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Cougs Cruise Past Beavers

One game after being benched, Luke Falk tosses 6 touchdown passes on 37 of 49 passing for 396 yards as the WSU steam rolls Oregon State in their Pac-12 opener 52-23.

Luke Falk made his first start against Oregon State in 2014 and after Saturday’s win, made it 4 in a row against the Beavers.    

“I thought he played well, I though he got in a good rhythm, he looked very sharp most of the game,” Leach said regarding Luke Falk.

The Cougs started slow the first drive going 3 and out and it started to look like more of the same.  But as Falk has done the past 3 years under Leach’s system, takes a few games to get warmed up and then catches fire.  He did that in a big way on Saturday and appeared to have found two replacements for the graduated Gabe Marks.

Falk started off his touchdown spree by connecting with Tavares Martin Jr. and Isaiah Johnson-Mack to give the Cougs the early 14-2 lead.  He followed that up with 2 more touchdowns to each of them to give the Cougs a 28-9 advantage at halftime.

Ryan Nall, who has been a horn in the heel of the Cougs finished with 118 yards on 15 carries including a 45 yard td run to begin the 2nd half to pull the beavers within 12 at 28-16.  That was when both offense and defense stepped it to another level. 

On 3rd down and 22 from their own 43 yard line, Falk evaded to two tacklers and completed a pass across the middle to Martin Jr. that went for a 57 yard touchdown and WSU’s biggest pass play of the season.  Luke followed that up with a 10 yard touchdown pass to Kyle Sweet for his 6th touchdown pass on the day.  The next possession, the swarming Cougar defense on a corner blitz forced OSU quarterback Jake Luton to fumble and Frankie Luvu returned it 40 yards to put the Cougs up 49-16 in the 4th.

A scary moment in the 4th, Jake Luton was hit hard on a quarterback keeper and was taken off in a stretcher after 10 minutes of stoppage time.  Luton was released from a Spokane hospital within hours, so a good sign, but it hasn’t been released whether he will play next week or not. 

Tavares Martin Jr. ended the game with 10 catches for 194 yards with 3 touchdowns.  The Cougs were looking for a replacement for Gabe Marks, and they have found it in both Isaiah Johnson-Mack and Tavares Martin Jr. The 194 yards by Martin Jr. is more than Marks got in any one game, and this offense is just getting started.  Falk has so many offensive weapons that it’s scary to think how much damage they can do when this offense really gets in its groove.  “He’s dynamic, he can do a lot of things, he’s got good hands and can make people miss,” Falk said about Tavares Martine Jr.

Falk said about the performance, “We had some real explosive plays by our outside guys.  I still don’t think we’re quite to our ceiling yet,  I think we have a lot of things to improve on, but it was good to put that many points up.”

“We’ve been waiting for the outside receivers to get in a rhythm, I thought they did today, we got to build on it and continue it,” Leach said.

The Cougs running game who went wild against Montana State, only had 16 carries for 60 yards.   “I didn’t give a lot of thought to that, we kinda identify what the defense gives us and attack,”  said leach.

WAZZU takes on a lowly Nevada Wolfpack teach next week before facing the number 4 ranked USC Trojans on Friday night the week after.





Cougars Win Instant Classic in OT!

Boise State silenced the crowd  in Martin Stadium after an interception return for a touchdown put the Broncos up 21 points in the 4th quarter.  The Cougs went on to put up 21 unanswered points with their back up quarterback Tyler Hilinski, before the end of the quarter and shock the Broncos in triple overtime 47-44.

WSU was looking to avenge a loss from last season against Boise State, and got off to a slow start.  Former Cougar legend Mark Rypien’s nephew Brett, used 6 plays to start out the game and go up 7-0 early.  The following drive, Luke Falk drove the Cougs right down the field, but on 3rd and goal, Falk was intercepted by Boise State’s Tyler Horton.  The Cougs redeemed themselves the next Boise State possession. Herc Mata’afa hit Rypien from behind and forced a fumble that Robert Taylor ran in to tie the game at 7.  The remainder of the first half was a defensive battle, the offenses couldn’t get much going and both teams went to the locker room tied up at 10.  Wazzu had only 148 yards of total offene and 116 through the air in the first half.  On how the receivers played in the first half, coach Mike Leach said,  “I thought they played timid.  They’ve got to go out there and play like they deserve to be there.”

The third quarter showed more struggles for the Cougar offense.  After Falk got hit hard a few times, back up sophomore Tyler Hilinski took over for good in the fourth quarter. “We were being cautious with Luke,”  Coach Leach said forllowing the game.  Falk took his final snap of the game late in the fourth when he was hit hard by Jabril Frazier and forced a fumble that was returned 55 yards for a toucdown by Curtis Weaver and the Broncos held a comportable 31 to 10 lead with only 10:53 to go in the game. 

Hilinski entered the game and made quick work on a 8 play, 75 yard drive lasting only 3 minutes and pulled the Cougs within two touchdowns.  The Cougs were in need of another huge defensive play, and they got it.  Bronco quarterback Montell Cozart was pressured and tried to shovel a pass and did so right to Wazzu’s Peyton Pelluer who took it back 18 yards to the end zone, and the Cougs were now within 7  with 5:44 to play.  Washington State stopped the Broncos on the next possession and the Cougs had just under 4 minutes to tie the game.  The Cougs were stopped and forced to put with 3 minutes to play.  On the Erik Powell punt, the ball landed on the back of a Bronco player and WAZZU recovered at the Boise State 24 yard line.  4 plays later, Hilinski connected with Jamal Morrow for 6 yards and the Cougs tied it up at 31 1:07 to play.  Neither team was able to score, so the game went to overtime in Pullman for the first time since the 2012 Apple Cup.

In the first over time, both teams came up with field goals.  Tavares Martin Jr. caught a 9 yard touchdown pass to put the Cougs up 7 in the 2nd overtime.  On Boise State’s possession, Cozart found Cedrick Wilson for 5 yards, and the score was tied again.  In the third overtime after the Broncos were held to a field goal, Hilinsky found Jamal Morrow in the flat on a screen pass from 22 yards out, who leaped over the pile on to give the Cougs one of their greatest victories in Martin Stadium history.

After this improbable win, the Cougs look to go 3-0 Saturday as they play the lowly Beavers who have looked terrible so far this season.  Washington State will have 2 more games to warm up for the mighty Trojans of USC.



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