After two disastrous starts which ended in losses to Eastern Washington (45-42) and Boise State (31-28) Mike Leach and his Washington State Cougs knew they needed a win against Idaho to continue relevancy this season.
The Cougs (1-2) got off to yet another slow start on both offense and defense. WSU quarterback Luke Falk elected to throw short passes instead of challenging Idaho’s secondary. The Cougs’ defense got outplayed by RB Aaron Duckwork as he took a stretch play for 16 yards. However, the Idaho (1-2) offense shot themselves in the foot and had to settle for a FG.
Although the Cougs scored a TD in the first quarter, the game didn’t really get out of hand until the 2nd quarter when a blocked FG by Robert Barber allowed Marcellus Pippins to return the ball for a TD.
Idaho never really got back into the game after the blocked FG. Falk went 21/36 for 226 yards and 3 TD passes, including a sweet catch by Kyle Sweet who dove to the pylon to get the TD.
But, the most interesting stat to come out of this game is the over 200 rushing yards the Cougs offense managed in this game. James Williams had 126 yards with an average of 9 per carry and 1 TD. He will be fun to watch going forward.
The Cougs did stomp the Vandals 56-6 and looked good after the 1st quarter on offense, defense, and special teams.
But why did the Cougs get off to yet another slow start? Why did Luke Falk throw short passes against an inferior defense? Are the two touchdowns by special teams a fluke or a preview of things to come? Will the Cougs use this victory and bye week to fix mistakes and gain momentum? Why can’t this football team stay out of trouble outside the field?
Going forward against the likes of Oregon, Stanford, and UCLA the Cougs will need to answer these questions sooner rather than later to keep their bowl hopes alive.