Oct 13, 2001
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STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Washington State didn't flinch after falling behind at the start of the fourth quarter.
The undefeated Cougars simply took control of the ball, then of the game in a 45-39 victory over No. 23 Stanford on Saturday.
Jason Gesser threw two touchdown passes as the Cougars (6-0, 4-0 Pac-10) won at Stanford for the first time since 1988.
Washington State took the lead on Mike Bush's 11-yard touchdown catch midway through the fourth quarter. The scoring play capped an 18-play, 86-yard drive that sliced 6:38 off the clock.
"We had been trying to do different things and it wasn't working," Gesser said. "In the fourth quarter, we just decided to spread things out and it started to pay off."
Gesser passed for 178 yards, and John Tippins rushed for 75 yards, 39 in the final period.
"We got into a huddle and said let's drive the ball down the field and end this," Tippins said. "We just wanted to go in and move the chains."
Brian Allen ran for 133 yards and scored three touchdowns for Stanford (2-1, 3-1), which had a five-game winning streak dating to last year snapped.
Allen, who moved into the top 10 on Stanford's career rushing list, became the first runner to gain 100 yards or more against the Cougars, who entered the game with the nation's seventh-best rush defense. Stanford gained 219 yards on the ground, just 80 less than Washington State allowed in its previous five games.
Washington State held the ball for 12:16 of the fourth quarter on two drives, as Drew Dunning added a 26-yard field goal with 1:03 left to play to end a 13-play, 58-yard drive.
Stanford quarterback Randy Fasani, who left the game with an injury late in the third quarter, but returned in the fourth. He threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
"This is the toughest loss I ever had," Fasani said. "We were going to go undefeated. They brought more pressure than we're used to seeing in the final two minutes and that made me make some bad decisions."
Washington State played without its leading rusher, Dave Minnick, who injured his right knee last week against Oregon State.
"I think this team is for real because we won and we're not at full strength," Cougars coach Mike Price said.
Allen put Stanford ahead 39-35, racing 17 yards for a score on the final play of the third quarter.
Stanford pulled to 35-32 on Allen's 1-yard run out midway through the third quarter, then ran in for the 2-point conversion. The touchdown was set up by Luke Powell's 42-yard punt return to the Cougars 6.
Both teams scored on their first possession.
Stanford took the opening kickoff and drove 71 yards in 11 plays, culminating with a 10-yard scoring pass from Fasani to tight end Darin Naatjes, who caught his first pass of the season.
"It felt good at the time," said Naatjes, "but the bottom line is winning. Everything else is secondary."
Fasani helped keep the drive going when he scrambled for 20 yards to the Cougars 10 on a third-and-9 play.
Washington State responded with 21 straight points, including an eight-play, 75-yard drive that tied the score. Gesser found Mark Baldwin for a 9-yard touchdown pass.
Jeremy Williams recovered a Stanford fumble on the Cardinal 25 to set up Washington State's go-ahead score, a 1-yard run by freshman Allen Thompson.
Flanker Collin Henderson then took a lateral from Gesser and completed a 62-yard pass to Bush, a starter for Washington State's basketball team, to put the Cougars up 21-7. Henderson had completed a 71-yard touchdown pass to Nakoa McElrath against Boise State in his only other attempt of the season.
Allen, who rushed for 75 yards in the first half, scored on a 17-yard run late in the first quarter, and Naatjes caught his second touchdown pass, 18 yards from Fasani, early in the second quarter as Stanford tied the score at 21.
The Cougars then turned two turnovers into a pair of touchdowns. Jeremy Bohannon returned a blocked punt four yards for a score and Billy Newman returned an interception - just Fasani's second of the year - for 54 yards for another score.
Mike Biselli's 35-yard field goal just before halftime brought Stanford to 35-24.