A Brief History of the WSU Series: Part II

Part II of our exhaustive revisitation of the longstanding Stanford-WSU series. Enjoy!

A (Not-So) Brief History of the Stanford-WSU Series: Part II (1980-Present)

All-Time Stanford Record vs. Washington State: 34-25-1

The 60 meetings in the past 74 years of gridiron rivalry between Stanford and Washington Statehave produced many extraordinary individual performances, shocking upsets and numerous fantastic finishes. Oustanding players and excellent coaches. Heroes and villains. Fortunately we have been treated to a lot of guts and glory, and unfortunately we have witnessed the creation of a few memorable "gridiron goats."

This weekend, it's "Cardinal vs. Cougs" once again! Who else but The Bootleg cares enough to supply you with an exhaustive, detailed collection of highlights of the longstanding series? We figure that with the new conference realignment, and with WSU and Stanford both slotted for the Northern Division, it is time to start wrapping ourselves in our tradition with the Evil Empire of Eastern Washington. 

So here is Part II, which covers games from 1980 to last year, in reverse chronological order for some reason we can't explain. By no means are these all of the memories (we haven't tried to cover each and every year), but unless you are one of the several readers who spends considerably more time with their media guides than with their neglected wives, these modest little recaps represent a lot more than you personally can remember! Go Cardinal! No mercy on these Cougs. Harbaugh's Humble-Hearted Heroes™ have to play with focus and "cruelty" and punish these pugnacious Pumas and send them packing back to their beloved Palouse! Hey, we are only #2 in the Sagarin ranking. We need the "juice"!


Stanford 39, Washington State 13

at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA

Opening the 2009 campaign, Stanford found more ways to score than an inebriated Theta Delt at a Phi Mu convention! By land, by air, by kick return! Everything was working!
It was the Cardinal's biggest margin of victory on the road against a Pac-10 opponent in 18 years!

With quarterback Andrew Luck making his Cardinal debut, All-American candidate Toby Gerhart rushed for 121 yards on 23 carries to jump-start his incredible Heisman-worthy 2009 season. WR & KOR star Chris Owusu was at his lightning best, returning a kick for a touchdown and catching a TD bomb from Luck.

Veteran playmaker and first-year cornerback Richard Sherman came up with a monster punt return and I would tell you more, but I am late for my daughter's 11:30 AM under-six soccer game and have to cut this summary short - sorry!


Stanford  58, Washington State 0

Stanford Stadium

It was wet and the crowd was 8,500 if we were lucky, but the respect-seeking Cardinal didn't care, ruthlessly blowing out the clawless Cougs in the most one-sided routs (actually, the sixth worst ever) in what was coincidentally the "58th" game of the 74-year-old series! It was the first shut-out of the Cougars since 1969 and at the time, if we recall correctly, Stanford first Pac-10 shutout since blanking Oregon 17-0 in 1974. Yet another reason to relish the outstanding 35-0 road-skunking of the UCLA Bruins earlier this season!  Stanford superstar Toby Gerhart rushed for 132 yards and four scores, all in the first half, as Stanford took a commanding 31-0 lead into the locker room. In all, the Cardinal rushed for 344 yards, the third-best total in school history to that date. First-year Cougar Coach Paul Wulff, who had played offensive line at WSU in the late 80s and had coached at Eastern Washington, got a rude and ruthless welcoming reception in Palo Alto. Looking back, it was the one of the first signs of the Cardinal's Cruelty Doctrine.


Washington State 33, Stanford 17 (31,110)

at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA

WSU star QB Alex Brink went ballistic on the Cardinal secondary with 449 yards passing and became only the sixth Pac-10 quarterback to pass for more than 10,000 career yards. Stanford had a chance, thanks to three fumble recoveries, getting to within 20-17 in the third quarter, but the comeback was too little too late. Tavita Pritchard had a pretty decent day with 263 yards, but he was sacked four times and intercepted twice, one of which resulted in a game-icing 55-yard return for touchdown by WSU's Husain Abdullah

Cougar head coach Bill Doba would be fired in late November after the Cougars suffereed a fourth-straight losing season.


Washington State 36, Stanford 10

The "New" Stanford Stadium 

2006 was a long season of suffering. A spectacularly re-built Stanford Stadium failed to provide any semblance of home field advantage and the hard-luck Cardinal could not buy a victory. Mkristo Bruce manhandled


Stanford 24, Washington State 21 

at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA (33,442)

This one was all about Stanford quarterback Trent Edwards and his fleet feet.

Stanford's first-year hed coach Walt Harris saw his Cardinal withstand an epic performance by Cougar running back Jerome Harrison, who ran for 221 yards on 29 carries and snap a two-game losing streak and the tough road win would be followed by another Pac-10 road victory the following week at Arizona. Trent Edwards connected twice with Mark Bradford and hit Justin McCullum for a third touchdown strike, finishing his day with 257 passing yards and no interceptions. It was Stanofrd's third-consecutive win in Pullman, aided and abetted by WSU quarterback Alex Brink, who threw two picks, the most devasting by cornerback Nick Sanchez with just 0:32 left in the game.

Things were looking up, but the talent level was still substandard, at least as indicated by the fact that the Cardinal did not place a single player on the 2005 Pac-10 All-Conference first- or second-teams (kick-off returner T.J. Rushing was second-team, as was special teams standout Timi Wusu, a talented walk-on from Palo Alto High School. But hey, we place five players on the Pac-10 All-Academic team that year - supposed to count for something, right? The Cardinal would win its next two games and enjoy a 4-2 record before dropping four of the final five in a late-season fade that left the program winless yet again with a 5-6 record. It was like a Rose Bowl run compared to the 1-11 nightmare that was looming on the immediate horizon fopr 2006.


Stanford 23, Washington State 17 

at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA (34,963)

The Stanford defense picked off WSU QB Josh Swogger three times (two by future NFL cornerback Leigh Torrence and the other by future NFL safety Oshiomogho "O.J." Atogwe) and managed to contain future NFL star Jerome Harrison (16-84) to get its first road win and unfortunately the team's final victory of the season as Stanford would drop the final five games of the '04 season, the last for head Coach Eugene "Buddy" Teevens. Trent Edwards connected with 6-7 sophomore Evan Moore for a 67-yard touchdown to give the good guys a 20-3 lead just 16 seconds into the second half. Running back Kenny Tolon came just a yard short of a 100-yard day as he finished with 99 yards on 20 carries. This game was most memorable as having been the lone Pac-10 road victory in the three frustrating years of the Teevens Era.


Washington State 24, Stanford 14

Stanford Stadium (48,526)

In Buddy's second year, the Cardinal started 2-0, but dropped it next four games. This was "Week 5" and the Homecoming crowd wasn't enough to inspire the squad to an upset of the sixth-ranked Cougars. Despite giving up an 80-yard drive on WSU's opening possession, the Cardinal hung tough and was down just 7-0 at the half, but Cougar QB Matt Kegel would eventually slice up the Cardinal secondary with 331 yards and three passing scores. Trent Edwards got roughed up, threw a costly pick at the beginning of the second half and was relieved by senior back-up Chris Lewis

One couldn't blame the Cardinal much on this day. Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year Bill Doba had one of the strongest Cougar teams in recent memory. WSU would go 10-2 in the regualr season and beat Texas 28-20 in the 2003 Holiday Bowl.


Washington State 36 Stanford 11

Stanford Stadium

1. In about the only real highlight play for Stanford on this decidedly disappointing October afternoon, Stanford safety Oshiomogho Atogwe picks up a Michael Craven-caused fumble and races 42 yards to the Cougar 12 yard-line. The Cardinal has to settle for a field goal with 7:15 left in the third quarter. Not good. What's that, a miserable loss in which the only significant highlight for Stanford is a standout defensive play by Atogwe? Pretty much a repeat performance of the previous week's loss against USC.

The 12th-ranked Cougars are way too much for our "team-in-Tyrone-ian transition." In front of just 30,750 fans, WSU puts up more than 400 yards of offense, including three TD tosses from Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year Jason Gesser before calling off the dogs, er...Cougs. The mistake-prone and frustrated Cardinal commits 11 penalties. Ugly. Unfortunately, the highlight of our entire 2002 season may well be having six Stanford players make First Team Pac-10 All-Academic team. Again: Not good.


Washington State 45, Stanford 39

Stanford Stadium

  1. After a quick lateral from WSU's tricky little QB Jason Gesser, Coug flanker Colin Henderson surprises Stanford with a perfectly executed option pass to Mike Bush for a 62-yard touchdown, giving WSU a 21-7 lead with 3:13 left in the first quarter.
  2. The Cardinal counters with a 17-yard Brian Allen TD run with 26 second left in the first quarter and, less than a minute later, adds an 18-yard TD pass from Card QB Randy Fasani to towering tight end Darin Naatjes. This ties the score at 21-21.
  3. Disaster strikes as Stanford punter Eric Johnson's punt attempt is blocked by Josh Moen (Note: very unlucky opponent name) and ball is recovered by WSU's Jeremy Bohannon and carried four yards into the end zone for a TD.
  4. Fasani is picked off by WSU Billy Newman who returns it 54 yards to give the Cougars a 35-21 lead with 4:21 left in the half.
  5. Stanford's Pigskin PlaymakerÔ and 2001 All-American return specialist Luke Powell delivers with a brilliant 42-yard punt return to the Cougar six, setting up a one-yard Brian Allen TD with 8:54 left in the third quarter and pulling the Cardinal within 35-32.
  6. Senior halfback Brian Allen then scores on an exciting 27-yard run to give the Cardinal the lead as the third quarter expires.
  7. Gesser & Co. grab the lead back on an 11-yard TD pass to the Cougars' dual sport wide receiver Bush to make it 42-39 for Washington State, but with 8:22 left in the game…plenty of time, right?
  8. Then comes a play that is surely a leading candidate for "Cardinal Football Lowlight of the Decade": With Stanford driving for the win, wide-open and untouched wide receiver Caleb Bowman has a perfectly-thrown ball sail painfully through his hands, negating what would have been a huge gain and possibly the game-winning touchdown. Good guy, bad luck.

This was the one that got away. Stanford got a big break when Washington State had to play without leading rusher David Minnich, but could not take advantage due to untimely mistakes and turnovers. The #22 Cardinal came out slugging, battling with a potent Cougar attack to produce a combined 59 points and 525 yards of offense in the first half. Stanford running back Brian Allen gains 133 yards and scores three touchdowns in a losing effort.


Stanford 24, Washington State 10

Season Opener at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA

  1. In his first career start, mobile Stanford QB Randy Fasani takes advatage of Martin Stadium's brand new FieldTurf and bolts for a 38-yard gain on 3rd &2 to set up a 22-yard Mike Biselli field goal.
  2. Fasani drops a short pass to RB Kerry Carter, who weaves his way for a spectacular 84-yard TD.
  3. Stanford senior strong safety Aaron Focht puts the nail in the Cougar coffin with a late interception in the end zone with 1:51 left in the game.

Stanford scores all of its points in the second quarter. The Cardinal defense manages to contain the conference's most efficient quarterback, crafty little Jason Gesser, holding him to 161 yards in the air with two interceptions and no touchdowns.


Stanford 54, Washington State 17

Stanford Stadium

  1. Stanford cornerback Ruben "Get" Carter picks off WSU quarterback Steve "Pear Tree" Birnbaum with 26 seconds left in the first quarter and returns it 67 yards for TD.
  2. Stanford sophomore place-kicker Mike Biselli kicks career-best 52-yard field goal to give Stanford a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, the longest by a Card kicker in a decade!
  3. Stanford QB Todd Husak finds WR Troy Walters for a 44-yard TD with 14:42 left in the first half.
  4. One-time walk-on fullback and special teams standout Emory Brock takes a blocked kick 13 yards into the end zone with 1:32 left in the first half to give the Cardinal a commanding 38-10 halftime lead.
  5. Stanford's linebacker/defensive end Riall Johnson, whose stellar performance earns him Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week, records a career-high FIVE sacks including a tackle of WSU QB Jason Gesser for a safety with 11:28 left in the game.

The "Sheriff of Willingham" and his Rose Bowl-bound Stanford squad stun the Cougar Nation in a nationally-televised Pac-10 opener. Amazingly, the break-out performance, which included the highest-ever point total for a Stanford team in a conference opener, comes just one week after the Cardinal suffered a humiliating 69-17 loss to Texas to start the season. The Cardinal was angry after the arse-kicking in Austin and the Cougars had the bad luck of being in the way that day.


Stanford 38, Washington State 28

Stanford Stadium

  1. WSU QB Paul Mencke gets hot, with a first quarter TD pass of 62 yards to Nian "Deon" Taylor. Another Mencke pass goes for a 75-yard TD to Cougar speedster Jason White, who along with the former Oklahoma QB and Heisman candidate, seem to be just about the only "Jason Whites" on record ever not to play for Stanford (We had not one, but two!).
  2. JC transfer Kevin Brown, the conference's third-best rusher in 1998, scores on a 55-yard run to put the Cougars ahead 21-14 with 3:57 left in first half.
  3. With Stanford down 28-14 with 12:02 left in the game, heroic walk-on and fourth-string running back Jon Eide scores from 11 yards out to inspire the Cardinal!
  4. Cardinal QB "Joltin' Joe" Borchard, who'd entered the game in place of Husak after the half, hooks up with junior receiver and Stanford sparkplug Troy Walters on an 80-yard TD pass with 7:28 remaining in the game.

Yet another stirring come-back victory for the Cardinal, helped out by five interceptions by the much-maligned Cardinal secondary, three by safety Tim Smith. After a Rose Bowl season in 1997, Cougar QB Ryan Leaf bolted early for the NFL as the second overall draft pick. He left WSU struggling to find a replacement QB, causing the Cougs to finish a disastrous 0-8 in the conference (their first un-feated conference performance since 1975). WSU committed an atrocious 36 turnovers during the 1998 season. Walters finished with an average day (for him): seven catches for 143 yards.


Washington State 38, Stanford 28

at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA

  1. Substitute QB Todd Husak finds sophomore receiver Troy Walters for a 59-yard TD to put the Cardinal on the board with 13:55 left in the first half.
  2. Husak hits Walters again for a 5-yard TD with 8:39 left in the half.
  3. Walters goes nuts in the clutch, scoring on a thrilling 77-yard TD punt return and giving the Cardinal a brief lead at 28-27, eight seconds into the fourth quarter.

A scrappy Stanford squad surprisingly made a game of this one, leading in the fourth quarter against heavily-favored and #14-ranked WSU, which would finish 10-1 in the regular season in winning the Pac-10. Stanford tailback Anthony Bookman rushes for 115 yards on 11 carries. However, Stanford's defense didn't have an answer for WSU running back Michael Black, who broke loose for 173 yards on 27 carries. Stanford's back-up quarterback Todd Husak, filling in for an injured Chad Hutchinson, was intercepted four times.

The Cougars, led by record-setting All-American QB Ryan Leaf (3rd in 1997 Heisman voting) and his "Fab Five" receiving crew, were well on their way to their first trip to Pasadena in 67 years, only to get shafted at the end of the Rose Bowl against Michigan. Cougar Coach Mike Price (now head coach at UTEP) at goes on to be named 1997's national coach of the year, well before he gets caught partying too hard and getting a bit naughty with a comely exotic dancer and ended up getting canned as head coach at Alabama. Good coach, though! And in all candor, how many of us haven't gotten hammered and ended up in a hotel room with a hot stripper. C'mon! 


Stanford 33 Washington State 17 (Cardinal's fifth-straight win in series)

Stanford Stadium

  1. With the Sun Bowl on the line and just 22 seconds remaining before halftime, redshirt freshman phenom Troy Walters scores on a spectacular 75-yard punt return to tie the score at 14-14.
  2. Stanford QB Chad Hutchinson finds fleet-footed senior receiver Damon "Hit & Run" Dunn for a 58-yard TD one minute into the second half .
  3. Jon "Hit Man" Haskins sacks Ryan Leaf in the end zone for a safety with 3:59 left in the game, the third point-producing sack of a Cougar QB by the Stanford defense in the schools' last four meetings.

The Cougar defense, led by stud linebacker James Darling's 12 tackles, holds Stanford to 308 yards of offense, but special teams, fumble-free offense, and an opportunistic defense win the day for the good guys. Stanford's win is the difference in keeping the Cougars from enjoying a winning record in 1996.


Stanford 36, Washington State 28

at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA

  1. With the Card down 17-3 and things looking grim, senior QB Mark Butterfield finds Brian "You The" Manning for a momentum-changing 35-yard TD pass with 1:11 left in the first half.
  2. Butterfield gives Stanford the lead for good, finding junior running back Anthony "Bookman Up the Middle" Bookman for a 25-yard TD with 10:01 left in the third quarter.
  3. The back-breaker: Bookman produces a 42-yard punt return followed quickly by junior flanker Damon Dunn's score on a 10-yard reverse seven seconds into the fourth quarter.
  4. The finishing touch: senior star receiver Mark "100%" Harris grabs a 54-yard pass from Mark Butterfield with 9:46 left in the game.

On a cold and rainy night in Pullman, Card QB Mark Butterfield throws for 320 yards and three TDs. Bookman has 123 yards on 21 carries and a career-high 235 all-purpose yards. Harris catches 4 balls for 120 yards. Cardinal is subjected to constant, annoying Cat growls and crowd cheers of "And that's another Cougar-First-Down!" as WSU does manage to pick up 27 first downs in the game. Your Bootleg co-founders were down on the sidelines leading the comeback. Note: Pretty solid hot chocolate from the concessions at Martin…and they let you keep the plastic mug!


Stanford 40, Washington State 3

  1. Stanford's Steve Stenstrom hits all-purpose back Glyn Milburn on a 42-yard TD pass with just 39 seconds to go in the first half.
  2. Milburn busts a 31-yard run for a TD with 3:14 left in the third quarter, the beginning of a 30-0 run in the second half.
  3. Milburn again, running it in from 21 yards out to put the game away with 11:47 left.
  4. Stanford senior defensive back Ron Redell picks up a Shaumbe Wright-Fair fumble and returns it 48 yards to the Cougar four, setting up an Ellery Roberts TD run.
  5. Cougar All-American QB Drew Bledsoe is sacked in the end zone for a safety with 7:02 left in the game (second consecutive year with a score off of a sack of Bledsoe by the abusive "Lynch Mob").

The Cardinal scores 40 unanswered points on the Cougars, who would finish 9-3, as fullback Ellery Roberts rushes for 100 yards on 16 carries and that final TD.

Stanford's "G-Men" contain star Cougar running back Shaumbe Wright-Fair, keeping the Second Team All-Conference back under 100 yards. WSU's All-American QB Drew Bledsoe gets "Lynched" by the stout Cardinal defense, managing only 145 yards through the air and would turn pro after his junior season in 1992 rather than play Stanford again.


Stanford 49, Washington State 14

at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA

  1. Coug QB Drew Bledsoe is hit in the end zone and Stanford junior safety Seyon Albert recovers for a defensive TD with 8:59 left in the second quarter.
  2. Darrien Gordon picks off Drew Bledsoe and takes it 42 yards for a TD with 5:05 left in the first half. "Touchdown Tommy" sets the Stanford single-season touchdown record with a two-yard run with 8:38 left in the third quarter, his 17th of what would be 20 TDs on the season) plus two more in the Aloha Bowl.
  3. "Touchdown Tommy" sets the Stanford single-season touchdown record with a two-yard run with 8:38 left in the third quarter, his 17th of what would be 20 TDs on the season) plus two more in the Aloha Bowl.

Stanford nailed down an Aloha Bowl berth by pounding the poor Pumas in their own Palouse, scoring a school-record 35 points in the second quarter. Vardell rushes 22 times for 140 yards and two TDs The Cougars could only hope to contain him! The Pacific Northwest Warriors were in fine form, blowing away the WSU defensive front.


Stanford 31, Washington State 13

Stanford Stadium

  1. Stanford split end "Easy Ed" McCaffrey snares a 69-yard pass from Jason Palumbis with 8:36 left in the second quarter, answering back 17 seconds after WSU had taken a 10-0 lead. The Cougars were de-clawed and would never score again as the Cardinal rolled for 31 unanswered points.
  2. McCaffrey takes a hand-off after a fake from Palumbis to "Touchdown Tommy" Vardell and takes it in untouched for a two-yard TD.
  3. McCaffrey scores a 34-yard TD on a terrific pass up the middle from Palumbis with 8:47 left in the third quarter.
  4. McCaffrey scores a 31-yard TD down the middle on a catch and run from Palumbis with 4:53 left in the third quarter.

This was "The Ed McCaffrey Show" as the talented wide receiver catches seven passes for 176 yards including three TDs and takes a trick-play in for a two-yard rushing touchdown to boot. Despite playing in front of just 30,000 fans, quarterback Jason Palumbis completes a gaudy 23-30 passes for 353 yards and three TDs. Other than all-world kicker-punter Jason Hanson's two field goals, WSU can't manage more than a single TD. True freshman Drew Bledsoe goes just 8-26 for 64 yards. Interesting to note that second-year Cougar head Coach Mike Price, who had taken over for Dennis Erickson in 1989, had been beaten out by Erickson at quarterback at Everett High School in Washington.However, the two remained close friends and when Erickson (who had played quarterback at Montana State under one-time WSU head coach Jim Sweeney) left to coach the Miami Hurricanes in 1989, he recommended Price for the WSU job and even rented his home to his old high school teammate!


Washington State 24, Stanford 21

Stanford Stadium

  1. Stanford sophomore QB Jason Palumbis hooks up with running back Charlie Young for a 33-yard touchdown with 5:43 left in the third quarter.
  2. Palumbis finds senior wide receiver Henry Green for a 17-yard score with 12:35 left in the game.

17 points in the fourth quarter are not enough to overcome a fast-start by WSU and two costly Cardinal fumbles as Dennis Erickson got a moderate degree of revenge for the previous year's demolition. The Cougars would end up 9-3 on the year and win the Aloha Bowl, while Erickson's surprising success got the attention of the Miami Hurricanes. The Stanford defense does get to Cougar QB Timm Rosenbach with six sacks, three by First Team All-Pac-Ten linebacker Rob Hinckley, but can't stop Second Team All-Conference QB Rosenbach from shredding the Cardinal secondary for 322 yards and a TD. WSU's running back Rich Swinton has a career day with 122 yards on 34 carries. The Cougars would have a fine season, beating their Houston Cougar cousins in the Aloha Bowl.


Stanford 44, Washington State 7

at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA

  1. Stanford QB Brian Johnson hits speedy sophomore halfback Jon Volpe over the middle for a 65-yard TD with 9:04 left in the first quarter, giving the Cardinal a 7-0 lead.
  2. Volpe, taking advantage of rare playing time on a Muster-dominated team, scores on a five-yard run to give Stanford a 140-0 lead with 6:37 left in the opening period.
  3. After WSU gets a short TD run from QB Timm Rosenbach near the end of the first quarter, a confident Brian Johnson counters by hitting redshirt junior tight end Jim Price for a 26-yard TD with 13:39 left in the first half.
  4. Yet another Volpe TD run, this one from nine yards out, brings the score to 31-7 with 3:42 left in the half.
  5. With just 1:44 left in the second quarter, Card cornerback and return specialist Alan Grant takes a punt back 77 yards for a crowd-demoralizing touchdown to give Stanford a commanding 38-7 lead.
  6. Less than a minute later, John Hopkins adds a field goal from 30 yards out to make it 41-7 at the half. It was about all she wrote.

This was current ASU Sun Devil head coach Dennis Erickson's first of two years in Pullman. Erickson has been Jack Elway's offensive coordinator at San Jose State from 1979 to 1981 when the circus-catchin' Spartans were giving our Stanford Cardinal a very hard time. Behind redshirt freshman quarterback Brian Johnson (Go Giants!), who was making his first career start, Stanford obliterated a proud Cougar defense that featured future NFL star cornerback James Hasty, shocking the hometown crowd into total silence. Gritty Card running back Jon Volpe, starting for an injured Brad Muster, rushes 26 times for 105 yards and scores three TDs. The Stanford defense keeps the Cougars completely off the board after the first quarter.


Stanford 42, Washington State 12

Stanford Stadium

  1. Stanford senior QB John Paye hits flanker Jeff James, standing all alone in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown with 3:57 left in the first quarter to give the Cardinal a 14-0 lead.
  2. With 1:26 left before intermission, Paye finds "Paye-dirt" on a seven-yard QB scramble for his second rushing touchdown of the game, his only career two-rushing-touchdown performance, giving the Cardinal a 28-0 lead at halftime.

In the final home game of the 1986 Gator Bowl season, Stanford's senior running back sensation Brad Muster rambles for 190 yards on a workmanlike 37 carries (plus six receptions for another 93 yards!) and scored two TDs, leading the Cardinal to a season-high point total and more than 500 yards of offense. Stanford leads the first down totals 20-2 at the end of the first half! In all LSJU posts 33 first downs to WSU's 11 and 292 yards rushing to the Cougars' 60. It was the final season for Cougar coach Jim Walden, after which he left town for Iowa State.


Washington State 49, Stanford 42 (most combined points in series history)

Stanford Stadium

If you were there in person, you will never forget this one. Probably the most miserable meltdown in Stanford Football's illustrious history, making the second-half experience against Oregon this year seem mild in comparison. Please don't show this recap to small children.

  1. Stanford lace-kicker Mark Harmon boots a 53-yard field goal to give Stanford a 6-0 lead with 12:20 left in the first half.
  2. QB Fred Buckley finds redshirt sophomore flanker Jeff James for a 39-yard touchdown with 6:49 left in the second quarter to give the Cardinal a 13-0 lead.
  3. With 4:12 remaining in the first half, Stanford redshirt junior running back Kevin Scott breaks free on a 47-yard "back-atcha" touchdown romp right after WSU's star back Ruben Mayes scores on a 53-yard run. Buckley hits Emile "Dirty" Harry for the two-point conversion)
  4. "K-Scott" takes off again, scoring on a 70-yard TD run to extend the lead to 42-14 with just 5:38 left in the third quarter.
  5. The rest is simply too painful for me to re-live (Mayes scores four of WSU's five straight TDs that rip this game out of Cardinal hearts.

A great start goes terribly wrong. Stanford running back Kevin Scott goes wild with 174 yards on just 15 carries and scores three TDs and Stanford build a 42-14 lead deep into the third quarter before Ruben Mayes, the 1984 Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year (and the WSU Offensive Player of the Decade!), goes positively "pigskin postal" on us with 216 yards rushing and five touchdowns, including a 53-yard TD pass from QB and future Washington Redskins star and 1992 Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien. WSU rallies from not one, but two 28-point third quarter deficits in one of the biggest comebacks in college football history

Ruben Mayes has been nominated and is a finalist for 2003 induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. He currently serves as head of the Washington State University Athletic Foundation.


Stanford 31, Washington State 26 (Card's eighth-straight win in the series)

at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA

  1. Sir John of Elway hits banged-up running back Vincent "The Love Bug" White on an 11-yard TD pass with 9:38 left in the first quarter.
  2. Irrepressible senior running back Mike Dotterer scores from four yards out to win the game for the Cardinal with just 22 seconds left.

A rare sub-par passing day for Stanford's John Elway as the junior All-American passes for just 85 yards, thanks in large part to a ridiculous seven drops. Senior running back Mike Dotterer (#24) steps up and fills in for the injured White and carries 24 times for a career-high 155 yards rushing and two TDs and catches a pass for a third TD. WSU runs up 240 yards on the ground, but the Cardinal counters with 246 of its own. A final fourth quarter scoring drive by the Cardinal, highlighted by Dotterer's 51 yards on seven rushes, is the difference in this nail-biter.


Stanford 48, Washington State 34

October 25, 1980 at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA

  1. Stanford QB John Elway hits senior flanker Kenny Margerum for a 12-yard TD pass to open the scoring with 10:47 left in the first quarter.
  2. Elway to Margerum again from eight yards out, two-point conversion pass to Darrin Nelson makes up for PAT block on the first TD)
  3. Elway finds split end Andre Tyler for a one-yard scoring pass with 10:34 left in the first half, giving Stanford a 20-3 lead.
  4. Elway hits junior tailback Nelson for a 44-yard TD pass and a 27-10 lead with 7:37 left in the first half.
  5. Elway to Nelson again for a 24-yard TD pass with 13:19 left in the game.
  6. Elway breaks a 27-27 tie, scoring on a one-yard keeper with 2:05 left in the third quarter.
  7. Sophomore tailback Vincent "The Love Bug" White puts the game away, running it in from 19 yards out for the final score with 3:14 left in the game.

In one of his most outstanding performances, Nelson produces a mind-boggling 202 yards rushing on 21 carries and scores two TDs. He also catches another 11 passes for 167 yards and two more TDs. Nelson sets the Pac-10 record with 369 all-purpose yards, which would last for a decade until Stanford's Glyn Milburn has 379 in his phenomenal 1990 Big Game performance. John Elway, just a sophomore, throws for 379 yards and 5 TDs.

Nelson's first-year head coach, Paul Wiggin, who played with the legendary Jim Brown in the NFL, says "I can say without a doubt, that this is the finest individual performance I have ever seen."

Sources: Palo Alto Times, San Francisco Examiner, The Color of Life is Red by Don Liebendorfer, Down On the Farm by Fred Merrick, Wow Boys by Cyclone Covey, The Stanford Wow Boys by Robert T. Dofflemyer, vintage game programs, and various Stanford University press guides and news releases.

Do you have a "premium" subscription to The Bootleg? If not, then you are seriously missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest, baddest  and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up)!

The Bootleg Top Stories