Scores

Final

Washington St 17

(2-6, 0-5 Pac-12)

(19) Stanford 24

(6-2, 4-1 Pac-12)

Coverage: Pac-12 Network

6:15 PM ET, October 27, 2012

Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA

1 2 3 4 T
WSU 0 10 0 717
#19STAN 3 7 7 724

Top Performers

Passing: J. Tuel (NTL) - 403 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: S. Taylor (STAN) - 21 CAR, 58 YDS

Receiving: M. Wilson (WSU) - 9 REC, 100 YDS

No. 17 Stanford collects 10 sacks, tops Washington State 

Associated Press

STANFORD, Calif. -- With the season more than halfway finished, quarterback Josh Nunes has shown little progress in his development. The wide receivers are hardly creating any separation, and a young offensive line is still plagued by inconsistency.

If not for a dominant defense, Stanford's Pac-12 North Division hopes already might be dashed.

Ed Reynolds returned an interception for a touchdown and Stanford (No. 17 BCS, No. 19 AP) sacked Jeff Tuel a school-record 10 times to overcome a sloppy offensive effort in a 24-17 victory over lowly Washington State on Saturday.

Cardinal coach David Shaw said his offense played to "probably about 70-75 percent of our capabilities." While he praised his team's effort, he wasted no time letting his players know how he felt about the performance, which will need to be far better with matchups against Oregon (No. 4, No. 2) and No. 7 Oregon State on the horizon.

"The first jump happened about 15 minutes ago," Shaw said. "We don't need screaming and yelling and going crazy. What it is is putting our foot down collectively and saying, 'We're going to play our best football.' It's the bottom line. We can play better. It's time to stop saying we can play better, it's time for us to play better."

Washington State (2-6, 0-5), the only winless team in Pac-12 play, allowed season lows with 256 yards of total offense and 136 yards passing -- the kind of stats that will make Stanford steam.

Reynolds stepped in front of Tuel's pass for the safety's fourth interception -- and second returned for a score -- this season early in the fourth quarter to bail out the Cardinal offense again. He ran 25 yards untouched into the end zone to give Stanford (6-2, 4-1) a two-touchdown lead, highlighting another swarming defensive effort that held the Cougars to minus-16 yards rushing and forced new coach Mike Leach's aerial offense to throw 60 times.

"The type of team we are, we're not built to go run up the score on teams," said defensive end Ben Gardner, who had 1½ sacks and 2½ of Stanford's 15 tackles for loss. "So we have to show up every week and bring our 'A' game. It's something that we've struggled with."

Mostly on the other side of the ball.

Nunes completed 7-of-15 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown and Ryan Hewitt ran for a short score. A week after running for a career-high 189 yards against rival California, Stepfan Taylor was held to 58 yards on 21 carries.

Washington State had 25 first downs to only 12 for Stanford, which converted 5 of 12 third downs and only put together one complete drive all game. Shaw also spelled Nunes with backup Kevin Hogan on five consecutive plays -- part of a "designed package," he said, for the mostly read-option quarterback -- between the third and fourth quarters.

"The defense did a lot of great things all night getting after the quarterback," said Nunes, a redshirt junior charged with the difficult task of replacing No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck this season. "We have to give these guys a break every now and then."

Tuel led a 12-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kristoff Williams with 6:29 to play to bring Washington State within a touchdown. Stanford managed two first downs before punting the ball back and giving the Cougars another chance.

Marquess Wilson made a leaping 42-yard catch to put Washington State at the Stanford 23. And on fourth-and-21, Bobby Ratliff caught a 25-yard pass from Tuel at the 9.

Then Usua Amanam pressured Tuel into a 15-yard intentional grounding penalty and an automatic 10-second runoff. With Washington State looking for one final heave to the end zone, Henry Anderson planted Tuel into the ground as time expired.

"There was some miscommunication between me and Marquess," said Tuel, who threw for 401 yards and two touchdowns, completing 43-of-60 passes on mostly short outs that Stanford allowed. "But bottom line: I can't take a sack in that situation."

Both teams had few offensive highlights in this one.

Tuel hit Dominique Williams for a 43-yard completion, then went to him again when he floated a 3-yard TD pass to the corner of the end zone that put the Cougars ahead 7-3 midway through the second quarter.

The rare lead for Washington State this season didn't last long.

Just 47 seconds later, Nunes found Jamal-Rashad Patterson on a broken play with the cornerback blitzing and no safety help over the top. Patterson caught the short pass and sprinted down the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown that put Stanford back in front 10-7 on its longest play of the season.

Stanford took advantage of a pass interference call on Anthony Carpenter that extended the opening drive of the third quarter. Hewitt bulldozed through the line for a 1-yard TD run -- the fullback's first of the season -- on third down before Reynolds intercepted Tuel's pass to put Stanford ahead 24-10 with 10:43 remaining.

"We played well, we played hard, we played a complete game. Stanford played with a little more maturity than we did," Leach said. "They had the sense and expectation of when to go for the kill."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
WSU
STAN
1st Downs2513
Total Yards385256
Passing401136
Rushing-16120
Penalties5-404-28
3rd Down Conversions8-185-12
4th Down Conversions3-40-0
Turnovers10
Possession33:3626:24

Passing Leaders

Washington StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Tuel43/604016.721
StanfordC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Nunes7/151369.110

Rushing Leaders

Washington StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Mason4-1-0.303
Winston2-3-1.500
StanfordCARYDSAVGTDLG
Taylor21582.8011
Wilkerson11717.0017

Receiving Leaders

Washington StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Wilson910011.1042
Williams67913.2143
StanfordRECYDSAVGTDLG
Patterson17070.0170
Terrell23517.5023

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERWSUSTAN
FG08:23Jordan Williamson 42 Yd 03
SECOND QUARTERWSUSTAN
TD08:13Dominique Williams 3 Yd Pass From Jeff Tuel (Andrew Furney Kick) 73
TD07:26Jamal-Rashad Patterson 70 Yd Pass From Josh Nunes (Jordan Williamson Kick) 710
FG00:00Andrew Furney 24 Yd 1010
THIRD QUARTERWSUSTAN
TD08:04Ryan Hewitt 1 Yd Run (Jordan Williamson Kick) 1017
FOURTH QUARTERWSUSTAN
TD10:43Ed Reynolds 25 Yd Interception Return (Jordan Williamson Kick) 1024
TD06:29Kristoff Williams 10 Yd Pass From Jeff Tuel (Andrew Furney Kick) 1724

Research Notes

Washington State recorded -16 rush yards against Stanford. It is the third time this season that the Cougars have been held to negative rushing yards. The rest of FBS has combined for only five such games.

ESPN Stats & Information