Washington State edges Cardinal in the snow 24-21

Photo credit: @18dMedia

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, November 4, 2017

Washington State effectively bottled up the injured Bryce Love, then pushed across a go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, as the No. 25 Cougars stunned the visiting No. 18 Cardinal 24-21 Saturday in Pac-12 football at snowy Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash.

With the victory, the Cougars (8-2 overall, 5-2 Pac-12) stayed in the Pac-12 North race. The Cardinal (6-3, 5-2) had not played in the snow since 1936, in a game against Columbia in New York.

The snow started falling heavily at the end of the first quarter.

The Cougars’ 94-yard winning drive was capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Luke Falk to Jamire Calvin with 6:56 remaining in the game.

Falk needed 132 passing yards to break the Pac-12 career record of 13,600 established by Sean Mannion of Oregon State. Falk was 34 of 48 passing for 337 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He needs three more touchdown passes to become the conference’s all-time leader in that category.

Cardinal quarterback K.J. Costello took advantage of a fortuitous bounce when he fumbled a snap. The ball bounced back into his hands, and Costello ran for a 14-yard touchdown pulling Stanford to within 17-14 in the third quarter.

On the Cougars’ next possession, Falk’s pass on fourth-and-one from midfield was intercepted by Bobby Okereke, who returned the pick 52 yards for a Stanford touchdown, giving the Cardinal a 21-17 lead.

After WSU regained the lead and chewed up three minutes of clock near the end of the fourth quarter, Frankie Lubu’s interception of a Costello pass ended the Cardinal’s final threat.

Love was held to 69 rushing yards, his lowest total of the season. Slowed by an ankle injury, Love came into the game as the nation’s leading rusher, averaging 198 yards per game.

After scoring on a 52-yard touchdown run on Stanford’s first play of the second quarter, Love ran 15 more times for 17 yards.

WSU outgained the Cardinal 430 yards to 198 in total offense.

Up Next
The Cardinal returns to The Farm this Friday night to host No. 12 Washington.

BYU’s rough night at AT&T Park a microcosm of the challenges facing the school as a big-time independent


By Morris Phillips

A step slow, a play short: it was a pattern that played out to BYU’s detriment throughout the Fight Hunger Bowl Friday night.   While the Cougars acquitted themselves well, riding the spirit and running of quarterback Taysom Hill, when it came time to make a critical play, the Cougars didn’t while Washington did.

In the first half alone, the Cougars amassed 297 yards in offense, but never led.  Four offensive trips inside the UW 30-yard line produced three field goals and one touchdown on the initial push.  In the second half, a big interception had BYU poised to get back in it, but an incomplete pass and a sack preceded Justin Sorenson’s 44-yard missed field goal.

ESPN commentator Dave Pasch called BYU’s offense in the first half that enjoyed huge advantage in plays and yardage “dominant.”  In truth, the Hill-led attack was relevant, but ultimately ineffective.

“That to me was two even matched teams,” an upbeat BYU coach Bronco Mendehall recounted.  “I thought we had time of possession.  I thought we had ball control, et cetera.  We weren’t able to put it into the end zone, maybe on a couple of occasions.”

“When we get down there, we have to execute at a really high level, and we didn’t do that.  We had a couple of penalties that really killed us.”

And special teams were clearly no help.  After the Cougars drove 88 yards in 12 plays—including a gutsy fourth down run and conversion out of punt formation at their own 20—to tie it, 7-7, Washington got a 100-yard kickoff return from ultra speedy John Ross that put BYU behind once again.  After the Cougars narrowed the gap to 14-13, Jessie Callier’s 47-yard kickoff return set up the Huskies for another touchdown.

The BYU offense that moved the ball so effectively in the first half, bogged down after halftime.  Hill’s favored slant route to receivers Cody Hoffman and Skyler Ridley was effectively taken away by the Huskies crowding the box.  While Hill continued to find running holes—he would amass a career-high 31 rush attempts—UW dared the athletic quarterback to throw, and more often than not, Hill couldn’t connect.

The Cougars offense that amassed all the yardage in the first half went without a major push into Washington territory after halftime.  Washington’s touchdown on the initial drive of the half effectively put the game away.

Even more humbling for BYU were the marquee individual matchups that left many of BYU stars humbled.  All-American linebacker Kyle Van Noy played well in his final game as a Cougar, but when UW back Bishop Sankey was in his sights at the 11-yard line in the second quarter, Van Noy was left grasping for air as Sankey sidestepped the Cougar and then raced into the end zone for a 21-13 Washington lead.

In the third quarter stand out linebacker Uani Unga was matched up with UW’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins near the goal line, but the massive 6’6”, 280-pound tight end had the clear size and reach advantage when quarterback Keith Price whizzed a pass to Seferian-Jenkins in the end zone that put UW up 28-16 and left Unga an arm’s length short.

Hoffman, an NFL prospect at wide receiver, made plays in the middle of field, hauling in 12 catches for 167 yards, but his turn as passer didn’t fare well.  Hoffman received a pitch and threw a short out to Hill, but Hoffman took a shot to the ribs as he threw and was limited for the entire second half.

In all, a tough night for the Cougars, but also a reminder of what challenges life as a big-time independent will entail.  BYU left the Mountain West conference after 2012 for greater television exposure and the opportunity to play a national schedule and better pursue an opportunity at an elusive national championship.

But while a hand-picked schedule may garner exposure, the Cougars will have to recruit the best players to compete at such a lofty level.  On Friday night, the best athletes on the field wore purple and gold. A humbling loss to a middle-of-the-pack Pac-12 team in Washington could not provide a better illustration of the Cougars’ conundrum: the Cougars need to win big to gain national acclaim, but those wins will clearly be more difficult to grasp outside the Mountain West and squarely on top of the national stage.

Stanford vs Washington State preview

football_rev_enginesby Jerry Feitelberg

Stanford- Washington State Preview

The Stanford Cardinal will meet the Washington State Cougars this Saturday at CenturyLink Stadium in Seattle. Seattle will be a home game for the Cougars who normally play in Pullman.

The Cardinal enters the game with a record of 3-0 having defeated Arizona State last week at Stanford.

The Cardinal offense is led by quarterback Kevin Hogan who is 8-0 as a starter for the Cardinal. Hogan has thrown 62 times for 546 yards so far this season. Running back Tyler Gaffney has rushed for 331

yards and five touchdowns. Stanford has started out 3-0 for four consecutive season for the first time since 1908-1911. The Cardinal has to be wary of the Cougars. Last year the Cougars lost to Stanford 24-17. The Cardinal defense sacked the Cougar quarterback ten times last year.

The Cougars, under coach Mike Leach, are 3-1 so far this year and have matched last year’s win total.

Cougar quarterback, Connor Halliday leads a pass happy attack. Halliday has thrown for nine touchdowns but has been intercepted eight times. Cougars wide receiver Gabe Marks is second in the Pac-12 with 31 catches and fourth with 348 yards. The Cougar defense has limited opponents to 17 points in winning three straight for the first time since 2006. The Cougars upset the USC Trojans 10-7 in Los Angeles on September 7th.

Stanford has won eleven games in a row second only to Ohio State(16 ) and the Cardinal defense has a takeaway in 27 straight games. The Cardinal won the last five meetings with the Cougars.

Stanford senior safety Ed reynolds will sit out the first half of the game. Reynolds was ejected from

the game with Arizona State after he hit Sun Devils QB Taylor Kelly in the helmet.

Star offensive lineman David Yankey is not available due to a “family situation.”