Stanford students caught an unexpected break Saturday evening after Tyler Gaffney’s third rushing touchdown put Stanford ahead 28-7 just five minutes into the second quarter. With the Cardinal cruising through the second half en route to another PAC-12 title, undergrads were able to return to the libraries earlier than anticipated to continue studying for their upcoming final exams.
“I was really nervous after Arizona beat Oregon and we found out that we had to play an extra game right before finals,” said one junior studying for his electrical engineering exams, “But this is NerdNation for a reason. Our team went out there and took care of business. They did exactly what they had to do and wrapped things up early…and also Rose Bowl or something.”
Senior linebacker Shayne Shov played a crucial role on the Cardinal defense, making several important tackles in-bounds that kept the clock running in an attempt to end the game sooner.
“You always want to come out of the gate firing like that,” reported Skov after the game, “You get that early momentum, you silence the opposing fans, and once we start blowing them out, Coach puts in the second-team defense so I can get some studying done on the sidelines during the fourth quarter.”
Stanford Head Coach David Shaw, however, was not as optimistic in his postgame press conference.
“We certainly have a lot to work on before our Rose Bowl matchup against Michigan State,” Shaw said in his characteristic tone that makes it unclear whether his team had just won or lost. “For instance, converting only 4 of 12 third downs is completely unacceptable. That leads to time-intensive changes-of-possession and commercial breaks.”
“The Preliminary Study List deadline for Winter Quarter is only five days after the Rose Bowl,” Shaw added. “For the sake of our fans, we cannot afford to come out flat in that contest.”
During the fourth quarter, ESPN cameras caught many Arizona State students filing out early, presumably concerned about studying for their final exams as well.