William Mancebo

Washington State vs. Stanford: Cougars come up just short

Mike Leach's frustrating first year in Pullman continued on Saturday, as Washington State wasn't quite able to pull off the upset.

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WSU misses out on first conference win

It came down the to the final drive and the Washington State Cougars fell just short in a 24-17 loss to the No. 17 Stanford Cardinal on Saturday.

The Cougars took an early 7-3 lead but couldn't get separation, eventually falling behind 24-10 following a pick-six against quarterback Jeff Tuel. WSU fought back and came within one touchdown of tying after a receiving score from Kristoff Williams.

On the final drive though, the offensive line had trouble providing Tuel with enough protection to find the end zone. While the game was there for the taking, CougCenter is optimistic that WSU is headed in the right direction:

WSU took a Top-25 team to the brink on the road. The defense is improving. The offense is starting to come around. Hopefully those strides will translate to victories down the stretch.

The Cougars, sitting in the basement of the North division, are still searching for their first Pac-12 win after losing their first five conference matchups. Three of those losses came at the hands of ranked opponents.

WSU will look for that elusive first conference victory at Utah this week.

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Washington State vs. Stanford: Cougars lose 24-17

The No. 17 Stanford Cardinal survived a scare from the Washington State Cougars, taking a 24-17 victory on a defensive touchdown.

Up 17-10 in the fourth quarter, the Cardinal got the cushion they needed when safety Ed Reynolds stepped in front of a Jeff Tuel pass and returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown and a 24-10 lead.

Washington State staged a comeback, however, first when Tuel capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kristoff Williams. The Cougars got the ball one final time, and drove all the way to the Stanford 9-yard line with under a minute to play.

The game-tying drive ended when Tuel was forced into an intentional grounding (which comes with a ten-second runoff), then sacked. Washington State had no timeouts, and time expired.

The defensive score was huge for Stanford and its struggling offense. Washington State outgained the Cardinal, 385-256.

Box Score Hero: Wide receiver Jamal-Rashad Patterson, Stanford. Patterson caught only one pass for the Cardinal, but it was for a 70-yard touchdown. The big play helped the limping Stanford offense do just enough for the win.

Rankings Ramifications: While the win was underwhelming, three teams directly ahead of Stanford lost, so the Cardinal may move up a slot or two anyway.

But Did They Cover? Stanford was a 25-point favorite, and did not cover.

For More On This Game: Visit Stanford site Rule Of Tree, Washington State blog Coug Center, and Pac-10 blog Pacific Takes.

Next Week's Schedule: Stanford hits the road to play Colorado, while Washington State travels to Utah.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

This story was originally published on SB Nation.com.

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Cougars trail 17-10 after 3 quarters

The Washington State Cougars trail the No. 17 Stanford Cardinal 17-10 after three quarters at Stanford on Saturday evening.

After the game was tied 10-10 at halftime, Stanford opened the second half with a deliberate scoring drive, going 78 yards on 13 plays, capped when Ryan Hewitt scored a touchdown on a one-yard run. Stanford ran the ball ten times on the drive with a couple 20-plus-yard throws from Josh Nunes.

Despite trailing, Washington State has outgained the Cardinal 257-214 through three quarters. Jeff Tuel is 29-40 for 264 yards and one touchdown. That touchdown came in the second quarter on a fade to Dominique Williams, who caught the floater over his shoulder in the back of the endzone for a 7-3 lead.

After Stanford answered with a score, the Cougars were able to move down the field and into field goal range as the second quarter wound down. Andrew Furney put through a 24-yard field goal as time expired, tying the game 10-10 at halftime.

Williams leads the Cougars in receiving with five catches for 76 yards. Gabe Marks also has seven catches for 52 yards.

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WSU vs. Stanford: TV schedule, game time and more

Washington State will attempt to snap a four-game losing streak when it heads to Stanford to play the Cardinal.

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Mike Leach's Twitter Ban Was Out Of Line

Mike Leach's latest move to ban his players from using Twitter has skeptics questioning if he's gone too far.

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Mike Leach bans players from Twitter

Cougars players aren't to use Twitter at all, even to tweet about the joys of life.

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Is the Air Raid coming together for WSU?

It may not seem like it, but things are starting to click for the Cougars in their new offense.

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