BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Gardner Minshew threw for three touchdowns in Washington State’s 41-38 win over the Stanford Cardinal Saturday night at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto,, seriously derailing the prospect of the Cardinal reaching the Pac-12 championship game.
The win gives the 14th ranked Cougars (7-1, 4-1) sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 North. Stanford (5-3, 3-2) jumped out to a 28-14 lead late in the first half, but Minshew shredded the Cardinal defense, completing 40 out of 50 passes on the way to a 438 yard performance. Minshew also completed 19 consecutive passes to start the second half.
In an exciting back and forth game with four lead changes, Stanford scored a touchdown to tie the game at 38-38 with just over a minute remaining. On the next possession, Minshew delivered a perfectly placed ball to Jamire Calvin for a 35-yard gain to the Stanford 32 yard line.
After gaining another seven yards on the next series, Blake Mazza came on to kick a 42-yard field goal that proved decisive.
Cardinal quarterback K.J. Costello gave it his all in a losing effort, going 34-43 on the night with four touchdown passes and no interceptions. With the ball in the air most of the night Stanford running back Bryce Love wasn’t a significant factor. Love carried the ball just six times for 71 yards, although he did break free for a 43 yard gain in the first quarter to help set up the Cards second touchdown.
Stanford receivers Kaden Smith and JJ Arcega-Whiteside both had big games. Smith caught nine passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. Arcega-Whiteside hauled in ten receptions for 111 yards and two scores.
Stanford will now travel to Seattle to play the Washington Huskies next Saturday, while the Cougars return home to Pullman to host the Cal Bears, fresh off an upset of the Huskies in Berkeley.