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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / 1996

Stanford Still in Bowl Picture With 33-17 Win

November 17, 1996|From Associated Press

STANFORD, Calif. — Tim Smith's interception set up a touchdown and he also made a key block to spring Troy Walters on a 75-yard punt return for another score as Stanford kept its bowl hopes alive by beating Washington State, 33-17, in a steady rain Saturday.

It was the third consecutive victory for Stanford (5-5 overall and 4-3 in the Pacific 10) and the loss was the third in a row for Washington State (5-5, 3-4).

The Cardinal must defeat California next Saturday to have any chance at all of qualifying for a bowl.

The Stanford defense overwhelmed Washington State, sacking Ryan Leaf four times, including once in the end zone for a safety with 3:59 remaining. Leaf completed 18 of 38 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown.

Stanford overcame a 14-0 deficit by scoring twice in the final 2:12 of the first half. Jon Ritchie scored his first career touchdown on a three-yard run and Walters evened the score on Stanford's first punt return for a touchdown since Glyn Milburn went 76 yards against Cal on Nov. 21, 1992.

Breaking to his left, Walters turned the corner behind Smith's devastating block on Kevin St. Martin. Walters picked up a couple more blocks downfield and then broke Derek Henderson's tackle at the Cougar 45 before cutting back into the clear and going in for the score.

Stanford went ahead for good when Damon Dunn turned Chad Hutchinson's screen pass into a 58-yard scoring play.

Smith's interception and return set up Greg Comella's touchdown run that put the Cardinal ahead, 31-17.

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