Sept. 20, 1997
Stanford Rallies Past Oregon State, 27-24
Corvallis, Ore. - Greg Comella's second touchdown of the game, a two-yard burst up
the middle with 27 seconds remaining, rallied 23rd-ranked
Stanford past upset-minded Oregon State, 27-24, in the Pac-10
Conference opener for both schools.
The win was the seventh in the last eight games for the Cardinal
(2-1, 1-0 Pac-10), who had their six-game winning streak snapped
last week at North Carolina.
Anthony Bookman opened the scoring for Stanford with a 60-yard
touchdown run and Chad Hutchinson added a 14-yard scoring toss
to Damon Dunn. Bookman finished with 120 yards rushing and Mike
Mitchell added 102 on the ground.
Hutchinson completed 19-of-26 passes for 171 yards but was
sacked seven times.
"I have to pay tribute to our opponent," said Stanford coach
Tyrone Willingham. "They really put the pressure on us. At the
same time, we created a great deal of adversity for ourselves.
Overall, I have to give credit to our team for not giving up
against huge odds and coming through with a win."
The Cardinal trailed 24-20 with less than five minutes to go
when they took over on their own 22. They went on a 14-play,
78-yard drive that was capped by Comella's go-ahead score. Twice
on the drive, Stanford coverted 4th-and-short opportunities.
"Stanford did a nice job on that last drive," said Oregon State
coach Mike Riley. "They made all of the plays. That could have
been their last drive."
DeShawn Williams returned a kickoff 96 yards for a score and Joe
Cortez added three field goals for Oregon State (1-1, 0-1). Tim
Alexander was 222-of-37 for 229 but was intercepted twice and
sacked three times.
"Tim Alexander really brings another dimension to their
offense," added Willingham. "He's an exceptional athlete and any
time you've got a halfback that can play quarterback, you've got
The Cardinal took a quick 7-0 lead just over two minutes into
the contest when Bookman took a handoff and broke up the right
side, eventually cutting it back over the middle for a 60-yard
Oregon State cut the deficit to 7-3 on a 33-yard field goal by
Cortez midway through the first quarter. A safety with 12
seconds remaining in the period brought the Ducks within 7-5.
The Cardinal took the ensuing kickoff and moved 41 yards in five
plays, capped by Comella plunging over from one yard out. The
extra point was blocked and Stanford led 13-5. Oregon State was
able to draw within 13-11 with 7:15 left in the half when Ricky
Walker broke loose for a nine-yard scoring run.
Stanford extended its lead to 20-11 on Hutchinson's 14-yard pass
to Dunn with 14 seconds left in the half. Dunn led the Cardinal
with seven receptions for 48 yards.
But Oregon State answered when DeShawn Williams, a Doak Walker
Award candidate, returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a
score. The kick return was the first brought back for a score
by OSU since Dwayne Owens did it against UCLA in 1990.
Cortez's field goal, a 45-yarder with 33 seconds left in the
third quarter, gave Oregon State a 21-20 lead. Cortez, who hit
a 34-yarder in the fourth quarter, missed a 45-yard attempt with
nine minutes left in regulation.
The teams combined to convert just 5-of-26 third-down