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Stanford escapes Washington State despite trailing most of the game

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Stanford survived in Pullman on a missed field goal

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

As the game began, rain started pouring down. This was just foreshadowing of the first half for the Cardinal. Stanford made a FG on their first possession of the game and then preceded to fumble, throw an interception, and punt 3 times on their remaining drives in the first half. Stanford's offense was stagnant to say the least. They were not running the ball with their usual ferociousness and Hogan looked uncomfortable in the pocket. Christian McCaffrey could not get anything on the ground and he ended up with 62 yards rushing. He was getting no help from his offensive line because they were getting dominated all night. There were no holes anywhere and when the line was pulling, they weren't getting in front of McCaffrey. Also the offensive line was getting manhandled in the pass protection. Hogan was sacked 5 times in the first half which led to those 3 punts and 1 fumble. This was the story for the offense's first half.

While Stanford's offense was stagnant, Washington State's was not. They drove down the field countless times on this young secondary. Gaining big yardage, play after play. Luke Falk was dissecting the secondary and carved the defense for 146 yards in the 2nd quarter, but the defense stay trued to the "bend don't break defense". They only gave up 3 field goals which led to Stanford only being down 12-3 at half.

The 2nd half was a different narrative for Stanford. Coming out in the 3rd quarter it looked like Hogan wasn't going to just roll over and die by the hands of Wazzu. In their first possession, Hogan led the Cards to a TD and it was capped off by Remound Wright.  He was outstanding in the 3rd quarter and he got more involved in the rushing game. The Cards and Cougs traded TD and FG for the first two possessions in the 2nd half and then Stanford came roaring. First Hogan ran a read option 59 yards down for a TD, tying the Stanford record for the most rushing TDs by a QB in Stanford history. Then true freshman Quentin Meeks picks off Luke Falk and then the offense turned that into another Kevin Hogan TD run (which now gives them the record at 11 rushing TDs). But again Wazzu took the lead again with 6 minutes left in the game. This game went back and fourth throughout the whole 4th quarter and it came down to a final drive by WSU. They drive down the field with some help from the Pac-12 refs and end up throwing a 30-yard bomb to get into field goal range. The kicker, Erik Powell, was 5-5 during the game and setting his career long with a 47-yard field goal. He lines up for the now 43-yard kick to win the game, and hooks it wide right. Stanford won the game.

Looking at the game as a whole the most disappointing aspect of the game was the offense. Christian McCaffrey could not get anything going, partly due to the poor line play. Wazzu was stacking the box and living in the Cardinal backfield. It was surprising to see him and the line struggle all night long. The defense tonight though was elite in big moments. They stopped WSU from scoring TDs in their last 4 drives of the half and limiting them to only field goals. The defense was the only reason why Stanford was even in this game and then they continued having big stops in the second half. Quentin Meeks was my player of the night because he had 2 interceptions and his 2nd led to the game winning field goal. While this game wasn't one people expected, not all games are going to be blow outs and this game showed Stanford's resilience and toughness.