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.
Hogan completed 12 of 20 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Tyler Gaffney ran for 72 yards and another score.
But Montgomery stole the spotlight for Stanford, starting when he 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.
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 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, but the Cardinal made one final stop — just as it did in so many close games last season.
"We are a tough, mentally tough team, which of all the things you can ask for as a coach, that's what you want," Shaw said. "You want guys that don't blink."
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP