5:00 PM ET, November 1, 2008
Stanford Stadium, STANFORD, CA
STANFORD, Calif. -- Toby Gerhart tied a Stanford single-game record by running for four touchdowns before halftime and the Cardinal moved one step closer to bowl eligibility with their most lopsided win in 59 years, a 58-0 victory over Washington State on Saturday.
The Cardinal (5-4, 4-2 Pac-10) overwhelmed the overmatched Cougars (1-8, 0-6) in front of only a few thousand fans who braved the elements in a driving rain storm. The victory was the biggest for Stanford since a 63-0 victory over Idaho in 1949 and first shutout in conference play since beating Oregon 17-0 in 1974.
The Cougars were shut out for the second straight game after going 280 straight contests scoring at least once. That streak ended two weeks ago in a 69-0 loss to Southern California and Washington State has now been outscored 172-0 since late in the first half against Oregon State on Oct. 11.
The Cougars set a single-season record for most points allowed in Pac-10 play at 350, surpassing the 2001 California team that gave up 333 points in conference action.
Stanford needs just one win in its final three games to be eligible for a bowl for the first time since Tyrone Willingham left for Notre Dame following the 2001 season. But that last win will be much harder to come by than this one was, with the Cardinal having road games at Oregon and California surrounding a home game against No. 7 Southern California.
The Cougars turned the ball over four times in the first half and were unable to score on two trips inside the Stanford 20. The first drive ended when Nico Grasu's field goal attempt was blocked late in the first quarter and the second ended when Kevin Lopina threw his second interception into the end zone in the final minute of the half.
Gerhart ran for 132 yards on 22 carries for his league-leading sixth 100-yard game of the season. Gerhart needs 173 yards in the final three games to break Tommy Vardell's single-season record of 1,084 set in 1991.
Anthony Kimble added 92 yards rushing, including a 62-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Tavita Pritchard also threw a touchdown pass and Alex Loukas ran for a score for the Cardinal, who had their highest-scoring game since beating San Jose State 63-26 in 2002.
The Cougars are only playing out the string looking for some form of respectability. Washington State has been outscored 350-33 in six conference games, giving up at least 58 points in five of them.
Even the debut of heralded freshman quarterback J.T. Levenseller didn't help the Cougars. The Cougars were planning to redshirt Levenseller but changed course because of a spate of injuries. On his first play, Levenseller botched a handoff to Logwone Mitz and Bo McNally recovered for the Cardinal at the 28, setting up Gerhart's third touchdown run.
With Stanford choosing to defer after winning the coin toss, it took 6:22 for the Cardinal to get their first score on Aaron Zagory's 39-yard field goal. The longest the Cougars had gone before falling behind for good in their first five conferences games was 2:46 against Oregon State.
Gerhart than scored touchdowns on four of Stanford's next five four possessions, running in from 6, 4, 8 and 2 yards. That tied the school record for touchdowns in a game set by Darrin Nelson in 1981 and reached four other times before Gerhart did it.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||3-13||6-13|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||2-2|
|FG||08:38||Aaron Zagory 39 Yd||0||3|
|TD||06:17||Toby Gerhart 6 Yd Run (Aaron Zagory Kick)||0||10|
|TD||12:15||Toby Gerhart 4 Yd Run (Aaron Zagory Kick)||0||17|
|TD||08:02||Toby Gerhart 8 Yd Run (Aaron Zagory Kick)||0||24|
|TD||02:31||Toby Gerhart 2 Yd Run (Aaron Zagory Kick)||0||31|
|TD||12:32||Josh Catron 5 Yd Pass From Tavita Pritchard (Pat Blocked)||0||37|
|TD||11:22||Anthony Kimble 62 Yd Run (Aaron Zagory Kick)||0||44|
|TD||03:50||Alex Loukas 17 Yd Run (Aaron Zagory Kick)||0||51|
|TD||07:27||Delano Howell 1 Yd Run (Aaron Zagory Kick)||0||58|