No. 8 Stanford squeaks by Washington St. thanks to missed FG
PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State kicker Erik Powell made his first five field goals Saturday night. The Cougars needed one more, though, and he didn’t have it.
And so No. 8 Stanford’s playoff hopes live on.
Powell missed wide right on a 43-yarder as time expired, allowing Stanford to escape with a 30-28 win on a day Powell tied Drew Dunning’s 2003 school record with five makes despite rainy, windy conditions.
Conrad Ukropina kicked a 19-yard field goal with 1:54 left to put Stanford ahead.
Quarterback Kevin Hogan ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns for Stanford (7-1, 6-0 Pac-12), which is the only undefeated team in Pac-12 play.
"Kevin Hogan has got so much heart," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "We had to lean on him as a runner."
Hogan completed just 10 of 19 passes for 86 yards. But he ran 14 times, including a 59-yard touchdown run, and even out-rushed teammate Christian McCaffrey, who finished with 107 yards rushing to go over 1,000 for the season.
"I guess miracles do exist," Hogan joked.
The wet, blustery conditions made it hard on the offenses.
"It was hard to run, pass and pass protect," Shaw said.
Washington State (5-3, 3-2) had a three-game winning streak snapped.
"No one’s happy," Washington State receiver Gabe Marks said. "We made five (field goals). We missed one at the end and we lost. … We should have won."
Frustrated Washington State coach Mike Leach noted that Powell kicked so many field goals because the offense kept stalling in the red zone, especially in the first half.
"We should have scored touchdowns in the red zone," Leach said.
The Cougars haven’t beaten a Top 10 team since topping No. 5 Texas in the 2003 Holiday Bowl.
Stanford punted while trailing 28-27 with 5:08 left, but got the ball back on Quenton Meeks’ second interception of the game with 3:27 remaining. That set up Ukropina’s field goal.
"We don’t win the game tonight without those two interceptions," Shaw said.
Stanford scored first on Ukropina’s 32-yard field goal, but then Powell hit four straight kicks, including makes from 46 and 47 yards, to put Washington State up 12-3 at halftime.
The Cougars opened the second half by driving to the Stanford 11, but two incomplete passes killed the drive and Powell kicked a 28-yard field goal for a 15-3 lead.
Stanford replied with the game’s first touchdown on Remound Wright’s 2-yard dive. The score was set up by Hogan’s 39-yard bootleg scramble.
Washington State came right back with a 75-yard drive in four plays, the final a 19-yard touchdown pass from Luke Falk to Marks for a 22-10 lead.
Ukropina kicked a 32-yard field goal late in the third, then Hogan’s 59-yard touchdown run cut the Washington State lead to 22-20.
On the next series, Meeks intercepted Falk, giving Stanford the ball on Washington State’s 17. Hogan ran 6 yards untouched up the middle to give Stanford a 27-22 lead in the opening seconds of the fourth.
Washington State came back with an 81-yard drive that ended with Falk hitting River Cracraft for a 1-yard touchdown pass. Falk’s conversion pass failed and the Cougars led 28-27.
After Ukropina’s kick, Washington State marched to the Stanford 29 and Powell hooked his attempt wide.
The Cardinal have won seven straight over the Cougars.
Falk completed 35 of 61 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns, along with two interceptions.
Washington State gained 442 yards of offense in the game, to 312 for Stanford.