Stanford Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee (left) throws for an interception by the Washington Huskies Brendon Radley-Hiles (right) which contributed to ending the game on Sat Oct 30, 2021 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto (Seattle Times photo)
By Barbara Mason
A last minute touchdown pass from the Huskies Dylan Morris to a wide open Jalen McMillan handed Stanford a tough loss in the final minute of the game, 20-13.
Saturday night the Stanford Cardinal (3-5) took on the Washington Huskies (4-4) at Stanford Stadium.
Both of these teams have quarterbacks who can throw so it was a surprise when the first quarter had a single field goal. Both Stanford’s Tanner McKee and Washington’s Dylan Morris are very good quarterbacks but it was kicker Joshua Karty who was putting points up on the board. He kicked a 35 yd field goal for the early 3-0 Stanford lead.
The Huskies would answer in the second quarter with a field goal of their own to tie up the game at 3-3 when Peyton Henry split the uprights with a 24 yard boot to start the second quarter. Washington would take the lead with 6:39 left in the half when Henry would kick a second field goal, this one for 37 yards.
When it appeared that Stanford had recovered a fumble with 1:20 left on the clock in the half the call was reversed. Washington went on to kick their third field goal of the game taking a 9-3 halftime lead. This game had so far been decided by special teams something no one saw coming.
Washington had the ball to start the second half. The Stanford defense had to do a better job defending the Washington running game. The Huskies were chewing them up on the ground.
Disaster would strike when McKee was sacked fumbling the ball and giving the Huskies a short field. This was the second Stanford turnover. Washington was having some trouble converting third downs and so they were forced to attempt a fourth field goal which was successful giving the Huskies a 12-3 lead. With the clock running down in the third quarter neither team had been able to’ find the end zone.
Stanford came to life offensively late in the third quarter putting together a nice drive. As the fourth quarter got underway Stanford was knocking on the door threatening to score. After struggling for much of the game it was 6’6” quarterback Tanner McKee who ran the ball in for the first touchdown of the game. Stanford still trailed but were within two points 12-10 with 12:52 still on the clock.
With 10:30 left in the game Stanford had a huge stop when the Huskies went for a fourth and inches that failed. Stanford drove downfield but stalled out at the Washington 26 yard line. Karty would kick a 44 yard field goal to give Stanford the lead 13-12. So far in this game the Huskies had two critical penalties that resulted in a touchdown and a field goal for Stanford.
Washington would turn the ball over on downs with 3:12 left in the game. Clock management would play a huge roll in the remainder of this contest. Despite holding the Huskies, the Cardinal could not move the ball giving Washington one last chance.
The way that the Huskies had been running the ball gave them a great chance to salvage this game. With 26 seconds left on the clock and the ball on the Stanford 20 yard line Morris would find Jalen McMillan wide open in the end zone. The two point conversion was good and Washington took a 20-13 lead.
There is not a lot that a team can do with 23 seconds left on the clock. Tanner McKee put it all out there passing deep resulting in a Washington interception and that was the game.
Stanford will be taking on highly favored Utah next friday night at home. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 PM.