NCAA

No. 19 Stanford sluggish in 24-17 win over Cougars

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No. 19 Stanford sluggish in 24-17 win over Cougars

BOX SCORE
STANFORD -- Ed Reynolds returned an interception for a touchdown and No. 19 Stanford sacked Jeff Tuel 10 times to overcome a sloppy offensive effort in a 24-17 victory over Washington State on Saturday.Reynolds stepped in front of Tuel's pass for the safety's fourth interception - and second returned for a score - this season early in the fourth quarter. He ran 25 yards untouched into the end zone to give the Cardinal a two-touchdown lead and highlight another dominant defense effort that held the Cougars (2-6, 0-5 Pac-12) to minus-16 yards rushing.Stanford (6-2, 4-1) still produced little separation on the scoreboard due to an ineffective offense.Josh Nunes completed 7 of 15 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown and Ryan Hewitt ran for a short score. A week after running for a career-high 189 yards against rival California, Stepfan Taylor was held to 58 yards on 21 carries.If not for its defense, Stanford's Pac-12 North Division hopes might be dashed.Tuel led a 12-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kristoff Williams with 6:29 to play to bring Washington State within a touchdown. Stanford managed two first downs before punting the ball back to Washington State.Marquess Wilson made a leaping 42-yard catch to give the Cougars the ball at the Stanford 23. And on fourth-and-21, Bobby Ratliffe caught a 25-yard pass from Tuel at the Stanford 9.Then Usua Amanam pressured Tuel as the quarterback threw the ball into the ground for a 15-yard intentional grounding penalty and an automatic 10-second runoff. With Washington State looking for one final heave to the end zone, Henry Anderson planted Tuel into the ground for a final sack as time expired.Tuel threw for 401 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 43 of 60 passes - mostly short outs that Stanford allowed - but needed one more.Then again, both teams had few offensive highlights in this one.Tuel hit Dominique Williams for a 43-yard completion, then went to him again when he floated a 3-yard TD pass to the corner of the end zone that put the Cougars ahead 7-3 midway through the second quarter.The rare lead for Washington State this season didn't last long.Just 47 seconds later, Nunes found Jamal-Rashad Patterson on a broken play with the cornerback blitzing and no safety help over the top. Patterson caught the short pass and sprinted down the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown that put Stanford back in front 10-7 on its longest play of the season.Gabe Marks caught seven passes for 52 yards for Washington State before getting sandwiched by two defenders in the second quarter and limping off the field. The Cougars patiently dinked-and-dunked the ball down field to set up Andrew Furney's tying 24-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.The momentum never carried over.Stanford took advantage of a pass interference call on Anthony Carpenter that extended the opening drive of the third quarter. Hewitt bulldozed through the line for a 1-yard TD run - the fullback's first of the season - on third down to give the Cardinal a 17-10 lead, the only drive all game they looked in rhythm.Reynolds intercepted Tuel's pass and returned it for a score to put Stanford ahead 24-10 with 10:43 remaining. With the offense struggling to control the clock, Washington State made one final charge until the Cardinal defense again flexed its muscles.

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

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AP

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

BOX SCORE

PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.

THE TAKEAWAY

California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.

UP NEXT

California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

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AP

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints say running back Daniel Lasco has feelings in his extremities after suffering a spinal injury making a tackle on a kickoff return during today's game at Buffalo.

Lasco was loaded into an ambulance on the field and taken to a hospital.

He was hurt six minutes into the second quarter when he appeared to lower his head while tackling Bills returner Brandon Tate. 

Lasco played four seasons at the University of California, Berkeley. He gained 1,471 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns his junior year. In 2015 as a senior, Lasco was limited to nine games and only totaled 355 yards. 

The Saints selected Lasco in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report