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October 23, 2010

Cardinal Cruise Past Cougars



The Washington State University Cougar football team scored two late fourth quarter touchdowns against Stanford reserves but, nevertheless, the Cardinal cruised to a 38-28 win over the Cougars in Palo Alto, sending the Cougars to their sixth straight loss. With the loss, the Cougars drop to 1-7 overall and remain winless at 0-5 in conference play.

The game began poorly for the Cougars as, on the third offensive play of the game, sophomore quarterback Jeff Tuel tossed his eighth interception of the year to Stanford linebacker Owen Marecic, who returned it to the seven-yard line. But the Wazzu defense stiffened and held the Cardinal to a 20-yard field goal from Nate Whitaker for the early 3-0 lead which they would never relinquish.

Later in the quarter, Stanford sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck tossed a seven-yard touchdown pass to receiver Ryan Whalen to make it 10-0 Cardinal. It was beginning to have the appearance of the expected Stanford rout as the Cardinal were driving for another score early in the second quarter when Luck's attempted flick of a screen pass was picked off by Wazzu senior defensive end Kevin Kooyman. That eventually led to a 13-yard touchdown pass from Tuel to junior receiver Jared Karstetter to cut the lead down to three at 10-7.

But that was as close as it would get as Stanford responded with a pair of touchdown drives. The first ended with running back Stepfan Taylor running it in from six yards out and the final touchdown of the half for the Cardinal came when Taylor again ran it in, this time from a yard out, to give Stanford a comfortable 24-7 halftime advantage.

On their first offensive possession of the third quarter, Tuel tossed his ninth interception off a tipped pass. Stanford turned that turnover into a 17-yard touchdown pass from Luck to receiver Doug Baldwin for their largest lead of the game at 31-7.

Tuel got that miscue back, however, when he hooked up with running back Marcus Richmond for an 18-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter that cut the lead back down to 31-14. That Cardinal, however, had no difficulty responding as Luck answered with a four-yard touchdown pass to tight end Coby Fleener to make it 38-14.

Stanford began inserting their defensive reserves but Wazzu came back and answered after Tuel tossed an underthrown ball to freshman Marquess Wilson who made yet another in his series of season circus catches to give the Cougars the ball on the four yard line where Tuel connected with Karstetter for a five-yard touchdown pass to make it 38-21.

After the much-maligned Cougar defense stopped the Cardinal on a three-and-out, Wazzu got the ball back for one last shot at scoring and with under a minute to play in the game, Tuel eluded a sack and found a streaking Wilson behind the Cardinal secondary on a 74-yard touchdown pass to finish out the scoring.

NOTES:


- The Cougars' first three offensive possessions of the game had a pair of fumbles and an interception - senior running back James Montgomery recovered his own fumble on the second possession.


- After giving up seven sacks last week, the Wazzu offense line only gave up three sacks this week.


- The Cougars have now lost by double digit margins to the last 16 consecutive Division I opponents they have played.







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