The Cardinal sacked Price five times, tallied 11 tackles for loss and forced the Huskies into some big-time blunders. Washington committed 10 penalties for 89 yards.
Stanford overcame some sloppy offense of its own but still looked nothing like the team that was handed its only conference loss by Washington in a 17-13 setback in Seattle last season. This time, the Cardinal offense — led by Kevin Hogan, who improved to 10-0 as the starter — did just enough, and a do-it-all showing from Montgomery made the difference.
Montgomery sprinted up the middle untouched to return the opening kickoff for his second career return for a score. It also was the first on an opening kickoff for Stanford since Chris Owusu in 2009 against Washington.
After Sankey's short TD run capped Washington's impressive 88-yard drive late in the second quarter, Montgomery seized the momentum for Stanford again. He caught a 39-yard TD pass from Hogan down the sideline to give the Cardinal a 17-7 lead with 11 seconds remaining before halftime.
"We were not perfect. We'll learn from it and move forward," Huskies defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox said.
The teams twice traded scores to start the third quarter with an outpouring of offense more typical of the Washington-Stanford days of old.
After Washington's second straight touchdown drive, the Cardinal turned to Montgomery once more. He juked a pair of defenders during a 68-yard kickoff return to the Washington 19 that set up Tyler Gaffney's TD run and put Stanford up 31-21.
Washington's best chance to come back ended when Trent Murphy tipped Price's pass near the goal line and A.J. Tarpley grabbed the interception and ran 15 yards to the Stanford 20 with 6:11 remaining.
But the Huskies came back again, with Price throwing a 1-yard TD pass to Jaydon Mickens with 2:38 to play. Washington stopped Stanford three-and-out to get the ball back on its own 33 with 1:51 remaining before the Cardinal made one final stop.
"I think the thing that we proved to ourselves is we can beat anybody in the country," Sarkisian said. "That to the point of where you prepare really well and you have good game plans and execute, you can do that."