Stanford drops heartbreaker to Washington State 41-38

Photo credit: @StanfordFball

By: Ana Kieu

The No. 24 Stanford Cardinal had hoped to build a two-game win streak when they returned to Stanford Stadium to welcome the No. 14 Washington State Cougars on Saturday. For the Cardinal, it was Homecoming Reunion weekend and a lot of folks were decked in red and white as they took in all the festivities.

Just moments after the Pac-12 action went underway, Stanford had a strong opening drive with a 1st and 10 on the WSU 22. Then, just like that, K.J. Costello threw a touchdown pass to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who scored an 18-yard touchdown for his 24th career touchdown of the season. Jet Toner kicked in the extra point for the Cardinal for a 7-0 lead at the 11:09 mark of the first quarter.

With the touchdown catch, Arcega-Whiteside moved into a tie with DeRonnie Pitts (1997-2000) for third-most in school history. He also moved past Mike Tolliver (1979-83) for 16th on Stanford’s all-time career receiving yards list (1,821). In addition, he became just the sixth Cardinal with 10 touchdown catches in a season–the most since Ty Montgomery in 2013.

It didn’t take long for the Cougars to tie the game 7-7 with 8:17 left in the first. James Williams ran for a 5-yard touchdown and Blake Mazza kicked in the extra, game-tying point for the Cougars.

The Cougars took a 14-7 lead on a Cardinal turnover just a little over three minutes later. Gardner Minshew II connected with Max Borghi for a four-year touchdown and Mazza kicked in the point for the Cougars.

The Cardinal tied the game 14-14 with just 1:22 left in the first. Cameron Scarlett ran for a 2-yard touchdown and Toner kicked in the extra, game-tying point for the Cardinal.

On the last drive, Bryce Love became the fifth Cardinal with 3,500 career rushing yards. As a result, Love surpassed Toby Gerhart for fourth on Stanford’s all-time career rushing list.

The Cardinal and Cougars were tied 14-14 at the end of the first. Stanford scored the most points (14) in the first this season. Stanford’s previous high was 7 points.

The Cardinal went ahead 21-14 with 9:25 left in the second quarter. Costello threw a touchdown pass to Kaden Smith, who scored a 10-yard touchdown. Toner kicked in the extra point for the Cardinal.

With the touchdown pass, Costello tied his career-high with his 14th touchdown pass of the season. He has 28 for his career. This was his eighth career game with multiple touchdown passes (four this season).

The Cougars, however, reduced the Cardinal’s lead 28-17 as the clock winded down. Mazza kicked a 23-yard field goal to cut the Cougars’ deficit.

The Cardinal doubled its lead 28-17 with 1:04 left in the second. Once again, Costello worked his magic, throwing a pass to Houston Heimuli, who scored a 1-yard touchdown. Toner kicked in the extra point for the Cardinal. With the touchdown reception, Heimuli notched his first career reception and touchdown.

The Cardinal brought a 28-17 halftime lead to the locker room. Stanford’s 28 points in the first half were the team’s most in the first 30 minutes since scoring 38 against Rice in Sydney, Australia on August 26, 2017. ost first half points against a conference opponent since putting up 38 at Oregon on November 12, 2016.

The Cougars struck first in the third quarter. Williams ran for a 3-yard touchdown and Mazza kicked in the extra point to pull within 4 at the 10:32 mark of the third.

The Cardinal responded quickly with a 40-yard field goal from Toner, who gave Stanford a 31-24 lead with 6:16 left in the third.

After running around and forcing 3 and outs, the Cardinal led the Cougars 31-24 at the end of the third. Don’t forget that Stanford has won 52 of its last 54 games when leading after three quarters, dating back to 2012. One of those two losses was at WSU last season.

The Cougars tied the game 31-31 at the 12:26 mark of the fourth quarter. Minshew II threw a touchdown pass to Davontavean Martin, who scored a 7-yard touchdown. Mazza kicked in the extra, game-tying point.

The Cougars snatched a 38-31 lead with 4:28 left in the fourth. Minshew II threw a touchdown pass to Renard Bell, who scored a 3-yard touchdown. Mazza kicked in the extra point.

The Cardinal tied the game 38-38 with 1:25 left in the fourth. Costello threw a touchdown pass to Arcega-Whiteside, who scored a 25-yard touchdown. Toner kicked in the extra, game-tying point.

The game would’ve gone into overtime, but the Cougars grabbed a 41-38 lead with just 19 seconds left in the fourth. Mazza kicked in a 42-yard field goal to seal the Cougars’ 41-38 win over the Cardinal.

Despite the tough loss, Costello became the first Stanford quarterback to record multiple four touchdown passing games in a season since Andrew Luck in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Notes
Senior inside linebacker Ryan Beecher was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma on December 21, 2017. His final chemotherapy session came on June 4, 2018, and he returned to action in the Cardinal’s season opener against San Diego State on August 31, 2018, a span of 253 days after his diagnosis.

Up Next
The No. 24 Stanford Cardinal head to Seattle to take on the No. 15 Washington Huskies next Saturday, November 3.

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