Cougars never die.
Washington State gave-up a 37-yard touchdown run to freshmen phenom Josh Rosen with 1:11 in the game, and some Cougs were having flashbacks to 2011. Rosen’s touchdown scamper came off of a drive that saw UCLA torch the Washington State defense, in under a minute.
It was now up to the battered Luke Falk to guide his offense down with over a minute left in the game.
57 seconds late, Falk hit Gabe Marks in the back of the end zone for the game winning touchdown pass to give WSU its first win over a top-25 since 2013 (the last time WSU went to a bowl game). Dom Williams set-up the game winning touchdown by taking a simple slant route and turning it into a 30-yard reception to put the Cougars within field goal range. Two incomplete passes later, Falk threw the ball at a well covered Marks in the back of the end zone; Marks dove to the ball and got his hands underneath it for the game winning touchdown.
With the touchdown pass to Marks, Falk now holds the single season touchdown (program) record. There’s still three more games left on the Cougars schedule.
The Cougars had a chance to put the game away earlier in the fourth quarter, as the defense stopped the Bruins in the red zone to give WSU the ball back with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Washington State marched down the field and burned eight minutes off the clock; and the Falk over threw Williams and the Bruins picked off the pass in the end zone.
Falk took a big hit in the first half and was pulled to go through the concussion protocol. Which meant that back-up Peyton Bender came into the game to take over the reins for the Cougar offense. Bender threw four passes, and only completed one…a beautiful back shoulder fade to Williams give WSU a 14-13 lead.
The redshirt sophomore came back into the game after halftime, and looked wobbly on his feet at times, but he was able to execute and guide the offense. Falk put his body on the line, again, early in the third quarter as he scrambled out of the pocket and slid after picking up the first down; and a UCLA defender launched at his head…no flag was thrown (#Pac12Refs).
This Cougar squad took punch after punch, and lost their starting quarterback for the last seven minutes of the first half. But they never folded, and they came back to knock off a really good UCLA team in the Rose Bowl after giving up a heart breaking touchdown on a quarterback scramble.
This is not the Cougar football teams of the past.
This is a really good football team that can beat anyone on any given day.