SEATTLE — The gap between Washington State and the reigning Pac-12 champion was on full display Saturday.
After two lopsided wins over Southern Utah and Idaho, Washington State entered its annual “home” game in Seattle riding high.
But WSU faced a whole different animal in No. 5 Stanford (4-0, 2-0). The Cardinal showed why they are among the nation’s elite in dominating all facets Saturday in a 55-17 win at CenturyLink Field.
The Cougars (2-2, 1-1) are left wondering about the health of quarterback Connor Halliday, who left the game after being driven into the turf early in the third quarter.
On that play, Jordan Richards put Stanford ahead 24-3 when he returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown with 10:42 left in the third.
WSU Coach Mike Leach did not elaborate on Halliday's status, but said he could have gone back in the game had Apodaca gotten injured.
Halliday attempted one pass on the next drive before giving way to Austin Apodaca.
Apodaca also had a pass returned 30 yards for an interception about four minutes later, when linebacker Trent Murphy snared a pass near the line of scrimmage and took it to the end zone.
"It was a closer game than the score," Leach said. "What killed us were explosive plays on defense and us not finishing drives."
Touchdown passes of 57 and 33 yards to Devon Cajuste put Stanford ahead 17-3 in the second quarter. Stanford gained 311 yards in the first half and held WSU to 165.
The Cardinal finished with 562 yards of total offense to Washington State's 373.