GRADING THE GAME: Cougs put out to pasture

FOR ALL THE PROBLEMS the Cougars ran into on The Farm, they had their moments, too, in their 34-17 loss to No. 25 Stanford. Connor Halliday was relentlessly pounded by the nation’s second-best offense and held to a season-low 292 yards, but he also threw for two touchdowns. And offensive mistakes by the Cardinal kept the score closer than it should have been. Here, CF.C breaks down each quarter.

First Quarter
The Good: Halliday cut the lead to 10-7 with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Vince Mayle. The play capped a 75-yard drive that included a 41-yard pass to Mayle down the left sideline. The Cougars were 2-of-2 on fourth-down conversions.

The Bad: The Cardinal scored first, but the Cougars were able to hold them to a 22-yard field goal.

The Ugly: With a lack of defenders in pursuit, Kevin Hogan easily connected with Eric Cotton for a 39-yard touchdown pass.

End-quarter-score: Stanford 10, Washington State 7

Grade: B-

Second Quarter
The Good: Taylor Taliulu forced the Cardinal’s fourth red zone turnover of the season as the ball popped out at the goal line and was recovered by Paris Taylor.

The Bad: Washington State was forced to punt on all five series of the quarter.

The Ugly: Ty Montgomery returned the Cougars' first punt of the quarter to the Washington State 16, setting up a 3-yard touchdown pass from Hogan to Greg Taboada on the ensuing drive.

End-of-quarter score: Stanford 17, Washington State 7

Grade: C

Third Quarter
The Good: Six days after missing a crucial 19-yarder against California, Quentin Brashears came through with a 46-yard field goal to bring the game within a score.

The Bad: Despite Cyrus Coen and Peyton Pelluer being all over the offense on the previous play, Hogan easily lobbed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Taboada.

The Ugly: The field goal was necessary because Washington State squandered an opportunity to bring the game within three. Halliday got the Cougars into the red zone, but was sacked for a loss of 20 yards, and then penalized for intentional grounding, backing them up to the Stanford 37 on third-and-30.

End-of-quarter score: Stanford 24, Washington State 10

Grade: C+

Fourth Quarter
The Good: On fourth-and-goal, Halliday rolled to his right and lofted a pass across his body to River Cracraft, who snuck behind a pair of defenders to strike in the end zone.

The Bad: A roughing-the-passer penalty on Daniel Ekuale moved the Cardinal into the red zone, culminating in a 34-yard field goal that made it a two-score game.

The Ugly: Trailing 27-17 with 4:37 left in the game, the Cougars essentially ran out of gas. Halliday was sacked for a loss of 13 yards, and then threw a pair of incomplete passes. The ensuing punt gave Stanford possession at the Washington State 44, setting up Remound Wright’s 6-yard touchdown run to close out scoring.

Final score: Stanford 34, Washington State 17

Grade: D


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