STANFORD, Calif. (AP)Jaren Hall threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score before leaving with an ankle injury to lead BYU to a 35-26 victory over Stanford on Saturday night, and Cardinal coach David Shaw announced his resignation after the game.
After arriving unusually late for his postgame news conference, Shaw said he told his team in the locker room he was stepping down.
”It’s been a great run,” Shaw said. ”But it’s time for me to step aside. It’s time for the next group to come in.”
The Cougars (7-5) scored touchdowns on their first four possessions to take control in their regular-season finale and assure themselves of a winning record for a fifth straight season.
Hall threw two TD passes to Isaac Rex before getting hurt. Coach Kalani Satake said he expected Hall to be able to play in the bowl game.
”I think when we were looking at him coming back, I think it was going to be difficult for him to function at a high level, so we made the decision to keep him out,” Satake said. ”But he feels good about being able to come back.”
BYU did much of its damage on the ground with 358 yards rushing against a depleted defense for the Cardinal (3-9).
Chris Brooks ran for 164 yards a year after gaining 131 against Stanford in the Big Game for rival California. Hinckley Ropati added a 43-yard touchdown run and Puka Nacua scored on a 25-yard run.
Tanner McKee threw for 313 yards and a TD, and Mitch Leigber and Ashton Daniels scored on 1-yard runs for Stanford. But it wasn’t enough to prevent the Cardinal from posting back-to-back seasons with at least nine losses for the first time in school history.
The Cougars took control early with Hall capping a 75-yard game-opening drive with a 19-yard keeper.
Ropati then broke free for his long run on the second possession for BYU to make it 14-3 before Hall connected with Rex on the final two drives of the first half for the Cougars.
The first of those TDs came on a trick play when Hall handed off to Brooks, who flipped the ball to receiver Keanu Hill on a reverse. Hill flipped it back to Hall on a flea-flicker and Hall found Rex all alone down the sideline. Rex then ran it in for a 43-yard score that made it 21-3.
BYU: The Cougars played their final regular-season game as an independent. BYU heads to the Big 12 next season after a 12-year run without a conference. BYU had a winning record in 11 of those seasons but hopes joining a Power Five conference can make them more relevant on a national stage.
Stanford: Another rough season came to a merciful end for the Cardinal. Stanford is 14-28 over the past four seasons after going 82-26 in Shaw’s first eight seasons.
The 50-year Stanford alumnus leaves as the program’s winning coach with 96 victories in 12 seasons.
Stanford kicker Joshua Karty’s bid for a perfect season was denied. Karty came into the game having made all 24 extra-point attempts and 16 field goals. He made his first field goal against the Cougars before missing wide left on an extra point following Leigber’s 1-yard TD run in the second quarter.
Karty did make a 54-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.
BYU: Bowl game to be determined.
Stanford: The offseason.
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