STANFORD -- The final word came from Steve Sarkisian. Following a three-day tiff with Stanford's David Shaw last October, Sarkisian noted that "two reasonable people can disagree on something and move forward."

That, apparently, is what Sarkisian and Shaw have done.

The coaches face each other Saturday for the first time since Sarkisian accused the Cardinal of faking injuries to slow down Washington's no-huddle offense, which drew a pointed, impassioned response from Shaw.

"We never talked about it again," Shaw said Tuesday, adding that he and Sarkisian had breakfast and lunch together in the offseason. "It was over. It was in the past."

Sarkisian, who now coaches USC, echoed Shaw's comments later Tuesday morning on the Pac-12's weekly teleconference. "Our relationship is fine," he said.

That wasn't the case in the heated aftermath of Stanford's 31-28 victory over the Huskies last season. Speaking to KJR radio in Seattle following the game, Sarkisian fired the first salvo:

"Their defensive line coach (Randy Hart) was telling them to sit down. I guess that's how we play here at Stanford, so we'll have to prepare for that next time. At some point, we'll get repaid for it. That never serves a purpose for us, and we'll never do that."

Shaw took exception.


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"We don't fake injuries, we don't and we never will," he said. "We don't condone it, we don't teach it, we don't allow it. We've never done it, and if we didn't do it against Oregon, why would we do it against Washington?"

Now it's a new season, Sarkisian is coaching a different team and, according to Shaw, there's "no animosity whatsoever."

  • Stanford did not use a vanilla game plan in its season-opening victory over UC Davis. The Cardinal opted instead for sugar-free vanilla.

    "We wanted to do everything it took to win," quarterback Kevin Hogan said. "That said, there are a lot of good wrinkles we think will work," against USC.

    After the 45-0 victory over UC Davis, Hogan hinted that Stanford withheld entire chapters of the playbook from the Aggies -- and, consequently, from the videotape USC's coaching staff will examine this week.

    "I had a lot of time this offseason to get ready for Week 2," Hogan said.

  • Whether Hogan has time to execute depends on Stanford's young line holding up against one of the top defensive players in college football: USC's 300-pound wrecking ball, Leonard Williams.

    "It can't be five-on-one; somebody's going to have to single-block him during the course of the game," Shaw said. "It will be tough. The backs will have to help."

    Williams often lines up over the right tackle -- in Stanford's case, junior Kyle Murphy. But if Williams switches sides, he'll go one-on-one against left tackle Andrus Peat.

    Williams and Peat, both juniors, are expected to be top-10 picks in the NFL draft when they leave school.

  • USC quarterback Cody Kessler was hospitalized over the weekend, reportedly to undergo a procedure on a staph infection.

    Kessler missed part of practice Tuesday but is expected to be ready for the game.

    "I'm fine," he told the L.A. Daily News. "It's just my toe."

  • Stanford receiver Devon Cajuste, who was suspended for the season opener (violation of team rules), will start Saturday.

    Aziz Shittu, a potential starter on the defensive line, has "a good chance" to play, Shaw said. Shittu missed the opener because of an injured toe.

    Backup linebackers Joe Hemschoot and Kevin Palma will miss several weeks because of undisclosed injuries.

  • A limited number of tickets remain for the 12:30 p.m. kickoff. The game will be televised nationally by ABC.

    For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner's College Hotline at blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports. Contact him at jwilner@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5716.

    Saturday's game
    USC (1-0) at Stanford (1-0). 12:30 p.m. ABC