Wazzu Outsmarts Stanford in Thrilling Fashion!

Saturday afternoon the Washington State Cougars went into Palo Alto, California to take on the Stanford Cardinal football team. Both Teams were ranked in the top 25, and both teams expecting a close football game. Over a 1,000 WSU fans traveled in attendance and were treated to an epic performance by their beloved Cougars. As for Cardinal fans, they were just hoping to slow down the Cougars with their bigger athletes. Little did we all know that this would be the game that put one team in the driver’s seat in the Pac-12 northern standings.

Stanford won the opening toss and chose to receive the kickoff rather than defer to the 2nd half like most winning teams do. K.J. Costello, the Cardinal quarterback, would take his team on a 10 play/75-yard drive to score the opening touchdown of the football game. Costello would pass 9 times for the Cardinal offense, normally a rarity with this team as they usually are a run first team.

Gardner Minshew and his Washington State Cougars took the field on the next drive and would lead his team down the field quickly. Running back James “Boobie” Williams would tie it up on a 5-yard rushing touchdown. With only 7 minutes into the game, it was looking like a shoot-out!! But Wazzu’s Defense would come up strong on the ensuing Cardinal drive. Defensive captain Peyton Pelluer would sack Costello on the 2nd play of the drive, causing a fumble and a recovery by the Cougs. Minshew would continue his hot start, would eventually find Max “Touchdown Machine” Borghi for a 4-yard touchdown pass to put the Cougars up 14-7. Stanford shrugged and would quickly march down the field to tie it at 14. The first quarter would end with a 14-14 tie.

Both teams’ offenses would go silent for part of the 2nd quarter. Costello and his Cardinal squad would get the ball back and score on 4 passing plays to go up 21-14 as the Cougar defense had no answers for the passing attack of Stanford. After again another Cougar punt, the Cardinal would again drive the field and make play after play. The result would be another touchdown pass for Costello and a 28-14 lead for Stanford.

Things were not looking for WSU now, but Stanford would make a huge mistake leaving 1:04 on the clock for WSU to play with. On 3rd down with 20 seconds to go in the half, Minshew would hit WR Jamire Calvin for 54 yards to put the Cougs in field goal range, perhaps the play of the ballgame. After a couple more plays, the Cougs would settle for a field goal and momentum going into halftime, trailing 28-17 with the 2nd half kickoff coming to them shortly.

Wazzu received the opening kickoff and drove the field in 9 plays to start the 3rd quarter. Running back James “Boobie” Williams would secure his 2nd rushing touchdown of the game to cut the lead to 28-24. The enthusiasm on the sidelines and in the stands was insane. Cougar Nation watching from afar knew that something special was coming. Wazzu’s defense would hold the Cardinal offense to a field goal on the next drive as Stanford went up 31-24. After an exchange of punts, Wazzu would close out the quarter on an amazing 10 play/82-yard drive.

Minshew would go 8-8 through the air on the drive as he would end it with a TD pass to Tay Martin to tie the ballgame at 31 with twelve minutes to go in the 4th quarter. Stanford wouldn’t let up as they started another drive, moving the ball with ease but they would make a huge mistake. On 4th down, inside Cougar territory, the defense of the Cougars would stop star running back Bryce Love with a 1-yard loss to take over the ball on offense.

Minshew would lead his army down the field in 11 plays completing pass after pass (he made his first 19 passes to start the 2nd half, a spectacular statistic against such a tough defense like Stanford’s). “Uncle Rico” would throw his 3rd touchdown pass of the ballgame to wide-out Renard Bell to put Wazzu up 38-31 with 4 minutes remaining on the clock. Can the Cougars pull this one out and continue their magical season? In our hearts, Cougar Nation felt yes, but we got to remember, this is Stanford. They are having a magical season too. Costello and the Cardinal offense would score another touchdown as the Cougar Defense blew their coverage.

The game would be tied, with 1 minute and 25 seconds on the clock. The final mistake by the Stanford Cardinal, as our fearless leader Gardner Minshew knew it. That was plenty of time to score with 3 timeouts on the clock. Minshew, on 3rd and 2, would hit Jamire Calvin for another huge pass of 35 yards. The Cougars were in field goal position with time left on the clock. With 25 seconds left, freshman kicker Blake Mazza came out to attempt a 42-yard field goal for the possible victory? Blake would not disappoint as the field goal was perfect as the Cougars went up 41-38. Stanford would attempt 2 plays, but the game would be over. The Washington State Cougars were victorious!!!

Observations from the Cougars thrilling victory over the Stanford Cardinal:
⦁ Minshew, Minshew, Minshew!! Heisman Consideration Please???
All he did against the Stanford Defense was go 40-50 for 438 yards and 3 touchdowns. He led the team back from a 28-14 deficit. He never gave up. He’s on pace to throw over 5,000 yards for the season. He deserves the recognition!!!

⦁ WSU has depth in the receiving corps!
On a night where Tay Martin and Easop Winston were held in check by the Stanford Defense, other Cougars stepped up their game. Dezmon Patmon had 10 catches for 127 yards. Several catches he made for the first down. Jamire Calvin had 3 catches for 102 yards, including 2 long catches to keep key drives alive. James Williams had 8 catches out of the backfield. The Cougars had 10 different receivers with catches.

⦁ Wazzu’s offensive line continues to dominate!
A big key to the Cougar’s success is the offensive line this season. They allowed their 6th sack of the season last night. That’s six sacks in 8 games. An incredible statistic. They are a huge reason why the Cougars continue their success.
⦁ Peyton Pelluer continues to lead this defense.
Where would we be without this kid. He led the team with 7 tackles and had their only sack. Peyton’s leadership alone kept this team in the ballgame. Who doesn’t love this kid?

Wazzu comes home to Pullman with a 7-1 record, now the leaders in the Pac-12 north. California comes to Pullman this Saturday the 3rd of November for a night game. Game time is at 7:45pm on ESPN. Look for an entertaining match-up this weekend as the Cougars will be looking for redemption as California blew them out last year. Cougar nation let’s make sure our televisions are on this Saturday. This is a special season for Washington State. Let’s continue that magic against California.

Go Cougs!

 

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Brian joined the SSU in 2017 and covers the Everett AquaSox. I’m a graduate of Washington State University and I’m a die-hard baseball fan.

News Reporter
Brian joined the SSU in 2017 and covers the Everett AquaSox. I'm a graduate of Washington State University and I'm a die-hard baseball fan.