Gardner Minshew completed his first 19 passes of the second half and drove No. 14 Washington State to a 42-yard field goal by Blake Mazza with 19 seconds remaining to put the Cougars in sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 North with a 41-38 victory over No. 24 Stanford on Saturday.
Minshew completed 40 of 50 passes for 438 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cougars (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) to their third straight win over the Cardinal (5-3, 3-2). This victory follows last week’s over then-No. 12 Oregon, giving Washington State back-to-back wins over ranked opponents for the first time since 2002.
Minshew engineered the winning drive in the final 1:25 with the big play coming on a 35-yard pass to Jamire Calvin on third-and-2 from the 33. Minshew completed one more pass to move the ball to the 25 and after two incomplete passes, Mazza made his kick to win it.
With No. 15 Washington losing at California, the Cougars head into the final month of the season alone in first place in the conference and remain the only one-loss team in the Pac-12.
K.J. Costello threw a game-tying 25-yard touchdown pass to JJ Arcega-Whiteside with 1:25 to play but it wasn’t enough to prevent Stanford from losing for the third time in four games.
Washington State trailed by 14 points late in the first half before rallying behind Minshew for the win. He led them to three TDs on the first four drives of the second half, using his legs and arm to knock off the Cardinal.
Minshew scrambled on a key drive in the fourth quarter for 4 yards on third-and-5, nearly performing a flip out of bounds as he fought for the marker. He then converted the fourth down with a keeper, setting up a go-ahead 3-yard TD pass to Renard Bell.
The Cardinal had been stopped on a fourth-and-3 from the 32 on the previous drive with Dominick Silvels stopping Bryce Love for a 1-yard loss on a short pass from K.J. Costello.
Costello threw for 323 yards and four TDs, including two to Arcega-Whiteside.
Washington State: After last week’s emotional home win over Oregon, the Cougars didn’t have a letdown despite falling behind 28-14 late in the first half. Minshew led a 69-yard field-goal drive in the final 1:04 of the second quarter and the Cougars then got a second TD run by James Williams on the opening drive of the second half. They tied it early in the fourth on a 7-yard pass from Minshew to Tay Martin.
Stanford: The Cardinal have turned into a pass-first team, throwing 43 times compared to 23 runs with some of those coming on sacks and scrambles. Love broke one long run for 43 yards but had just four more carries for 10 yards. Arcega-Whiteside had 10 catches for 111 yards, Kaden Smith had nine catches for 112 yards and a TD and Houston Heimuli also caught a touchdown pass.
Washington State: Host California on Saturday.
Stanford: Visit Washington on Saturday.
Source: The Associated Press