Though Jeff Tuel couldn't lead the Cougs to a win Saturday against Stanford, he sure gave the No. 12 Cardinal more than it bargained for with his three fourth-quarter touchdown passes. Now, had Tuel been able to avoid his two interceptions, the game might have had a different — and surprising — result, but it's nice to know the Cougs can put even a tiny bit of fear into a opponent. The passing offense is one of the few silver linings WSU has right now.
The Stanford game marked the end of WSU's three-week stretch against ranked teams. Though the Cougs lost every game, they also shrank the losing margin each Saturday. They fell by 20 to Oregon, then by 17 to Arizona, and then came this week's 10-point loss to Stanford. Might they finally get over the hump next week against Arizona State? The Sun Devils are tied with UCLA for eighth place in the Pac-10; the Bruins got their lone conference win against the Cougs. But if Tuel can carry the momentum from his big fourth quarter at Stanford into Tempe next week, WSU's chances of winning the day for crimson and gray rise drastically.