The Cardinal took care of business at home cruising to a 34-17 victory. A week removed from an explosive offensive performance posting 59 points with a record setting 734 passing yards in a game, Connor Halliday and his offense were flat against Stanford.
WSU’s offense was subpar at best against the Cardinal, producing just 266 yards of total offense. WSU’s passing numbers held to low standards by the Air Raid formula because the ground attack was nowhere in site; the running game lost the Cougs 26 yards of offense. The only positive take away from WSU was turning the ball over once, via an interception. Halliday completed 42 of his 69 passes for 292 yards, 2 TD’s and 1 INT. Considering WSU was a one-dimensional team, Halliday played spectacular. River Cracraft was the lone receiver for WSU to have 100 receiving yards from 14 catches and 1 TD.
WSU’s defense did not look much better then the offense. However, the special teams did not yield a touchdown from either a kick or punt return, even when Stanford’s speedster, senior WR, Ty Montgomery received the ball. The defense however did give WSU a chance to beat Stanford and kept the team on the Cardinal’s heels for the majority of the game. Senior QB, Kevin Hogan was efficient, completing 23 of his 35 passes for 284 yards and 3 TD’s. His favorite target, Montgomery, caught the ball 7 times for 72 yards. Senior RB, Remound Wright had 14 carries for 98 yards and 1 TD. Junior RB, Barry Sanders added to the Cardinal’s running game with 7 carries and 68 yards.
Stanford executed everything correctly and WSU unfortunately could not. The Cardinal’s offense is about as balanced as it gets, 284 passing yards and 193 rushing yards. Stanford mixed and matched their play calling with 35 passing plays and 33 running plays. David Shaw’s play calling was excellent this game, a critical reason why his team pulled away from the Cougars toward the end.
On the flip side, WSU’s play calling consisted of mainly passing. WSU had 69 passing plays and 11 running plays. However, Leach and company were put in a difficult spot because Stanford snuffed the run from the start of the game. This forced the Cougars to rely solely on the air attack. This game will down as yet another loss for the Cougars, which leaves WSU’s bowl hopes, slim to none at a record of 2-5 overall. If the Cougars want to put on a winning run, a running game needs to be established, this will allow WSU to throw the opposing defense different looks and not operate as a one dimensional offense. A bye week is coming at a good time; the Cougars have a lot of work ahead of them to compete for a bowl game.
By Matthew Segal