Defensive lineman Avery White left in the third quarter with a dislocated knee. His status for the rest of the season is unknown at this time.

After being down 38-7 at halftime, the Sac State defense came through, as defensive back Marquese Smith forced a fumble that defensive lineman David Coleman picked up.

Fleming led the offense from the Stanford 29-yard line and running back Curtis Shaw scored from the two-yard line to cut the lead to 24 points.

Another bright spot for the Hornets came from kicker Chris Diniz as he added tacked on three points from a 52-yard field goal.

But the Hornets had a hard time stopping the Cardinal’s offense, as Stanford racked up 529 total yards.

The Hornets will play their first home game on Saturday at Hornet Stadium against Western Oregon at 6:05 p.m.

Marshall Hampson can be reached at sports@statehornet.com