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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Stuff Cardinal 24-14
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 10/18/2003
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Oct 18, 2003

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STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Matt Kegel's teammates admit they had some doubt when he took over as quarterback this season in place of Jason Gesser.

After Kegel's gutsy performance Saturday, those thoughts are all but gone.

Kegel passed for 331 yards and three touchdowns as his non-throwing shoulder throbbed in pain at the end, and Sammy Moore's 64-yard punt return set up another score as No. 6 Washington State defeated Stanford 24-14.

Chris Jordan caught five passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns for the Cougars (6-1, 3-0 Pac-10), who weren't sharp offensively in their first game following a bye week but won their fifth straight since a 29-26 overtime loss to Notre Dame on Sept. 6. They struggled to move the ball against a Stanford team that allowed 413 yards and 41 points in the first half alone against No. 5 Southern California a week earlier.

This was supposed to be the Cougars' easy game before consecutive meetings with Oregon State and USC. But their defense kept them in it, knocking Stanford quarterback Trent Edwards out of the game and pounding backup Chris Lewis until Moore's brilliant return set up Kegel's third TD pass to Cody Boyd with 9:45 to play.

"It was about time Sammy did that," Cougars coach Bill Doba said. "He'd been dancing around back there for a while."

Kegel left the game holding his left shoulder with 13:14 remaining after blitzing linebacker Jared Newberry flattened him from the blind side, but returned two series later. Kegel completed 26 of 47 passes despite constant pressure.

"It doesn't look pretty, but at the end of the game he's thrown for 250 or 300 yards," Cougars offensive lineman Billy Knotts said. "He came up big for us. There was so much doubt at the beginning of the season. He's turned out to be a great quarterback for us."

Kegel thought he'd broken something when he heard the shoulder pop. Trainers iced his shoulder to reduce the swelling and sent him back onto the field.

"Both my shoulders are messed up," he said. "I didn't know what happened."

The Cardinal (2-3, 0-3) played their first home game since their Sept. 6 season opener against San Jose State, and 48,526 came out for the school's homecoming as Stanford played a ranked team for the third straight week.

The Cardinal set up their first touchdown with a 36-yard completion from Edwards to Gerren Crochet that put them on the 3, the team's longest play of the season. It took them five plays once they were inside the 3 to get into the end zone, taking advantage of a defensive holding call on third down before Kenneth Tolon's 1-yard TD run.

Mark Bradford caught a 12-yard scoring pass from Lewis with 6:11 left.

Devard Darling helped the Cougars control the clock in their final drive with a spectacular 31-yard catch, reaching over cornerback Stanley Wilson's shoulders to haul in the pass. Moments later, Drew Dunning made a 37-yard field goal with 3:16 to go.

The Cougars, winners of 10 of their last 11 road games, missed a big opportunity late in the third. Kegel passed up a chance to run for an easy score, instead throwing incomplete to Troy Bienemann. Three downs later, holder Brett Johnson bobbled the snap on a field-goal try and attempted a wobbly pass into the end zone that was picked off by Will Svitek.

Dunning, the nation's leading field-goal kicker, also had an extra point blocked in the third quarter.

Washington State managed only 12 yards in the second quarter and 164 for the half. Stanford had 102 in the half as the teams combined for 13 punts.

"I was pleased with our effort in all aspects," Stanford coach Buddy Teevens said. "It just boiled down to five or six plays. It just came down to the return."

Virgil Williams' interception of Edwards' pass in the third quarter led to Jordan's 22-yard TD catch from Kegel. Washington State has scored 91 points off turnovers.

The Cougars struggled to run the ball. Junior Chris Bruhn made his first career start because Jonathan Smith and Jermaine Green were injured.

Will Derting, the Cougars' leading tackler, was dropped from the starting lineup after being arrested for drunken driving two weeks ago. He pounded Edwards in the third quarter, knocking the freshman out of the game, and finished with seven tackles, six solo.

Teevens has stuck with Edwards despite his struggles and showed impatience with Lewis, giving him only two series in the opener against San Jose State.

He has drawn criticism for it.

"They should never have changed," said former Stanford receiver Teyo Johnson, now a tight end with the Oakland Raiders, who was on hand for the game. "Chris Lewis should be the starter the rest of the year."

By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer

Washington State Cougars Football
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