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WSU Loses Big Featured

The Washington State Cougars came into Friday night’s game looking to run the table the rest of the season, but the California Golden Bears had other ideas.  The Cougs were outplayed and gave up seven turnovers against a Cal team on a three game losing streak and were looking for a big win to turn their season around.  Bothell native Ross bowers who beat Chiawana in the state Championship 3 years ago threw for 259 yards and one touchdown, as well as ran for another and his Golden Bears thrashed the eighth ranked Cougars 37-3. 

The game started out strange, and continued that way all night.  On the opening kickoff of the game, freshman receiver Renard Bell took the opening kickoff to the endzone but was nullified by a holding penalty.  Three plays later, Falk was intercepted by Camryn Bynum at the Cougar 20 yard line. On their second possession, the Pac-12 player of the week Erik Powell who made four field goals against Oregon, missed a 49 yard field goal.  In their third possession, on the opening play of the drive, Falk connected with Jamire Calvin for a ten yard gain who then fumbled the ball and Cal’s Devante Downs returned it four yards to the WSU 48. 

On the following possession Vic Enwere  ran the ball 6 yards to the end zone to give the Bears a 10-0 lead late in the first.  The next Cougar possession, Falk put together a 15 play drive that took over 8 minutes, and Luke found Tavares Martin Jr. in the back of the end zone for a touchdown, but was called back because of a slight push off by Martin.  This was something the Cougs have been doing all year, and really didn’t seem to affect the play, but was how it went for WAZZU on Friday night.  Erik Powell connected on a 52 yard field goal for their only points of the game. 

In the final 2 minutes of the half, Falk rushed for 8 yards on 3rd and 10 and was hit in the helmet and called for targeting, which was then over turned.  Mitchell  Cox then punted the ball that went off the side of his foot and sailed 1 yard, so the Bears started their drive from the Cougar 45 yard line with 52 seconds left in the half.  Bowers drove the Bears down to the 2 yard line with two seconds left in the half.  They chose to go for the 6 points, and under pressure, Bowers was able to find Kyle Wells open to give the Bears 17-3 lead at half and  huge control of the game.

Falk came out in the second half firing, but on their first drive out of the locker room, Falk’s shovel pass bounced off the backs arm and intercepted by Raymon Davison at the Cal 14.  The Cougs just couldn’t get it together all night.  Two more of Falk’s five interceptions were deflected off WSU players.  Early in the fourth on 3rd and goal from the seven with the Bears up 20-3, Ross Bowers ran the ball and dove over the goal line, flipping into the endzone.  This looked identical to Bowers flip into the end zone against Chiawana in the state championship in 2014.  The 24 point deficit was too much for the Cougs to overcome this time and the eighth ranked Cougs were shocked by Cal.  “We didn’t play good in any aspect of the game.  Cal outcoached us, Cal outplayed us, “  Mike Leach said.  “They wanted to win more than we did, they tried harder than we did.  Our guys just saunter around the field like we had accomplished something.”


The Cougs needed this wake up call.  Last year opened up with two losses, which changed their mindset and following that game, they reeled off eight straight wins.  The Cougs haven’t played up to their potential all season.  They escaped Boise State and USC, but didn’t look like they had it all together, and Friday night showed that.  The Cougs play Colorado at home next Saturday then travel to Arizona.  The Cougs can just learn from their mishaps in this game.  23 yards of Rushing and 337 yards of total offense is uncharacteristic of the Cougs, and have nowhere to go but up.

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