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Washington State vs. Stanford 2012: Cougars fall short in heartbreaker

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.