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Pac-12 football: WSU upends Stanford; Washington’s Dante Pettis sets punt return record in win

Luke Falk, Peter Kalambayi
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk throws a pass as he is chased by Stanford linebacker Peter Kalambayi during the first half.
(Young Kwak / AP)

Luke Falk led No. 25 Washington State on a 94-yard drive in the fourth quarter that produced the winning points in a 24-21 victory over No. 21 Stanford on Saturday.

Washington State finished 7-0 at home this season, and stayed in the race for the Pac-12 North title.

“It’s been a great ride and we’ve just got to finish the ride,” Falk said.

He completed 34 of 48 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception, and also became the career passing yards leader in the Pac-12.

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“It was the same old Luke we have seen the last couple of years,” running back Jamal Morrow said. “Calm, steady.”

Washington State likely needs to win at Utah next weekend and at No. 12 Washington later this month to win the Pac-12 North title.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Falk said.

Snow started to fall heavily at the end of the first quarter, hampering both offenses. Stanford hadn’t played in snow since a 1936 game against Columbia in New York.

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Morrow rushed for 66 yards for Washington State (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12), chewing up time at the end of the game.

Bryce Love, slowed by an ankle injury, was held to 69 yards, his worst outing of the season for Stanford (6-3, 5-2). He came in as the nation’s leading rusher, averaging 198 yards a game.

“I thought we really played hard the entire game,” Washington State coach Mike Leach said. “It was a great team win.”

at No. 12 Washington 38, Oregon 3: Dante Pettis became the NCAA’s all-time leader in punt return touchdowns and had a 47-yard TD reception, helping No. 12 Washington beat Oregon 38-3 on Saturday night.

A year after breaking a 12-game losing streak to the Ducks, Washington (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12, No. 12 CFP) kept alive its hopes for a return to the College Football Playoff by thumping its rival to the south.

Pettis sparked Washington’s blowout on a frigid, wet night along the shore of Lake Washington. After a sluggish start, Pettis’ ninth career touchdown return started an avalanche of Washington points.

Pettis caught the line drive punt from Oregon’s Adam Stack, made the initial defenders miss, hurdled an attempted tackle from Stack at the Oregon 40 and found open space as he sprinted to the end zone. The 64-yard play was the fourth punt return for a score this season by Pettis, tying a Pac-12 record. He had punt return touchdowns in three straight games in September to pull even with Antonio Perkins (Oklahoma) and Wes Welker (Texas Tech) on the NCAA list.

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The punt return was just the start of a big night for the senior. He finished with four catches for 87 yards and put the game out of reach on the first drive of the second half, getting behind the Oregon defense for his seventh touchdown reception of the season and a 24-3 lead.

at Arizona State 41, Colorado 30: Demario Richard ran for 189 yards and a touchdown, helping Arizona State power past Colorado 41-30 Saturday night for the Sun Devils’ 600th win as a program.

Arizona State (5-4, 4-2 Pac-12) trailed by 10 in the third quarter, but turned to its power-running game to bull through the Buffaloes (5-5, 2-5). The Sun Devils had 274 of their 381 rushing yards in the second half and finished with 583 total yards.

Arizona State’s Manny Wilkins threw for 202 yards and a pair of scores, adding 95 yards and a touchdown rushing. The Sun Devils also kept Colorado’s Phillip Lindsay in check for most of the night, holding the nation’s third-leading rusher to 80 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns.

Steven Montez threw for 345 yards and a touchdown, but the Buffaloes were plagued by multiple dropped passes, including one by Shay Fields that would have been a sure touchdown — he was 15 yards behind the Sun Devils — on a trick play.

at California 37, Oregon State 23: Ross Bowers passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns, including a 25-yarder to Jordan Veasy that gave California some breathing room in the second half, to lead the Golden Bears to the win.

Patrick Laird rushed for a career-high 214 yards and a touchdown while Matt Anderson kicked three field goals to become California’s career-scoring leader while helping the Bears (5-5, 2-5 Pac-12) snap a two-game losing streak.

Cal’s second win in seven games also moved coach Justin Wilcox’s team closer to the postseason. The Bears need to beat either Stanford or UCLA to become bowl eligible for the second time since 2011.

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