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Cougs Scratch Up Bobcats

After 2 years of home opening losses to Big Sky teams, the Cougs put together a dominating performance on both sides of the ball and dominate Montana State 31-0 to start the season 1-0 for the first time since 2011. 

Senior quarterback Luke Falk threw for 311 yards on 33 of 39 passing, including starting the game with 20 completions in a row as the Cougs dominate the Montana State Fighting Bobcats 31-0.

There was sense of calm in this team throughout the game.  WSU has struggled with running quarterbacks made it a point early on not to give up the big play and to stay grounded defensively by defending for the long pass as well as the option.  Bobcats quarterback Chris Murray was running for his life most of the game.  The Cougs held Murray to 5 of 12 passing for 28 yards, most of which were in the second half when the game was all but over for the Bobcats.  Murray added 55 yards on the ground, but collectively, the Cougs held the Bobcats to 143 yards of total offense.

Coach Mike leach said following the game, “We had a steadiness and consistency that I thought was positive for a first game.”  The Cougs opening drive took over six minutes and saw nothing deep, just consistent 5 to 10 yard completions ending in a shovel pass to James Williams who took it in for the score.

The following drive was more of the same mixed in with more running plays.  On third and goal from the Bobcat 6, Falk connected with Tavares Martin Jr. over the middle and gave the Cougs a 14-0 lead.  Just before the half, Isaiah Johnson-Mack fumbled Falk’s screen pass at the WSU 43 yard line.  A missed 42 yard field goal by the Bobcat’s Luke Daly kept Montana State off the board.

The Cougs went up 21-0 early in the 3rd on a Jamal Morrow 29 yard run.  Their fourth touchdown came early in the fourth on another shovel pass from Falk to Williams who scampered 29 yards for the touchdown.

The Cougs used short passes combined with the running game for much of the night.  They used up a lot of clock and didn’t feel like they really tapped into their offense.  It was a balance attack with 150 yards on the ground and 351 yards through the air.  Wazzu welcomes in Boise State next week and it feels like we will see more of their arsenal against the Broncos.  This was a great warm up game for the Cougs who had 2 heartbreak openers to start the season the past 2 years.  Kickoff will be at 7:30 on ESPN.

 

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Shafer Murray

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