Sun., Sept. 29, 2013
Tale of the tape: Stanford 55, WSU 17
FROM SEATTLE -- The ugliest game of Washington State's season is over. Stanford dominated every way possible in a 55-17 blowout, and we parse the details below with our usual tale of the tape.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Kevin Hogan and Devon Cajuste had a pretty explosive connection going in the first half, with Hogan completing touchdown passes of 57 and 33 yards to the big tight end within a 4-minute span at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second. Cajuste finished with four catches for 115 yards, and Hogan completed 16 of 25 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns (with an interception).
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Jordan Richards and Trent Murphy each returned interceptions for touchdowns -- and each was 30 yards. Deone Bucannon had a game-high nine tackles, plus that interception in the end zone that helped the Cougars maintain some hope in the first half.
STAT OF THE GAME -- During a 4-minute span in the third quarter, Stanford possessed the ball for 42 seconds and scored three touchdowns.
PLAY OF THE GAME -- Just before Connor Halliday absorbed a huge hit from Stanford linebacker Trent Murphy, he released a throw intended for Rickey Galvin that was intercepted by Jordan Richards and returned 30 yards for a touchdown. That made the score 24-3 Stanford early in the third quarter, and things only got worse from there.
QUOTABLE -- "We couldn't get out of our own way tonight." -- WSU Gabe Marks, providing an apt summary of this game
WHAT IT MEANS -- WSU isn't ready to regularly compete with top-tier teams. That isn't some damning indictment of the Cougars' program. It doesn't mean they're suddenly headed in the wrong direction. It means simply that this is a young team still learning how to win, and nights like these aren't quite as avoidable as some believed (despite what some genius sports writers predicted earlier in the week). Is Stanford 38 points better than WSU? Probably not. But as coach Mike Leach said afterward, the Cardinal are an example of what a mature, disciplined team is supposed to look like. And that's something the Cougars simply aren't, even if they're closer to it than they were a year ago. Oh, and Stanford's size and brute srength didn't hurt, either.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple