An­other slow start is costly for Car­di­nal

San Francisco Chronicle - Late Edition (Sunday) - - SPORTING GREEN - By Tom FitzGer­ald

SEAT­TLE — Wash­ing­ton had three touch­downs be­fore Stan­ford man­aged a first down Satur­day night.

Even the most die-hard Pac-12 fans watch­ing on TV prob­a­bly turned to Alabama-LSU.

But quar­ter­back K.J. Costello and his re­ceivers — mi­nus in­jured JJ Arcega-White­side — made it a game be­fore the Huskies hung on for a 27-23 win.

“When things are tough and dark and it’s us against the world, we are at our ab­so­lute best,” Car­di­nal head coach David Shaw said. “I love that about our guys. The prob­lem is we create the sit­u­a­tion that puts us there.

“We’ve got to find a way to stop screw­ing it up to get to the point where we have to be at our best just to get back in the game.”

Arcega-White­side, who en­tered the week­end

No. 10 Wash. State 19, Cal 13

Satur­day night’s game in Pull­man, Wash., ended too late for cov­er­age in this edi­tion. For full cov­er­age, visit www.sfchron­i­cle.com/sports.

sec­ond in the na­tion in touch­down catches with 11, in­jured his right knee in the sec­ond quar­ter and didn’t re­turn.

His ab­sence hurt the of­fense “very sig­nif­i­cantly,” Shaw said. “JJ’s an All-Amer­i­can. He’s one of the best, if not the best, re­ceiver in Amer­ica. When a guy like that’s not on the field, you miss him.”

Costello threw a 33-yard touch­down pass to Trent Ir­win with 3:24 left, but Collin Ric­citelli — fill­ing in for an in­jured Jet Toner — missed the ex­tra point. That made it 27-23.

Stan­ford, out of time­outs, took over af­ter a Wash­ing­ton punt with 2:16 left. Costello passed the Car­di­nal the Wash­ing­ton 34, but his Hail Mary pass for Kaden Smith in the end zone was picked off by Tay­lor Rapp on the fi­nal play.

The loss, Stan­ford’s fourth in its past five games, dropped the Car­di­nal to 5-4, 3-3 in the Pac-12.

Costello com­pleted 23 of 43 passes for 347 yards and two touch­downs, but he also threw three in­ter­cep­tions. Smith had eight catches for 107 yards.

“We need to come out strong, faster, on both sides of the ball,” Smith said. “I’m proud of my team for fight­ing through all the ad­ver­sity that we faced.”

Wash­ing­ton’s Jake Brown­ing was 16-for-27 pass­ing for 194 yards and a touch­down. He also eluded tack­lers re­peat­edly on scram­bles. Myles Gaskin rushed for 148 yards for the Huskies (6-4, 4-3).

Through in­ter­mit­tent rain at Husky Sta­dium, 69,690 fans thor­oughly en­joyed their team’s first-half su­pe­ri­or­ity.

But Costello put Stan­ford on the board with a 14-yard touch­down pass to Smith in the third quar­ter.

“At Stan­ford I know they don’t lose back-to-back games, let alone three or four times in a five-game stretch,” Costello said. “This one really hit me that we’ve had this feel­ing a lot the past month. It’s a very sim­i­lar feel­ing, and it’s a feel­ing no one should have. I don’t wish it upon any­body.”

Wash­ing­ton had two field goals in the sec­ond half from Pey­ton Henry, a Danville na­tive.

Stan­ford’s Bryce Love, who started the game af­ter be­ing ques­tion­able with a sore an­kle, had 71 yards in 18 car­ries. He scored on a 5-yard run to cut the lead to 24-14 in the third quar­ter.

The play fol­lowed a 15-yard per­sonal foul penalty against Rapp for a horse-col­lar tackle on Love, a call that drew a cho­rus of boos.

A 22-yard field goal by Ric­citelli made it 24-17 early in the fourth quar­ter be­fore Henry’s sec­ond field goal put the Huskies up 27-17. Brown­ing, who had been benched briefly a week ear­lier in a 12-10 loss at Cal, ran for a touch­down and threw for an­other to tight end Drew Sam­ple in the first quar­ter. Gaskin added an­other score on a 6yard run, and it was 21-0 early in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Costello threw two in­ter­cep­tions in the first half. The Huskies’ first touch­down fol­lowed an in­ter­cep­tion by By­ron Mur­phy on a pass in­tended for Ir­win.

An­other pass, on a screen play in­tended for Love, was tipped by Ben Burr-Kir­ven and in­ter­cepted by line­man Greg Gaines.

“There was ab­so­lutely no panic at half­time be­cause we knew we hadn’t played well,” Shaw said.

Burr-Kir­ven had 12 tack­les for the Huskies and Bobby Ok­ereke had 11 for the Car­di­nal.

Elaine Thomp­son / As­so­ci­ated Press

Stan­ford quar­ter­back K.J. Costello is pres­sured by the Wash­ing­ton de­fense but gets a pass off dur­ing the first half in Seat­tle. The Car­di­nal didn’t get a first down un­til the sec­ond quar­ter.

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