Stanford 20, Washington 3
SEATTLE (AP)—Stanford won’t be the first 0-12 team in Pac-10 Conference history.
Richard Sherman took a screen pass 74 yards early in the fourth quarter for Stanford’s first offensive touchdown in more than a month and the Cardinal shocked Washington 20-3 on Saturday.
Bo McNally returned an interception 49 yards for a TD in the third quarter as the Cardinal (1-9, 1-6 Pac-10) snapped the nation’s second-longest losing streak at 11 games.
The losing streak matched the longest in school history. The Cardinal lost their final game in 1959 and all 10 the following season—the school’s last winless campaign.
There won’t be a winless tag associated with the 2006 Cardinal after dominating Washington (4-7, 2-6), a team that could have become bowl eligible with wins over Stanford and Washington State in next week’s season finale.
Stanford’s defense—ranked 113th in the country—limited Washington to 161 total yards and just 97 after the first quarter. The Huskies were besieged by dropped passes, poor pass protection and an inability to run the ball against a Cardinal unit giving up nearly 240 yards per game.
But the defense kept Stanford close long enough for quarterback T.C. Ostrander to find a rhythm, despite an offense that managed just seven first downs and 20 yards rushing.
Ostrander finished 11-of-20 for 206 yards. Sherman was his favorite target with six catches for a career-high 177 yards.
Meanwhile both Washington quarterbacks struggled and were banged up. Carl Bonnell left late in the first quarter with a right thigh bruise, but was forced to return in the third quarter after backup Johnny DuRocher was knocked out with a concussion.
Neither was effective—DuRocher was 1-for-9 with two interceptions and Bonnell was 10-of-25 for 118 yards and an interception.
On DuRocher’s final play, he overthrew tight end Robert Lewis and underthrew receiver Sonny Shackelford, hitting McNally in his chest. The safety then sprinted in front of the Washington sideline and dived the final few yards into the end zone for a 10-3 Cardinal lead—their first lead since blowing a 20-point advantage to San Jose State on Sept. 9.
Stanford sealed the victory on the first possession of the fourth quarter, when Ostrander threw a wide receiver screen to Sherman, who sprinted untouched in front of the Huskies’ bench for Stanford’s first offensive score since the fourth quarter of its 31-10 loss to Notre Dame on Oct. 7.
Many of the purple-clad Washington fans started filing out knowing that coach Tyrone Willingham’s stated preseason goal of reaching a bowl game was now unobtainable.
Washington lost its sixth straight and looked nothing like the resilient squad that nearly upset USC, and took both California and Arizona State to overtime before losing.
Michael Braunstein kicked a 28-yard field goal for Washington’s only points. Aaron Zagory kicked field goals of 29 and 37 yards for the Cardinal.