Cougs lose battle in trenches and Card rolls

THE COUGS DID it for a while but when your offensive line is getting torn asunder by their defensive counterparts, and you're conversely giving the Heisman frontrunner all day in the pocket, eventually things are going to turn dark. Sure enough, a tight 10-7 game at halftime turned into a 24-point deficit by early in the fourth quarter, as Stanford dealt WSU a 44-14 setback on homecoming.

This wasn't about whether Jeff Tuel or Marshall Lobbestael should play or start.

It wasn't about if Tuel, who started and played until about four minutes were left in the game, was ready -- or if he had rust to shake off.

No. This was all about the lines.

And Stanford won both battles.

Decisively.

No time to throw. No lanes to run through.

The D couldn't generate much pressure on Andrew Luck, though on balance they fared better than the offense. Their biggest failing was holding Stanford down reasonably well on first and second downs, but then allowing third down conversions.

WSU also hurt themselves throughout with drops and fumbles, killing any chance at momentum. The normally sure-handed Jared Karstetter had at least three fumbles after the catch, (one was overturned on replay).

And when the Cougs did make the completion or gather in the pass, Stanford regularly made sure-handed tackles and limited WSU to few yards after contact.

The Cougars' last glimmer of hope came when Tuel led the Cougs deep into Stanford territory in the early fourth quarter but the drive stalled and Wazzu turned it over on downs. By then, however, the story had been all but written.

We'll have more coverage a little later…

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