Stanford Falls To No. 12 Washington State 36-11

Oct 12, 2002

Stanford, Calif. - Jason Gesser passed for 297 yards and threw two ofhis three touchdown passes to Jonathan Smith as No. 12 Washington State beatStanford 36-11 Saturday.

Jerome Riley had nine receptions for 173 yards and a score as the Cougars(6-1, 3-0 Pac-10) rolled to their fourth straight victory. After completing 17of 23 passes despite his constantly sore ribs, Gesser sat out most of thefourth quarter in Washington State's biggest victory over Stanford since 1961.

Jermaine Green rushed for a 42-yard TD less than four minutes into the game, and the Cougars went on to lead 23-0 at halftime over the Cardinal (1-4, 0-2).

Jason David had two interceptions for the Cougars, whose defense wasmarkedly improved after allowing 93 points in their last three games.Washington State shut down Stanford's aggressive passing offense, and thepunt-coverage team got the school's first safety in nearly two years.

Behind an offensive line missing three starters, Gesser couldn't get theball to star receivers Devard Darling and Mike Bush with any regularity. Butthe Cougars' lesser-known wideouts filled the void.

Smith, a junior college transfer who had seven catches in his first fivegames, scored his first two touchdowns for Washington State. Riley was impressive all afternoon.

Kenneth Tolon rushed for 89 yards and a late TD as Stanford lost its thirdstraight. Tolon also scored Stanford's TD on a 1-yard run with 5:50 left in the contest.

Washington State's first three TD drives covered 142 yards but took less than 5� minutes combined. Riley caught a 3-yard TD pass late in the first quarter, and Smith caught a 2-yarder early in the second.

When Jeremy Bohannon tackled Stanford punter Eric Johnson in the end zoneearly in the second quarter, Washington State took a 23-0 lead that the Cougarsheld through halftime.

Stanford finally scored on a 28-yard field goal by Michael Sgroi midwaythrough the third quarter. Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe set it up by stripping theball from Riley at midfield and returning it deep into Washington Stateterritory.

The momentum shifted briefly when Gesser's next pass was intercepted, butStanford was called for roughing the passer, extending a drive that ended inone of Drew Dunning's two field goals.

By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer

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