Sports

Stanford football gets no traction in loss to Cougars

 
Bryce Love broke free on a 52-yard touchdown run for Stanford. Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics.

Here's another fine mess the Stanford football team has gotten itself into. But isn't that what the Pac-12 Conference is all about?

Luke Falk rallied host Washington State in the fourth quarter, leading the Cougars to a 24-21 victory on a snowy Saturday afternoon in Pullman.


Jake Bailey
The Cardinal (6-3, 5-2) lost a bit of its edge in the race for a spot in December's Pac-12 championship. Even beating Washington won't be enough by itself any longer.

The Huskies (8-1, 5-1) come to Stanford for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Friday night and it's a must-win for the Cardinal. Washington then has to beat the Cougars while Stanford beats Cal the following week.

I guess it's what makes the Pac-12 one of more competitive conferences in the nation. A team with two losses can still reach the title game.

"I'm taking this loss hard," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "I feel like I let my team down. Those out there that want to take your shots at me, this is the week to do it. Go ahead and take them. I deserve them. That's fine."

Bryce Love returned to the lineup, had his moment of brilliance, and then was ordinary. He raced 52 yards for a touchdown but gained 17 yards on his other 15 carries.

K.J. Costello scored on a touchdown run after picking up his own fumble, but never threw for a score, completing nine of 20 passes for 105 yards. Yes, that meant Stanford had less than 200 total offensive yards. But then, there was the snow.

"I thought we ran the ball as well as you can run it against these guys," Shaw said. "These guys are tough. We broke the big one. We didn't break any more. Offensively, we didn't get enough production from the passing game. That's my fault. That's on me. Didn't give the guys enough opportunities, honestly."

Falk threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns on 34-of-48 passing. His only interception, on a fourth-down play, was returned 52 yards for a touchdown by Bobby Okereke and gave the Cardinal a 21-17 advantage.

After Jake Bailey did his punting thing, Falk led the Cougars 94 yards, culminating in an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jamire Calvin, for a 24-21 lead with 6:56 left in the game.

It's the first time in 46 games that Stanford lost after leading entering the fourth quarter.

That's how the day ended.

Friday's weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 63 and a low of 47 and a 20 percent chance of rain.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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