WEST POINT, N.Y. -- If Stanford starts as slowly against Arizona State as it did Saturday against Army, the Cardinal could be in some trouble.

Cardinal coach David Shaw isn't worried about another repeat of the sluggishness that his fifth-ranked squad showed before pulling away for a 34-20 victory over the Black Knights. Shaw addressed the issue before anyone could even ask about it.

"When you're playing a triple-option team, it takes a half to get used to the speed, the tempo," Shaw said. "You never talk about stopping a triple-option team. You talk about slowing them down."

By the time Stanford (2-0) figured it out, Army was on its way to 284 yards on the ground. But the Cardinal had a triple of its own. Kevin Hogan threw three touchdown passes, Tyler Gaffney scored two touchdowns and Ty Montgomery gained 233 total yards before 39,644 at Michie Stadium.

"What I loved about the team today," Shaw said, "when people tell you you're supposed to win by a lot and you come in at halftime and it's close if you listen to the people on the outside you get a little anxious. We were not anxious. We knew we had to play our best. We came out in the second half and we played great."

Hogan hit Michael Rector in the first quarter, Montgomery in the second and Gaffney in the third for touchdowns to overcome a listless Cardinal start and an early 6-0 Black Knights lead that could leave national poll voters underwhelmed.

"It's not about frustration," said Shaw. "It's about figuring it out. They're gonna poke and prod and use whatever you do against you. There's a reason for 40 to 50 years, everybody ran the triple option. It's hard to defend."

Defensive end Josh Mauro, who led Stanford with six solo tackles, gave Army (1-2) the credit for how the first quarter went.

"It's the quickest offensive line probably in the nation," he said. "Those guys are really good at what they do and it's hard to simulate that in four days and then do it on Saturday. They have all the respect in the world from us."

It wasn't until a 23-yard strike from Hogan to Gaffney with 4:05 left in the third period that Stanford looked in control. Gaffney's second TD came on a 1-yard run with 9:59 remaining to make it 34-13. Army scored with 17 seconds left on a 6-yard pass from A.J. Schurr to Edgar Poe.

"We moved the ball pretty well," Shaw said. "We've got to take the error out of our game. That touchdown to (Devon) Cajuste, he has to finish the catch." Shaw was referring to a bobble in the corner of the end zone.

Listless well into the third quarter and ahead only 20-13, Stanford got some life by forcing a fumble by Army quarterback Angel Santiago. Starting from his 43, Hogan led an eight-play, 57-yard drive. A third-down strike to Montgomery went for 27 yards. Five plays later, Gaffney shrugged off his own face-mask penalty with a 23-yard reception and a 27-13 lead.

"We kept our calm," Gaffney said.

Army showed no awe of a top-five opponent, getting two Dan Grochowski field goals before the Cardinal managed a first down. When Stanford did get a first down, it happened in style, with Gaffney running 25 yards. Four plays later, Hogan threw to Rector, who caught it for a 26-year TD despite a tip by Pittsburg's Josh Jenkins.

  • Stanford owns a 6-5 lead in the series.

  • Stanford grad John Elway was in attendance.

  • Commenting on a late injury to cornerback Barry Browning, Shaw said, "We'll see how he is."

    SATURDAY'S GAME
    Arizona State (1-0) at Stanford (2-0), 4 p.m. Fox