STANFORD, California — New Army coach Jeff Monken refused to settle for a moral victory.
With the Black Knights facing fourth-and-1 from the 2-yard line in the final minutes, he chose not to kick a field goal.
Instead, he called timeout and turned to the triple-option with quarterback A.J. Schurr.
Unfortunately for Army, the play ended like so many others: stuffed by Stanford.
Schurr finished with 65 yards on six carries, and Larry Dixon ran for 60 yards as the 15th-ranked Cardinal blanked Army 35-0 on Saturday.
"The last play of the game was a perfect example. It was a good play, but we can't block them," Monken said. "They knocked us back. That happened too often."
Army (1-1) ran for 341 yards and seven touchdowns in a 47-39 victory against Buffalo in its opener, but couldn't crack the Cardinal's physical defense.
Stanford outgained Army 415 to 207 yards. The Black Knights completed 3 of 5 passes for just 9 yards, which made sure the Cardinal didn't back off the line of scrimmage against the triple-option offense. Army held the ball for more than 33 minutes.
"That's a great team over there and we didn't rise to the occasion," Dixon said.
Kevin Hogan threw for 216 yards and four touchdowns as Stanford (2-1) rebounded from a frustrating loss to Southern California last week.
Devon Cajuste caught a career-high three touchdowns and finished with 52 yards receiving, and Ty Montgomery had two TDs to help the Cardinal overcome a sluggish start on offense. Stanford led 14-0 at the half before overwhelming the Black Knights in the final two quarters.
It was the second shutout for Stanford's defense in three games. The Cardinal beat UC Davis 45-0 to open the season before losing 13-10 to USC last week.
"I feel we're in a great spot right now," Stanford linebacker Blake Martinez said. "Obviously, there's going to be mistakes that we made today that we're trying to get corrected. We're jelling pretty well."
Army's unusual offensive formation — by today's standards, anyway — gave the Cardinal more trouble than expected at West Point last season. The Black Knights led 6-0 early and kept the game close most of the way before Stanford pulled ahead for a 34-20 victory.
But Stanford had few problems defending Army's triple-option this time. Instead, it was the offense that looked out of rhythm at the start.
Stanford punted on four of its first six possessions. Montgomery fumbled a punt return that the Black Knights recovered in the second quarter, and Stanford had a touchdown wiped away for the second straight week when David Bright was called for holding on Kelsey Young's TD run.
Three plays later, Cajuste caught his second touchdown pass from Hogan — a short fade in the corner of the end zone — to give the Cardinal a 14-0 lead.
Stanford put together a nine-play, 98-yard TD drive on its first drive of the second half that ended with another catch by Cajuste.
Stanford stopped Army's fake punt on the next possession to set up Montgomery's 4-yard touchdown run, and the Cardinal's do-it-all playmaker caught a 32-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinal improved to 8-0 after losses under Shaw and haven't dropped consecutive games since 2009. Stanford's next game is at Washington on Sept. 27.
Army has a quick turnaround to regroup. The Black Knights play at Wake Forest on Sept. 20.
"We're not going to win a lot of football games unless we play close to perfect in terms of assignments," Monken said. "That's just the kind of team we are.
"When you're not as big as the other team and you're not as fast or physically talented as other teams, then you either got to play harder, be tougher, play with better assignments, better fundamentals. For all of us, we've got to do all of those things, and we didn't do it today."