STANFORD — Ty Montgomery answered any questions about his health on his first touch, and Stanford's reconstructed defense looked just as rejuvenated in the season opener.
Next week will really give a glimpse of how far the Cardinal can go this year.
Montgomery returned his first career punt for a touchdown and caught five passes for 77 yards and another score, and No. 11 Stanford tuned up for a date with No. 15 Southern California by routing UC Davis 45-0 on Saturday.
"Our opponents are nameless and faceless. It doesn't matter who we play. We have to play to our standard," Montgomery said, reciting the team motto.
The All-American kick returner, who was cleared by doctors to play earlier this week after offseason surgery on his right shoulder, set the tone. The Cardinal's do-it-all playmaker ran the first punt back 60 yards for a TD and lined up all over the field, including once as a wildcat quarterback.
Stanford led 38-0 at the half against the overmatched Aggies and rested most of its starters the final two quarters.
"I'm proud the way the guys started the game," Cardinal coach David Shaw said. "I thought we were physical. I thought we paid attention to detail. It was not perfect early on."
Kevin Hogan threw for 204 yards and three touchdowns to guide the two-time defending Pac-12 champions through a mostly smooth opener. He completed 12 of 16 passes and had one interception.
Stanford put together quick-strike TD drives of 6 seconds, 9 seconds, 53 seconds, 2:58 and 6:55.
The retooled defense held the Aggies to 115 total yards, forced three turnovers and sacked London Lacy four times to overwhelm the lower-tier Football Championship Subdivision team. UC Davis didn't crossed midfield until the final play of the game.
"I think it's good for our program, I think it's good for our kids," UC Davis coach Ron Gould said. "It sets the tone for where we want to go and what we want to build."
The Cardinal's first shutout since beating Colorado 48-0 on Nov. 3, 2012, showed just how far they've come since losing 20-17 to UC Davis in 2005. And with South Carolina's loss to Texas A&M on Thursday, Stanford now owns the nation's longest active home winning streak at 17 games.
But Stanford still has plenty to clean up before the Trojans visit The Farm.
The Cardinal's overhauled offensive line — which features four new starters — had its share of struggles, including a false start, holding and clipping penalties in the first half. Hogan also was sacked once.
Barry Sanders ran for 43 yards on seven carries, and starter Kelsey Young had 37 yards on seven carries as Stanford tries to replace 1,700-yard rusher Tyler Gaffney this season. The Cardinal finished with 149 yards rushing.
"I feel great with where we're at," Hogan said. "Coach Shaw talked to us about the game we have coming up. It's not the Super Bowl, as some people might think. It's the next game on our schedule."
With road games at Oregon, UCLA and Arizona State, though, next week's matchup could have a major impact on Stanford's season.
Stanford's starters kept mistakes to a minimum in the opener, but UC Davis simply lacked the talent to contain the Cardinal or sustain drives. Lacy completed 12 of 22 passes for 54 yards and two interceptions, and the Aggies' top two running backs sat out with injuries.
Even still, Montgomery gave them the most trouble.
After Stanford stopped the Aggies on the game's opening possession, Montgomery fielded a punt near the middle of the field. He sliced right, cut back up field and shook off a tackle from punter Colby Wadman to complete the 60-yard score.
Montgomery also caught an inside screen from Hogan and raced 44 yards for another touchdown late in the first half. He added one rush for 8 yards out of the wildcat formation.
"Ty Montgomery showed everybody what kind of shape he's in," Shaw said.
Hogan had TD passes of 40 yards to Michael Rector and 52 yards to freshman Christian McCaffrey — the son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey — and scrambled for a 1-yard score. McCaffrey also returned three punts for 60 yards and had three tackles on special teams in his debut.
Jordan Williamson, who made 1 of 2 field goals, became Stanford's career scoring leader. He broke Eric Abrams' record of 289 points from 1992 to 1995.
Devon Cajuste, the Cardinal's No. 2 wide receiver, was suspended for the game for a violation of team rules. He is expected to play against USC.