Stanford’s chances of upsetting No. 5 Washington disappeared on what appeared to be the perfect fourth-down play call.
The Cardinal had a 4th and 2 at their own 28 yard-line with 3:20 to go trailing Washington 35-33 and elected to go with a pass from wide receiver Tiger Bachmeier. After Bachmeier lined up in the backfield, QB Ashton Daniels pitched the ball back to Bachmeier and he threw a great pass to a wide-open Jayson Raines.
But Raines dropped it.
The Huskies (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12) took over on downs and scored the game-clinching TD four plays later when Dillon Johnson rushed 13 yards for a TD for a 42-33 final score.
Stanford (2-6, 1-5) had the chance for a massive upset after Michael Penix Jr. threw his first interception of the day with 5:05 to go. Penix tried to find Rome Odunze in single coverage in the end zone but the pass bounced up in the air and was intercepted by Zahren Manley.
The Cardinal cut the Washington lead to two with 6:16 to go and chose to onside kick in an attempt to get the ball right back. It was an interesting strategical decision after the Cardinal had forced two punts and a turnover on five Washington drives in the second half.
Penix finished the game 21-of-38 passing for 369 yards and four TDs along with the interception while Ja’Lynn Polk had five catches for 148 yards and two scores. It was the second close win for Washington over a lesser opponent after the team’s big win over No. 8 Oregon. The Huskies beat Arizona State a week ago without scoring an offensive touchdown.
Stanford QB Ashton Daniels had the best game of his career on Saturday night. He was 31-of-49 passing for 367 yards and scored three total TDs.
Cardinal WR Eli Ayomanor was the catalyst for Stanford’s incredible comeback win over Colorado two weeks ago and had another big game against Washington with nine catches for 146 yards and a score. But he left the game in the second half after he landed hard on his right shoulder following a long reception.