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Another methodical Stanford win

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Stanford head coach David Shaw during an NCAA college football game against UCLA Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (Tony Avelar/AP)

His team may have rare nocturnal powers, but Stanford coach David Shaw doesn’t much care for so many games at night. The date with Washington on Saturday night was its sixth in a row under the lights.

Could be the Cardinal need to play more of them.

Stanford (6-1) continued its drive to the Pac-12 North title with a methodical 31-14 victory, its 26th in a row at home at night, the best such streak in the nation. The Cardinal’s only loss of the season was in the early afternoon on the road.

“The first half of Sunday is shot. You’re a zombie,” Shaw said. “For the players, Sunday is a day to catch up on school work, but half their day is gone already. It’s hard to recover from a night game.

“We won’t complain about it, but it would be great to play a few more games while the sun it out.”

Christian McCaffrey, Kevin Hogan and company could probably do well in pitch darkness, so well have they played lately.

Since a 16-6 loss at Northwestern to open the season, Stanford has put up at least 31 points each game. In that span, it averaged 42.5 points in six consecutive victories.

McCaffrey ran for 109 yards, caught passes for 112 more and scored two touchdowns, a performance that did nothing to hurt his Heisman Trophy chances. It marked the fifth consecutive game in which the sophomore running back totaled at least 200 all-purpose yards.

Stanford dominated the first half, in which it piled up 241 yards and 14 first downs en route to a 17-0 lead.

Washington (3-4) threatened to make of a game of it early in the third quarter, when it took the kickoff and marched 57 yards for a touchdown. The points were its first against Stanford in 64 minutes, two seconds, a streak that dated back to last season.

It took only eight plays for the home team to get the points back.

After Stanford converted a fourth-and-1 situation, Hogan hit an open McCaffrey in stride near the right sideline for a 50-yard touchdown.

While much as been made of McCaffrey in recent weeks, Hogan has elevated his game despite an ankle injury that he suffered at USC four weeks earlier.

Hogan passed for 290 yards to move past Jim Plunkett into fourth place on the Cardinal all-time list. The fifth-year senior also rushed for 37 yards to become the No. 1 ground-gainer at his position in school history.

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