PULLMAN, Wash. (CBS / AP) — Andrew Luck threw an interception on his first pass against Washington State.
But that was about his only misstep in a masterful performance.
Luck finished with 336 yards and four touchdowns as No. 7 Stanford beat Washington State 44-14 on Saturday. The victory extended the nation’s longest winning streak to a school-record 14 consecutive games.
“We played great tonight in the second half,” Luck said.
In fact, he threw all four of his scoring passes in the final 30 minutes, when Stanford outscored the Cougars 34-7.
The opening half was a different story. Stanford (6-0, 4-0 Pac-12) led just 10-7, its lowest first-half output of the season, as both defenses clamped down.
“It was just little mistakes,” Luck said. “It was my fault for not putting the ball where it was supposed to be.”
Luck, one of the leading Heisman Trophy candidates, completed 23 of 36 passes for 336 yards with one interception.
Stanford’s defense, which allows just 10 points per game, kept Washington State (3-3, 1-2) from getting untracked. That forced the Cougars defense to stay on the field far too long, and Stanford wore it down.
“I love what our defense was doing,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “We make adjustments and they get it.”
Washington State was held to just 257 yards of total offense, compared to 475 for Stanford.
Washington State defensive tackle Anthony Laurenzi pointed to Stanford’s quick touchdown on its first series of the second half as a turning point.
“We came out and they scored on us right away and we lost momentum,” Laurenzi said. “I felt like we got flat after that touchdown. When our offense couldn’t counter after that, we fell apart.”
Washington State hoped to get a boost from the return of quarterback Jeff Tuel. Tuel, who fractured his collarbone on his first series of the season, finally was cleared to play and started in place of Marshall Lobbestael. He completed 17 of 30 passes for 145 yards.
Leading 10-7 after the half, Stanford drove 85 yards on its first possession of the second half, with a 62-yard pass play from Luck to Coby Fleener covering most of the distance. Luck fired a 10-yard touchdown pass to Toilolo for a 17-7 lead.
After punting on its next series, Stanford scored on a 62-yard drive late in the third when Luck hit Toilolo for a 26-yard scoring pass and a 24-7 lead. Luck also fired an 8-yard scoring pass to Stepfan Taylor and a 28-yard touchdown pass to Fleener in the fourth.
Lobbestael scored on a short run for Washington State.
In the first half, Jordan Williamson kicked a 23-yard field goal with 1:34 left in the first quarter to give Stanford a 3-0 lead. The Cardinal have not been scored on in the first quarter all season.
Washington State’s Jared Karstetter caught a pass from Tuel but fumbled after he was hit at midfield. The ball was scooped up by Stanford’s Michael Thomas, who ran down to the Cougars’ 20. On 4th-and-goal from the 1, Jeremy Stewart bulled over to give Stanford a 10-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
Stepfan Taylor fumbled on a run and Chester Su’a recovered for Washington State on Stanford’s 40. Aided by two pass interference calls on plays to Karstetter, the Cougars drove to Stanford’s 2. Carl Winston ran up the middle to cut Stanford’s lead to 10-7 at the half. It was the fewest points either team has scored at the break this season.
Luck had just 89 passing yards in the first half, on 10-of-16 passing, and the Cardinal had just 165 yards of offense. Washington State was held to 94 yards of offense in the first half
The Cardinal lead the Pac-12 in rushing defense, total defense, scoring defense and sacks per game. They have allowed just six points in the third quarter all season.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)