The Washington State Cougar football (2-6, 1-4) didn’t show up on Saturday night, and the Wildcats left Pullman with a 59-37 victory. Arizona scored the 24 points in the first quarter thanks to a dominate offensive line, and balanced offensive attack.
Washington State’s defense struggled against the Wildcats offensive attack, as Arizona marched down and scored on four straight possessions. The Wildcats scored their first touchdown on a 81 yard punt return, after WSU’s first possession of the game.
The Cougars scored its first touchdown in the second quarter, when quarterback Connor Halliday found Isaiah Myers running down the center of the field for a 37 yard touchdown pass. Washington’s State defense forced a stop and the Cougars were able to score again. In fact, the defense held UA to seven points in the second quarter.
WSU’s special teams struggled throughout the night, but made one good play throughout the game. It came in the second quarter, after the Cougars’ second touchdown, when the Arizona kick returner lost possession of the football as he was getting tackled.
Arizona played one heck of a football game, and deserved the win.
Washington State didn’t show up, played bad football, and absolutely deserved the loss.
While the Cougars still have a chance at getting to a bowl game (one more loss and that’s over), the program still has a long way to go before it will consistently play in bowl games. The experience gap between Washington State and the majority of the team’s in the Pac-12 is a problem. It has cost this team several wins this season, and has prevented the program from firmly establishing itself as consistently mediocre.
The defense also showed that significant improvement during the season are unlikely. It was unable to generate pressure on Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon throughout the night; and when the defense did generate pressure, Solomon got rid of the ball quickly.
Changes need to happen on defense, and it needs to happen soon.