Washington State came within a missed field goal of upsetting No. 8 Stanford on Saturday night.
That didn’t impress wide receiver and fiery team leader Gabe Marks.
“No one’s praising anyone right now,” Marks said after Stanford escaped with a 30-28 victory. “We should have won.”
“We have to win,” linebacker Jeremiah Allison said. “The only thing that matters is wins and losses.”
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Erik Powell made his first five kicks, tying Drew Dunning’s school record from 2003. But his 43-yard attempt as time expired was wide right.
The Cougars are one win shy of bowl eligibility and have four more games to get that victory.
The defense held Stanford to 312 yards of total offense and sacked Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan four times.
“Defense kept us in the game,” Marks said.
Conrad Ukropina kicked a 19-yard field goal with 1:54 left to put Stanford ahead.
Hogan ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns for Stanford (7-1, 6-0 Pac-12), which is the only undefeated team in Pac-12 play.
“Kevin Hogan has got so much heart,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “We had to lean on him as a runner.”
Hogan completed just 10 of 19 passes for 86 yards. But he ran 14 times, including a 59-yard touchdown run, and even out-rushed teammate Christian McCaffrey, who finished with 107 yards rushing to go over 1,000 for the season.
“I guess miracles do exist,” Hogan joked.
The wet, blustery conditions made it hard on the offenses.
“It was hard to run, pass and pass protect,” Shaw said.
Washington State (5-3, 3-2) had a three-game winning streak snapped.
“We made five (field goals). We missed one at the end and we lost,” Marks said.
Frustrated Washington State coach Mike Leach noted that Powell kicked so many field goals because the offense kept stalling in the red zone, especially in the first half.
“We should have scored touchdowns in the red zone,” Leach said.
The Cougars haven’t beaten a Top 10 team since topping No. 5 Texas in the 2003 Holiday Bowl.
Stanford punted while trailing 28-27 with 5:08 left, but got the ball back on Quenton Meeks’ second interception of the game with 3:27 remaining. That set up Ukropina’s field goal.
“We don’t win the game tonight without those two interceptions,” Shaw said.
Stanford scored first on Ukropina’s 32-yard field goal, but then Powell hit four straight kicks – including makes from 46 and 47 yards – to put Washington State up 12-3 at halftime.
The Cougars opened the second half by driving to the Stanford 11, but two incomplete passes killed the drive and Powell kicked a 28-yard field goal for a 15-3 lead.
Stanford replied with the game’s first touchdown on Remound Wright’s 2-yard dive. The score was set up by Hogan’s 39-yard bootleg scramble.
Washington State came right back with a 75-yard drive in four plays, the final a 19-yard touchdown pass from Luke Falk to Marks for a 22-10 lead.
Ukropina kicked a 32-yard field goal late in the third, then Hogan’s 59-yard touchdown run cut the Washington State lead to 22-20.
On the next series, Meeks intercepted Falk, giving Stanford the ball on Washington State’s 17. Hogan ran 6 yards untouched up the middle to give Stanford a 27-22 lead in the opening seconds of the fourth.
Washington State came back with an 81-yard drive that ended with Falk hitting River Cracraft for a 1-yard touchdown pass. Falk’s conversion pass failed and the Cougars led 28-27.
After Ukropina’s kick, Washington State marched to the Stanford 29 and Powell hooked his attempt wide.
The Cardinal have won seven straight over the Cougars.
Falk completed 35 of 61 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns, along with two interceptions.
Washington State gained 442 yards of offense in the game, to 312 for Stanford.