The Washington State Cougars overcame a 21 point first quarter deficit to upset two touchdown favorite Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Utah earned that early lead off of a pick-six, a 58-yard punt return by Kaelin Clay, and 76-yard touchdown run by running back Devonte Booker.
Utah senior wide receiver Dres Anderson dropped what would have been the go ahead TD pass on the Utes final drive of the game. Washington State freshmen corner back Charleston White came up with huge swatted pass on the next play to end the Ute’s final drive.
The Cougar defense was huge as they only allowed Utah to score six points (you read that right six points) in the final three quarters of the game. Even more impressive was the fact that WSU gave up only 4.1 yards per pass attempt; the rush defense was less impressive at 4.8 yards per carry.
The only Ute that caused the Cougar defense was Booker, he averaged 7.4 yards per carry and carried the rock 24 times. Utah’s junior quarterback Travis Wilson only completed 18 of his 38 pass attempts for 165 yards and 4.3 yards per attempt — junior quarterback Kendal Thompson attempted two passes, both were incomplete.
It appears that the calls for defensive coordinator Mike Breske to be fired were premature.
WSU’s senior quarterback Connor Halliday completed 39 of his 61 passes attempts, for 417 yards (6.8 yards per attempt) and four touchdowns with two interceptions. Halliday had to “bad Connor” moments in the first half, including his third pass attempt of the game that was intercepted and returned for touchdown.
The Cougar receivers struggled to hold on to the catches in the rainy conditions, but the offense was able to overcome that to score enough points to win.
Cougar fans also got a good look at what the rushing attack looks in the Air Raid, as freshmen running back Gerard Wicks and freshmen Jamal Morrow carried the ball a combined 19 times for 104 yards, 5.5 yards per carry.
After letting a home game against No. 2 Oregon through their fingers, Washington State has to feel pretty good about that victory.