Sports

A rocking crowd welcomes Stanford

STANFORD -- Tavita Pritchard knew sleep would be difficult so he watched a replay of Stanford's stunning 24-23 victory over USC.

"I can see why my mom gets so nervous," the redshirt freshman quarterback said Sunday. "I keep telling her I'm just playing. But even I got clinched up watching that last drive, and I knew how it was going to come out."

Pritchard, the nephew of former Washington State quarterback great Jack "The Throwin' Samoan" Thompson, made his first career start against the Trojans, who were 41-point favorites. The win sparked an impromptu celebration by Stanford students outside Maples Pavilion, who waited for the team to show up at about 12:30 a.m.

The crowd, estimated at between 2,000-5,000 people, rocked the buses as they pulled up.

"It was crazy," said senior receiver Mark Bradford, who caught the winning touchdown pass with 49 seconds left, ending the Trojans' 35-game home winning streak. "I had no idea how much people cared about football here."

The spontaneous celebration was as improbable as the upset.

"Not even the Final Four (basketball) team got that great of a reception," said Mike Eubanks, Stanford's director of football administration. "In terms of impromptu gatherings, that was by far the largest on campus. It was great to see this campus come to life, and it shows what a win at this level can do."

Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh addressed the gathering and told them how much it meant for such a reception.

"That was the icing on the cake," Harbaugh said. "It was a great feeling for our team. Our players experienced the ultimate feeling of winning."

Harbaugh and Pritchard had a brief conversation on the sideline late in the fourth quarter.

"I just said, 'Where would you rather be?' " the first-year coach said. "I told him to enjoy the moment and enjoy the feeling. These guys have been told, 'No, you can't do this.' They were told they couldn't possibly think they could beat USC. This football team, on Saturday, said, 'Yes.' "

NO. 16 HAWAII 52, UTAH STATE 37, at Honolulu -- Backup quarterback Tyler Graunke replaced injured Colt Brennan and threw for three touchdowns in the third quarter and ran for a score as the Warriors (6-0, 3-0 WAC) defeated the Aggies (0-6, 0-2) Saturday night.

The victory gave Hawaii a school-record 10 consecutive conference wins and its best start since the 1981 team opened 7-0.

Brennan walked off the field after taking a hard hit with 52 seconds left in the first half. Graunke completed a 38-yard pass on his first attempt to set up his 1-yard touchdown run that put Hawaii up 31-13.

IT'S JUST A RECORD, at Omaha, Neb. -- After becoming the most prolific rusher in college football history, Danny Woodhead slept in, picked up breakfast at the Subway in Chadron and plopped onto his couch to watch an NFL game.

"I honestly don't feel like anything's different," he said. "It's like any other Sunday."

About 24 hours earlier, the Chadron State tailback broke R.J. Bowers' all-division career record by running for 208 yards in a 21-0 victory over Western New Mexico in Silver City, N.M. A 6-yard run in the third quarter pushed Woodhead past Bowers' mark of 7,353, and the diminutive senior finished the game with a career total of 7,441.

There was a brief stoppage after the record-breaking run to announce the milestone.

Woodhead ran to the sideline to present the game ball to his parents, Mark and Annette Woodhead of North Platte, and hugs were exchanged. He said they kept the ball and had no idea what they plan to do with it.

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