A week after he was benched for poor play against Arizona, and a quarter after he threw a pick six, QB Luke Falk drove Washington State 94 yards in 11 plays, finishing with an 11-yard TD to Jamire Calvin to lift the No. 25 Cougars to a 24-21 win Saturday over No. 21 Stanford. WSU (8-2, 5-2) went 7-0 at Martin Stadium, the first undefeated home slate in in school history.
Falk staked the Cougars to a 14-7 halftime lead with TD passes to Tavares Martin (12 yards) and Renard Bell (27). After the Cougars went up 17-7 in the third quarter on a 41-yard Erik Powell field goal, Stanford took the lead on a an eight-yard run by QB K.J. Costello and Bobby Okereke’s 52-yard interception return. But Falk responded in the final quarter with the seventh game-winning drive of his career, keeping alive WSU’s hopes of a Pac-12 North title.
Falk completed 34 of 48 for 337 yards and three touchdowns to become the Pac-12’s career leader in passing yards. Falk has 13,806 to 13,600 for Oregon State’s Sean Mannion. Falk has 115 touchdown passes, one shy of Matt Barkley’s Pac-12 record.
Falk completed passes to nine receivers, including seven to Martin for 67 yards and five each to Jamal Morrow and Davontavean Martin. Morrow also rushed for 66 yards.
Washington State overwhelmed Stanford statistically, piling up 430 yards to 198, collecting 25 first downs to nine and winning the passing battle 337-105.
WSU’s 94-yard game-winning drive matched WSU’s longest of the season (also vs. USC).
The Cougars gave up a 52-yard TD run to Heisman candidate Bryce Love, but otherwise held the Stanford star in check. Apart from that TD, Love gained 17 yards on 15 carries and six of his runs resulted in negative yards. Love entered averaging 198.1 rushing yards per game.
Love also entered averaging 10.3 yards per carry. The Cougars held him to 4.3.
WSU matched a season-high with 11 tackles for loss (also Oregon).
Hercules Mata’afa recorded 1.5 tackles-for-loss, upping his season total to 16.5 and his career total to 41, fifth–most in WSU history.
Stanford leads the all-time series 40-27-1, including 17-8 in Pullman. The Cardinal had won three in a row in Pullman before Saturday . . . The Cougars have won their past two against the Cardinal for the first time since 2006-07. . . WSU has knocked off two ranked teams this year, USC and Stanford . . . WSU has 18 Pac-12 wins over the past three years, third most in the conference behind Stanford and USC . . . Head coach Mike Leach’s 37th win at WSU tied Jim Sutherland for third-most in school history
The game was played in typical November Pullman snow flurries. According to the Associated Press, Stanford hadn’t played in snow since a 1936 game against Columbia in New York.
Washington State closes out the regular season with two road games. The Cougars play Utah in Salt Lake City next Saturday at 2:30 p.m., on the Pac-12 Networks. WSU gets a bye week in advance of the Apple Cup Nov. 25 at the University of Washington.