Sacramento State delivered an incredible upset on Saturday, knocking off Stanford in Palo Alto, California, for the first FCS victory over a Power Five opponent this season. Hornets quarterback Kaiden Bennett connected with running back Marcus Fulcher for a 49-yard touchdown with 1:32 remaining, and Sacramento State’s defense forced a turnover on downs to seal the win shortly thereafter.
The matchup was a homecoming for Stanford head coach Troy Taylor. The Sacramento, California, native was Sacramento State’s head coach from 2019-22 and helped the Hornets rise to national relevance. Sacramento State has won 22 consecutive regular-season games dating back to the 2021 season and is coming off a 12-1 season which included an appearance in the FCS Playoffs under Taylor.
Bennett finished the game 21-of-33 passing for 279 yards and ran for 100 yards on the ground. Stanford jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the second quarter and came to within striking distance of making it a three-possession game before Sacramento State cornerback Caleb Nelson picked off Stanford quarterback Ashton Daniels in the end zone.
Daniels entered the season as Stanford’s starter and was benched in the second half for Syracuse transfer Justin Lamson, who finished 7 of 17 for 138 yards. Stanford finished with 387 yards of total offense compared to 448 yards for the Hornets.
The Cardinal opened the season with a win over Hawaii on the road but suffered a blowout loss at the hands of USC in the Pac-12 opener. Taylor is in his first season replacing former Stanford coach David Shaw, who stepped down following the 2022 season.