Cougars Slam Stanford, 36-10

Sept. 23, 2006

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STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Mike Graise returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown, Jason Hill blocked a punt and caught a touchdown pass, and Washington State beat Stanford 36-10 Saturday.

Alex Brink threw two touchdown passes and ran for a third, and Mkristo Bruce had a school-record five sacks for the Cougars (3-1, 1-0 Pac-10), who won for the fourth straight time at Stanford.

It was another lopsided loss for the Cardinal (0-4, 0-2), who matched their worst start since losing the first six games in 1983 on the way to a 1-10 mark.

Stanford once again failed to put on a show at its renovated stadium and has been outscored 73-19 in the first two home games, including last week's 37-9 loss to Navy. At least most of the 37,498 who bought tickets didn't bother to show up to watch this one.

Washington State overcame three lost fumbles to put together a dominating performance against the Cardinal. It was a welcome start to the conference season for the Cougars, who lost their first seven Pac-10 games last year, including five by fewer than seven points.

This game was never in doubt. By the time Stanford ran its first play in Cougars territory, the score was already 22-0 early in the third quarter.

Aaron Zagory kicked a 34-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half for Stanford, and the Cardinal got the ball back on the Washington State 17 after DeMaundray Woolridge fumbled.

But Toby Gerhart fumbled it back two plays later and the Cougars drove 97 yards to score on Brink's 7-yard pass to Hill, making it 29-3. That was Hill's 28th career TD reception, tying UCLA's J.J. Stokes for sixth place in Pac-10 history.

Brink was 21-for-33 for 228 yards. Dwight Tardy ran for 97 yards and Woolridge added 71.

Stanford's Trent Edwards was 14-for-23 for 159 yards and was sacked seven times. He threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to walk-on Kelton Lynn, but once again struggled without injured starting receivers Evan Moore and Mark Bradford.

The discrepancy in first-quarter numbers was staggering, yet Washington State only led 2-0 after 15 minutes. Stanford ran only three plays for 2 yards, none outside its own 5, while the Cougars had the ball for 34 plays and gained 181 yards.

The only thing that kept Stanford in the game was a pair of fumbles by Brink and Tardy deep in Stanford territory. It was so bad for the Cardinal that they punted on third down on their first drive and Edwards tripped in the end zone for a safety on the first play of their second drive.

On Stanford's first drive of the second quarter, Edwards tried to throw a screen to Gerhart, but Graise stepped in front for the interception and returned it for the score.

On the next drive, Hill blocked Jay Ottovegio's punt and Graise recovered at the 13 for the Cougars. That set up Brink's 2-yard pass to Jed Collins that made it 15-0. Brink added a 1-yard touchdown run with 1:01 left in the half to make it 22-0.

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