Stanford 42, San Jose St. 17
Corey Gatewood added a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown and Richard Sherman scored on a 48-yard punt return for the Cardinal, who are determined to earn a bowl berth in coach Jim Harbaugh's third season after a near miss last year.
It gets tougher next week, when Stanford (2-1, 1-0 Pac-10) hosts Washington. The Huskies will surely be riding high after their shocking 16-13 upset of No. 3 Southern California earlier Saturday.
Stanford scored on its opening offensive series and didn't punt for the first time until the 12:28 mark of the third quarter. The Cardinal, who have three special teams touchdowns and a defensive TD this season, outgained San Jose State (0-3) 382-228.
Andrew Luck completed 9 of 12 passes for 170 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He connected with Owusu on a 22-yard TD strike late in the third quarter.
Owen Marecic's 34-yard catch from Luck helped set up Gerhart's 3-yard TD run in the first quarter and Gerhart scored again in the second on a 1-yard dive into the end zone.
Gerhart's 11th career 100-yard rushing game gave him 1,967 career yards on the ground and moved him into eighth place on the school's all-time list. His 20 rushing TDs moved him past Bobby Grayson and Anthony Kimble for sole possession of sixth place in Stanford history.
The Cardinal were clicking in all facets. Thomas Keiser had a career-high three sacks - half of his team's six - including back-to-back against Jordan La Secla late in the first quarter for 24 lost yards.
Jalal Beauchman's 1-yard TD catch from La Secla got the Spartans on the board midway through the second quarter, a drive aided by a pass interference penalty against Bo McNally. Lamon Muldrow added a 14-yard TD run in the fourth quarter for the Spartans, whose only other points came on Tyler Cope's 30-yard field goal.
San Jose State had given up 593 rushing yards in its first two games while gaining only 31 - and it didn't help not having top running back Brandon Rutley for this game because of an ankle injury. Coach Dick Tomey had hoped Rutley would play after he was injured on a touchdown run last Saturday against Utah.
Owusu also had an 85-yard kickoff return at Washington State in the season opener Sept. 5. His return Saturday was the 10th-longest in school history and longest since T.J. Rushing's 99-yarder in 2004 against BYU. Owusu is the first Stanford player with two kickoff returns for scores in the same season since Damon Dunn in 1995.
Stanford, just 4-10 in nonconference games dating to the 2005 season, has won three straight and seven of the last eight in this Bay Area rivalry.
Walsh, the Hall of Fame coach, died in July 2007 at age 75 following a long battle with leukemia. Walsh, who also coached the San Francisco 49ers, attended San Jose State for his undergraduate and graduate work and coached Stanford during two stints over five seasons.
A moment of silence was held before the game to honor NCAA president Dr. Myles Brand, who died Wednesday of pancreatic cancer.