PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State talked about starting fast against Arizona.
The No. 25 Cougars jumped to a 24-0 lead in the first quarter and crushed Arizona 69-7 on Saturday for their seventh consecutive victory.
“Everything we touched worked,” coach Mike Leach said.
Luke Falk threw for 311 yards and four touchdowns for Washington State (7-2, 6-0 Pac-12, No. 25 CFP), which had its highest points total since 1997 and the most ever against a Pac-12 opponent.
The Cougars hadn’t won seven straight games since 2002. They and No. 4 Washington remain the only teams with undefeated Pac-12 records.
“We played together the whole game,” Leach said. “We talked all week of playing a complete game. I’m glad we didn’t let up.”
Washington State scored on its first six possessions and held a 38-7 lead at halftime.
“It feels amazing,” said running back James Williams, who rushed for 72 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns.
Leach noted he has been on both sides of such blowouts.
“We are definitely not that good and they are definitely not that bad,” Leach said. “The defense did a good job of finding a way to keep them out of the end zone.”
Arizona (2-7, 0-6), which has lost six games in a row, struggled on offense behind quarterbacks Brandon Dawkins, Anu Solomon and Khalil Tate. They combined to complete 11 of 23 passes for 128 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.
“I’m embarrassed and we should be embarrassed and it starts with me,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. “That’s a good team. They played well and we didn’t. ‘We’re better than this, even with all the adversity.”
Falk, who was relieved late in the third quarter by Tyler Hilinski, completed 32 of 35 passes. He was not intercepted or sacked. Hilinski completed 15 of 17 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Combined, the two quarterbacks threw six touchdown passes against only five incomplete passes.
“That’s pretty good,” Leach said.
“It was a real good, complete win,” Falk, whose 91 percent completion rate was a team record, said. “Our mentality was right all week.”
Washington State piled up 614 yards of offense while limiting Arizona to 286 yards. Samajie Grant rushed for 77 yards for the Wildcats.
Washington State’s Gerard Wicks ran for two touchdowns, and Tavares Martin Jr. caught two touchdown passes.
Rodriguez said he believes his team can turn things around.
“We’ll climb out of this,” he said. “It’s just right now it’s not fun.”
Stanford 26, Oregon State 15
STANFORD, Calif. — With a young quarterback making his second career start, Stanford coach David Shaw was fully comfortable having his team run the ball on its final 29 plays from scrimmage.
With a backfield tandem of 2015 Heisman Trophy finalist Christian McCaffrey and promising sophomore Bryce Love, Shaw’s decision was really a no-brainer.
McCaffrey rushed for 199 yards and a touchdown, Love scored on a 56-yard touchdown run and Stanford beat Oregon State on Saturday afternoon.
Conrad Ukropina kicked a career-high four field goals, including a personal best-tying 52-yarder in the first half, to help the Cardinal (6-3, 4-3 Pac-12) become bowl eligible.
“We were running the ball for six yards a clip, they’re getting a little bit tired and we’ve got two running backs we can rotate through there,” Shaw said of his decision to keep the ball on the ground over the final 20 minutes. “When you’ve got an offensive line that’s feeling good and creating creases, and two running backs that are getting better and better, (with) a two-score lead . why put it up in the air? Let’s ground this thing and let’s end the game.”
Stanford sputtered offensively much of the day and had to overcome three fumbled snaps by quarterback Keller Chryst but held on to win its seventh straight against Oregon State (2-7, 1-5).
The Cardinal did it behind another strong outing by its defense, which intercepted Beavers quarterback Marcus McMaryion twice in the second half.
More importantly, Stanford piled up 365 yards rushing and controlled the ball for more than 39 minutes.
“It went well but I go as the O-line goes and they did a fantastic job today,” McCaffrey said. “Still, at the end of the day we have a lot of things we have to work on. We have to finish the ball in the end zone. Too many field goals.”
McCaffrey, whose 51-yard run in the first half helped set up Ukropina’s second field goal, scored on a one-yard run in the third quarter. The 2015 Heisman Trophy finalist was also stopped on a 4th-and-1 plunge late in the fourth quarter.
USC 45, Oregon 20
LOS ANGELES — Ronald Jones tied a school single-game record with four rushing touchdowns and Southern California demolished Oregon on Saturday.
Sam Darnold had 309 yards passing and two touchdowns with one interception to help propel USC (6-3, 5-2 Pac-12) to its first five-game winning streak since 2013.
After rushing for a career-high 223 yards in the Trojans’ win over California, Jones again feasted on one of the worst rushing defenses in college football. The sophomore exploded for a 66-yard touchdown run on the third play of the second half before picking up a fourth score early in the fourth quarter to match a mark last accomplished by LenDale White in 2005. Jones finished with 171 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Freshman quarterback Justin Herbert, who tied school single-game records for touchdown passes and passing yards in his two previous starts, threw for 162 yards and one touchdown as Oregon (3-6, 1-5) was assured its first losing record in conference play since 2006. Pharaoh Brown caught a touchdown, while Charles Nelson had a TD run.
USC jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, scoring on each of its first three possessions. After settling for a 35-yard field goal by Matt Boermeester on the opening drive, Jones ran for touchdowns of 23 and 3 yards.