Washington State Cougars running back Max Borghi (21) goes up against Stanford Cardinal defender Stephen Herron (left) during Sat Oct 16, 2021 game at Pullman (AP News photo)
Washington State Edges Stanford 34-31
By Barbara Mason
Saturday afternoon the Stanford Cardinal (3-4) took on Washington State Cougars (4-3) at Washington State in Pullman. With two similar records to start the game WSU faces a team that has celebrated two upsets this season. The first against USC by the score of 42-28 and the second a stunning win over 9th ranked Oregon 31-24 in overtime. WSU has won it’s last four games against Stanford which included a 49-22 victory the last time they met. WSU continued their winning way with it’s fifth straight win 34-31 in a comeback on Saturday.
WSU has two of the best receivers in the Pac-12, Calvin Jackson Jr. and Travell Harris. These two players rank third and fourth in the conference. Stanford will have to keep both of these players under wraps. The Cardinal defense will have their hands full containing WSU quarterback Jayden de Laura who has been having a banner year.
Stanford came out strong in the first quarter. Quarterback Tanner McKee threw for a 45 yard touchdown to Benjamin Yoroek. Stanford would add a couple of field goals; a 45 yard and 32 yard strike to lead 13-0 at the end of the quarter.
WSU would come roaring back as Jayden de Laura threw three touchdowns in the second quarter. Travell Harris had the first touchdown, a 32 yard pass. De Laura would hit Calvin Jackson Jr. for 31 yards and the third for ten yards to De’Zhaun Stribling. WSU led by the score of 20-13. The Cardinal would block the PAT on the second touchdown. Stanford would kick a 31 yard field goal as the half came to an end. At the half the score was 20-16 in favor of WSU.
WSU had the ball to open the second half. The Stanford defense was able to hold and put the ball back into the hands of their offense. Penalties hurt Stanford on their first drive of the third quarter putting WSU back into the drivers seat. De Laura went right to work driving downfield culminating in a six play drive for 66 yards and their fourth touchdown of the game. The Cougars had extended their lead to 27-16. Stopping De Laura was proving a major challenge for the Stanford defense.
A pass interference called on WSU coupled with some nice play by McKee was huge for Stanford setting them up with a first and goal on the WSU one yard line as the third quarter came to an end.
Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee would rush for the touchdown. The two point conversion was successful and Stanford trailed by a field goal 27-24. McKee was not finished. On Stanford’s next drive he would complete an 8 yard pass to Austin Jones for a touchdown taking the lead 31-27 with 3:42 left in the game. The WSU offense had really cooled letting Stanford back into this game.
Jayden de Laura got back on track in the latter minutes of the fourth quarter and moved his team downfield. Max Borghi rushed for a two yard touchdown giving WSU the lead and the win 34-31. The small window that Stanford had closed completely when McKee fumbled and WSU recovered with 1:30 left on the clock.
It was almost a great finish for the Cardinal but they just could not hold the Cougars at the end.
Next up for Stanford will be the Washington Huskies on Saturday October 30 at Stanford Stadium. The time for kickoff is TBD.