On Stanford's opening drive Tyler Gaffney ran the ball in from 16 yards out to give the cardinal a 7-0 lead. Later in the quarter quarterback Kevin Hogan fumbled the ball on a second down and six but Stanford was able to recover the ball and keep the drive going. The fumble was the only downside for Stanford in the first quarter.
Stanford's defense was dominant and kept Michigan State running back Jeremy Langford in check. With great defense Stanford got the ball back on a punt and fed the ball to Gaffney, who would make the Michigan defense pay. Gaffney blasted through the Michigan State defense for 47 yards which got Stanford inside the thirty yard line. Stanford would later settle for a 34 yard field goal to make the score 10-0 at the end of the quarter.