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Lovin Leach!

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Lovin Leach!

Leach was 84-43 at Texas Tech and took the Red Raiders to 10 bowl games.  The hope on the Palouse is that he can restore the roar that saw the Cougs win 10 games in 3 consecutive seasons and strike offensive fear into opponents.

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All-New Cougs!

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Cougs Week 1 Preview

The 2012 edition of the Washington State Cougar football team come loaded with high hopes and expectations.  After coming a few plays from being bowl eligible, the Cougs got rid of Paul Wulff to bring in a winner in Mike Leach.  The WSU Cougars show their new look to a nationwide audience during the second game of ESPN’s kickoff special on Thursday, August 30th at 7:15 against the always competitive BYU Cougars. 

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Monday Mourning QB

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Don't Abandon Ship

As much as it hurts lets take a look back at Thursday's game.

BYU quarterback Riley Nelson threw for 285 yards on 25 for 36 passing and 2 touchdowns as he led his Brigham Young team to an Impressive 30-6 victory over the new look Washington State Cougars.

The hype and excitement surrounded LaVelle Edwards Stadium in Provo as the WSU Cougars and their new look offense took on the Cougars of BYU.  Many questions surrounded this game.  Was BYU’s offense going to start out where they left off last season averaging 35 points in their final 10 games?  Is WSU and Jeff Tuel going to be able to understand this new Mike Leach offense against the stacked defense of BYU? How is WSU’s young defense going to improve from a weak 2011 season?byupost1

A new coach with an impressive resume, a proven senior quarterback, and a star receiver gave WSU Cougar fans all the reason to be excited about the new season.  The only problem is that the Cougs were playing a loaded team both offensively and defensively in BYU.

It was a rude awakening to start the 2012 campaign for the WSU cougars.  After a defensive stop on BYU’s first drive, WSU put together a methodical drive that saw Jeff Tuel go 8 for 9 before a tipped ball interception at the 20 yard line of BYU by Uona Kaveinga.byupostrileynelson

BYU’s Riley Nelson then exposed the WSU secondary by putting together a 10 play 80 yard drive where he went 4-5 that ended with confusion in WSU’s secondary which enabled a wide open 7 yard touchdown pass to Skyler Ridley to give BYU a 7-0 lead to end the first quarter.

BYU didn’t stop there, they put together 3 more scoring drives in the first half that showed the youth in the cougars defense.   While WSU struggled to get in the end zone and move the ball in the first half, WSU kicker Riley Furney was able to get the cougars on the board with 2 field goals in the as BYU went into the locker room with a 24-6 lead.

It was more of the same for the cougars in the second half.  Jeff Tuel had time to throw, but the experienced BYU secondary had close coverage on WSU’s receivers all night.  WSU standout receiver Marquess Wilson had four catches for 61 yards not including two long passes that were called back due to holding calls.  After an incredible 2011 season, Wilson showed his frustration through body language, which seemed to reflect the night for the Cougs.

Quarterback Jeff Tuel, who found himself scrambling out of the pocket many times due to the tight coverage, finished 30 for 45 with 229 yards and 2 interceptions.  There were numerous times Tuel was in the red zone but wasn’t able to get the ball over the goal line.

byupost3Although it was a tough start to the season, the Cougs have a lot of things to take from this game.  It has been years since a quarterback in the crimson and grey has had the amount of time in the pocket that Tuel had.  The downside to that is that this was the first time Tuel was able to work with the new offense in game time situations.  The first drive that took up over 11 minutes looked very impressive, and showed the potential of the famed “Air Raid” offense.  WSU has three weaker opponents in Eastern Washington, Colorado, and UNLV coming up the next three weeks.  This will give both the offense and defense time to work out their kinks and smooth things out before they start Pac-12 play.  WSU’s rushing game which combined for negative 5 yards against BYU will have time to get on track and complement the passing game. 

Please check out washingtonsportsnetwork.com next Thursday as we will have the preview for the Cougs next home game on September 8th against the Eastern Washington Eagles.

WSU vs. BYU box score on espn.com:

http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=322430252

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Cougar Country

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Sweet Home Pullman!

After a disappointing first loss to BYU, the Cougs have shifted their attention to the showdown east of the mountains.  The Eastern Washington Eagles come to Pullman for the first meeting between these two teams in over 100 years.  The only two matchups in 1907 and 1908 were both Cougar victories 46-0 and 73-0 respectively.

The Eastern Washington Eagles are coming off an impressive opening week win at the sold out Kibbie Dome over the Idaho Vandals 20-3.  The Eagles defense held the Vandals to 237 yards of total offense.  The eagles have a good returning defense and one the Cougs will need to attack early to gain the confidence back in their defense.

The Eagles opened the 2011 season at Husky Stadium where they had a chance to take the lead in the last minute of the game but weren’t able to punch it in the end zone.  The big difference in last year’s team is that Bo Levi Mitchell is no longer the quarterback.  Instead Eastern has junior transfer from SMU, Kyle Padron.

After 2 good seasons at SMU, Padron put up average numbers at Idaho last week.  He went 13 for 33 with 260 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.  The Eagles leading receiver, Junior Brandon Kaufman had 5 receptions for 148 yards against the Vandals.  Eastern has a tall receiving core overall so the Cougs will need to defend against the deep ball in this high passing offense.

Eastern is a pass heavy team which will be a good break for the Cougs after getting shredded on the ground and through the air last week against BYU.   The Eagles return leading rusher from a year ago Jordan Talley, finished the season with 413 yards on the ground and 5 TD’s.  

Coach Mike Leach said at his press conference on September 3rd that he was looking forward to getting better in practice.  “We have to be a mentally tougher team,” Leach said.  The Cougs found theirselves showing their frustration through body language and attitude.  Leach plans to change their mentality and help them gain their confidence.

The Cougs will look to perfect the passing and running game, and start on their winning ways in the first of two home games.  Next week they take on the Colorado Buffaloes who lost a close game last week against cross state rival Colorado State.  The Eastern game will be a good indication of how the Cougs will be able to adapt this Mike Leach offense.  It will be interesting to see how the Cougs will adjust from the BYU game a week ago.

Eastern moved up 4 spots in the division 1-AA rankings, and are now rated number 11 in the country.   Chiawana stand outs Miquiyah Zamora and Jordan Downing who play for Eastern, have red shirted this year but will be on the sidelines cheering on the Eagles.

This will be the home opener for Mike Leach in the Palouse as well as the first game with the completed press box renovation.  There are less than 800 tickets available for the game, if you would like to go they have tickets sold at http://www.wsucougars.com/tickets/

The game will be at 12pm Saturday on the Pac-12 network which is not available in this area.  For Directv, charter and Dish subscribers which is everybody in the area, it sounds like it’s going to be at least a few more weeks.  The Pac-12 had signed a huge deal to be exclusive with the Pac-12 which means no more ROOT(Fox Sports) coverage of Pac-12 teams.  Many residents in southern Oregon have also been voicing their displeasure since they will not be able to see the Ducks play Fresno State this weekend on television.  The Seattle area was in an uproar last week until Comcast made a last second deal with the Pac-12 Network so Husky fans were able to see the game against San Diego State. 

For years there has been talk about the east coast bias, because the east coast wasn’t able to see many Pac-12 games due to the regional coverage of fox sports.  This was supposed to change that, and get the Pac-12 visible to the whole country similar to what the Big 10 Network has done.  Doesn’t make a whole lot of since why they would cut out the largest cable company in the country in Directv.  I expect a deal to be reached by the end of the month, especially since Pac-12 play will be in full tilt.

 We will keep you posted via twitter if there are any updates on if the game will be available to watch on the net.  We will have the post game report from the game on Saturday.

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Cougs Eeag One Out

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Cougs Eeag One Out

The Cougars showed flashes of brilliance, but stumbled to the finish line where the fate of their game came down to a Hail Mary attempt as time expired to seal the cougars 24-20 win over Eastern.

With the new press box opening, and huge hype behind Mike Leaches first home game as a Coug, the excitement began to build as the game drew closer.  The Washington State Cougars met the Eastern Washington Eagles for the first time in over 100 years.  For the opening of the press box, they flipped the original coin that was used forty years ago when Martin Stadium opened.

As Washington State Cougars Kicker Andrew Furney lined up to kickoff the opening of the finished press box, the first home opening sold out crowd in sixty years anxiously awaited.  As the game got underway, the loudest cheers ever to come out of Martin Stadium were prevalent.   The new press box creates a large wall for the sound to bounce off and create a loud enough stadium to give goose bumps the first time it is heard. 

After punting it away on their first possession, quarterback Jeff Tuel hit Marquess Wilson for a 32 yard strike to the 4 yard line which set up a 2 yard touchdown pass to Isiah Myers in the back of the end zone to give the Cougs an early 7-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.

We knew that the young cougar secondary was going to be tested, and Eastern showed the Cougs their deep game as Eastern quarterback Kyle Padron hit his receiver Brandon Kaufman for a 93 yard strike on third down to tie the game at 7. 

wsu game endzone1

Again the new Mike Leach offense looked impressive in the following drive.  For the first time in this young season, the running game awoke when Carl Winston ran for 27 yards which set up a 1 yard touchdown run by Winston to put the Cougs up 14-7 late in the first quarter.

The Eastern Eagles refused to go quietly.  They completed another big third down play good for 40 yards to tight end Zach Gehring.  They followed that with 2 more third down conversions.  A 3rd and 16 completions to Nicholas Edwards for 22 yards, and a Jordan Talley 3rd and Goal run for 5 yards to tie the game up at 14.

The Third down efficiency hit a snag for Eastern on their next drive when Kyle Padron was intercepted by Cougar linebacker Cyrus Coen who returned it 27 yards to the Eastern 17 yard line.  That was followed by another Jeff Tuel to Isiah Myers connection for 17 yards on the following play.  An acrobatic catch by Myers gave him his second touchdown of the day gave the Cougars a 21- 14 advantage halfway through the 2nd quarter.  After the game Myers said he had to play well since it was his first start and his family had all come to watch.

The Cougs ended the half with a 23 yard pass to Gabe Marks to the Eastern 43 yard line with 2 seconds remaining in the half.  That set up Cougar Kicker Andrew Furney for a 60 yard field goal.  The anticipation was all around and as soon as it left his foot, the crowd erupted immediately as the kick was good and the Cougs went into the locker room with a 24-14 lead.  Following game Furney was honored to be in the same breath with Cougar great Jason Hason.  When asked if he planned on breaking Jason Hanson’s 20 year old record of 62, he said he still has another year to do it. 

After a stagnant 3rd quarter for both teams, the Cougs lost quarterback Jeff Tuel due to injury early in the 4th.  The Cougs called on sophomore quarterback Conor Halliday.  With just over 6 minutes remaining in the game, Halliday hit Gabe Marks for a 37 yard pick up down to the Eagle 3.  After a pass interference that took it down to the 1, Teondray Caldwell fumbled the ball inches from the end zone.wsu tip

This is when things started to get shaky for the Cougs.  The Eagles put together and penalty filled 99 yard drive which ended 17 yard strike to Brandon Kaufman for his second touchdown of the day.

The Cougs got the ball back with 2:06 to go after a unsuccessful onside kick attempt by Eastern.  The Cougs went 3 and out after having 2 huge touchdown plays called back including Marquess Wilson’s second of the year that was taken back due to holding.

wsu eags num11WSU punted the ball back to Eastern giving them 1:29 for a final drive.  Eastern drove the ball down to the Cougar 32 yard line setting up one final play with 3 seconds remaining.  A final heave for quarterback Kyle Padron that was batted down by Cougar receiver Marquess Wilson who came in for his height, gave WSU a narrow victory over the competitive Eastern Washington Eagles.  For the Eagles, this makes it the second consecutive year that they took a Washington team down to the final minute with a chance to win, and come out on the losing end.

Leach after the game mentioned the fan involvement and how there was something special about the fans and how he looked forward to the future with WSU.  Leach mentioned that Jeff Tuel was fine and joked that they don’t get injured.

The Cougars will travel to Las Vegas next week to take on the Running Rebels of UNLV for a Friday Night showdown at 6:00.  Interesting note, Jason Hanson broke the record when he hit the 62 yard field goal at UNLV in 1992.

Box Score: http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=322520265

Around Campus

The cougar ribbon cutting ceremony for the new press box took place 3 hours before kickoff.wsu ribbon

wsu tuel parentsTalking with Jeff Tuel’s parents before the game, they were wearing their jerseys from the 2010 season as to not jinx him, because last year he spent most of the season injured.  The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, Jeff Tuel against his lines wishes cut his hair, because he didn’t play well last week with the longer hair.

This is the second year the Cougs park the bus outside the end zone, and the team led by Mike Leech gets off and touches the rock on the Cougar Statue and walk to the locker room.wsu touch the- coug

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Cougs Head to Desert

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Cougs Head to the Strip

The Cougs take their show on the road for a Friday night matchup with the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels on ESPN at 6pm.  This is their second national ESPN game in 3 weeks and WSU is looking to improve to 2-1.  Sam Boyd Stadium will be the site and the Runnin’ Rebels  trying to get their 1st win of the season after losing an opening week triple overtime thriller against Big Ten opponent Minnesota, and a disappointing loss last week against FCS team Northern Arizona.Nick Sherry

This is another game, the Cougs should win, but until we see some consistency on both sides of the ball, it is hard to look past any game.   The Cougars are 11.5 point favorites in this one, but we all know what happens when we get over confident, something like what happen last Saturday versus Eastern.

UNLV is using a freshman quarterback in Nick Sherry who has been less than impressive, completing only  50% of his passes, and 355 yards over 2 games.  In the Minnesota game, which would be more comparable to the Cougs, he threw for only 116 yards, with 3 interceptions and 1 TD.

tim cornettThe Rebels running game is what the Cougs need to focus on this week.  Junior Tim Cornett has averaged 5.4 yards a carry with 268 yards and 3 TD’s.  The Cougars defense is averaging nearly 100 yards per game against the run this season.  The problem area for the Cougs has been the pass defense, giving up over 300 yards in each of the first two games.  The Cougs young secondary needs to make some changes.  They only giving up 90 yards on the ground versus Eastern, but  gave up 379 passing yards against the Eagles, including a 93 yard touchdown pass.   Because of UNLV is bringing in a freshman quarterback who hasn’t shown much yet, I think this is a game the Cougs should be able to excel in their secondary going into conference play next week.

UNLV played at Martin Stadium last year and got dismantled 59-7 and were held to 158 yards of total offense.  This is a Rebel team that is playing at Sam Boyd stadium in front of their own crowd, so they won’t put up those kind of numbers, but the Cougs should be able to control the game offensively and ultimately come out with the win. 

Jeff Tuel, who went out last Saturday late in the third with a knee injury may not play this week.  Leach originally said on Saturday that he was fine, but Tuel didn’t take any snaps in Monday's practice.  Leach won’t comment on the quarterback situation but has said in the that he would play a quarterback after not taking many snaps the prior week.

Cougars safety Deone Bucannon will be suspended for the first half because of a brutal late hit he laid on Eastern Wider Receiver Greg Herd.  For a replay of the hit, click the link below.

http://www.cougcenter.com/2012/9/11/3317184/deone-bucannon-suspended-wsu-cougars-football-unlv

Coug fans remember, this is still a team that went 4-8 last year including a down to the wire win versus Arizona State.  There were such high expectations coming into this season because of Mike Leach and the flashes of brilliance that they showed last season, but it’s still the Cougs.  I too in the back of my mind was hoping for 8-10 wins given Leach’s track record, but that is really unrealistic.  We as cougar fans want to get back to the Rosebowl and Holiday Bowl seasons of a decade ago, but it’s just going to take some time.  A reasonable expectation for the Cougs would be to go 6-6.  The Cougs have a winnable game Friday against UNLV, and another one next week against 0-2 Colorado, so potentially 3 wins after next week.  The more the year goes on, the more time this offense will have time to jell, and the defense to adjust so they can be more effective.  The Cougs will have some good games this season and can hopefully pull in a bowl game, which is a huge improvement over the past 8 seasons.

The Cougs will be home against the Colorado Buffaloes next week before traveling to Century Link field to face the Ducks.

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What Happens In Vegas

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Cougars Win In Vegaswsu just win unlv

Connor Halladay went 26 for 44 with 378 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Cougars travel down to the desert and get their first non-conference road win since 2005 over the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

The Cougs were looking to light a fire on the offensive end, after showing signs of success in the first two games, but nothing consistent.  Although, suited up and walking the sideline, Cougar quarterback Jeff Tuel sat out Friday night’s game due to a knee injury last week against Eastern.  Sophomore quarterback Connor Halliday started the game with this Cougar offense and did not disappoint. 

MarquesunlvAfter an interception in their first offensive possession, Halliday put together an 8 play 70 yard drive that ended in a 4 yard Marquess Wilson touchdown and his first of the season.  This started an onslaught from quarterback Connor Halliday.  Halliday threw all 4 of his touchdown passes in the first half.  He added an 81 yard bomb to Marquess Wilson for his second of 2 touchdowns, and touchdown passes to Isiah Myers and freshman Gabe Marks for a 52 yard scamper. 

The Cougs jumped out to a 28-10 lead halfway through the 2nd quarter before the Rebels added a75 yard touchdown pass of their own when UNLV quarterback Nick Sherry hit sophomore receiver Marcus Sullivan in coverage.  UNLV also added an 18 yard Nolan Kohorst field goal as time expired to narrow the Cougs lead to 28-20 at the half.

The Cougs have been plagued by second half offensive ineptitude this season, and it was more of the same on Friday night.  The third quarter didn’t provide any points and led to a not so entertaining fourth quarter for Coug fans

The Cougs were able to get a 4 yard touchdown rush from Leon Brooks early in the 4th quarter to give the Cougs what seemed to be the game clincher to make the score 35-20.  But Coug fans know that it’s never over until it’s over.  The Cougs were able to get a stop in the following possession and Halliday followed that with an interception to give the Rebels another chance in Cougar territory.

This is where it gets interesting.  Sound familiar?  That is because this game had an eerily similar resemblance to the game last Saturday against Eastern.  When a pass by Nick Sherry on 3rd and two sailed over his intended receivers head, Cougar safety Deone Bucannon laid a late hit on a defenseless player which gave UNLV a first down on the Cougar 24.  This is the same Deone Bucannon who was suspended for the 1st half of this game because of an awful late hit against Eastern which helped get the Eagles back in the game.  Sherry then hit Caleb Harring for a 20 yard pass to the cougar 4, and then a touchdown run by Jake Phillips to pull the rebels within 8 with 1:44 to go in the game and 3 timeouts. 

The next 1:44 appeared to take a lifetime.  After a recovered onside kick by the Cougs, they were able to get a first down.  The puzzling play here is that the Cougs passed the ball on 1st down which went incomplete.  That saved the Rebels a timeout and gave them some time to use if they got the ball back.  Then on 4th and 4 at the UNLV 38 with 44 seconds remaining, the Cougs elected to go for it and failed.unlv

This Gave the Rebels 40 seconds to tie it.  Fortunately for the Cougs, they deflected a 42 yard hail mary pass by Nick Sherry and escaped with a win.

Looking back at this game, as I let the frustration and question marks subside, the offense showed us what it could be when it is clicking.  Many of us have wondered when this famed “air raid” offense can be when it gets going.  The Rebel defense was so terrified of the deep ball, that it opened up the underneath routes as well.  There were some badly thrown balls to open receivers and dropped balls that could have added additional scores.  Gabe Marks and Marquess Wilson had over 100 yards receiving, and last game we saw Isiah Myers hit that feet.  With so many weapons on this team the offense is going to continuously get better.  The question is, how long will it take for them to jell?

On the other side of the coin, the Cougar defense and young secondary continue to struggle.  A quarterback who was averaging a little more than 100 yards a game coming in, was able to throw for 351 yards against the Cougs.  There are so many holes in this defense that it is hard to patch up.  The good thing is that once the offense starts rolling, they will be able to outscore opponents similar to the Baylor team of a year ago.  The other thing is that Connor Halliday doesn’t quite have the consistency of Jeff Tuel yet, so we should continue to see Tuel getting the starts.  Tuel still needs some time with the offense in game situation, so it would have been nice for him to get some reps this game.

unlv3The Cougs face another beatable opponent Saturday in the Colorado Buffaloes.  This will give them one last chance to fine tune their offense before they start facing the tougher Pac-12 opponents.  Leach is definitely one of a kind, and although it can be frustrating at times to see his unorthodox play calling in crunch time, it should grow on us as the Cougs get back to prominence.

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Buffalo Meat

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Where the Buffalo Roam

The Cougs head back home for Pac-12 play, and they couldn’t have picked a better opponent.  The 0-3 Colorado Buffaloes who have looked as bad as any division I team in the country.  As the Cougs are still trying to find their identity both offensively and defensively, they will face an opponent that should accentuate the “Air Raid” offense, and make their weak defense look like the ’85 Bears.  Again, this is the Cougs we’re talking about, so nothing should surprise us, but on paper, this looks like an easy win and a numbers builder for the Cougs.

So what has gone wrong for Colorado this season?  After losing their first two games to Colorado State and Sacramento State, the Buffaloes got handed a 69-14 beat down at Fresno State.  Not to take anything away from the Bulldogs, but as a team in the 2nd highest rated conference, that is flat out humiliating.cu

The Buffaloes are ranked 106th and above in the following categories: points for, points against, rushing yards, and passing yards.  The buffaloes can’t seem to do anything write against a below average schedule.

Buffs quarterback Jordan Webb has 432 yards over 3 games with 2 interceptions and 4 touchdowns.  The Cougs backup quarterback Connor Halliday had 378 yards In Friday’s game alone.  Colorado’s back Christian Powell has 199 yards over 3 games and averages just above 4 yards a carry.

cu2If the Cougars defense has showed us anything, it is that they make opposing teams quarterbacks look like All-Americans.  Last week against UNLV, the Cougs gave up 351 passing yards to a quarterback in Nick Sherry who was averaging just over 100 yards a game in his first 2 contests.

The Cougs beat the Buffaloes last year in the final minute with a 63 yard touchdown pass to Marquess Wilson to give the Cougs a 31-27 win.  The Cougs also went into that game 2-1, so a similar season record wise for the Cougs.

That being said, the Cougs should have a good chance to tune up before they start playing much tougher competition in the Pac-12.  Mike Leach loves stringing the media along.  He never wants to say exactly who is going to start.  He likes to compare it to giving away the ending of a movie before someone sees it.  Tuel has the experience, and has a much better accuracy percentage, so there shouldn’t really be any doubt with Tuel being the starter since he has been practicing this week.

The game will air on FX on Saturday at 1pm.  I should be a fun one for those who like offense.

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Shock and Awe

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Shock & Awe

As 19 point favorites heading into Saturday’s game, the Cougs saw their 17 point lead with just over seven minutes to go in the game turn into a 35-4 Colorado win.

Connor Halliday got the start for the Cougs due to Jeff Tuel’s knee injury that he received in the game versus Eastern Washington that hasn’t completely healed yet.  Halliday started the game with a bang by putting together a 6 play, 75 yard drive that ended in a third down heave to freshman receiver Gabe Marks for the Cougars first score.

The theme for the first three games has been the Cougars inability to stop anybody.  The following drive Buffaloes quarterback Jordan Webb found Nelson Spruce for a 16 yard touchdown that tied the game at 7.wsu v col2

The score remained tied until Halliday hit Marquess Wilson for a 23 yard touchdown strike to give the Cougs a 7 point lead.  The following drive after a Colorado fumble, Halliday found Isiah Myers for a 15 yard touchdown to make the score 21-7.

After the first score, the Cougs defense maintained a bend but don’t break mentality as they allowed yards, but no more scores the rest of the 1st half.

On the Cougs first possession of the 3rd quarter, Colorado’s Phil Vigo forced a fumble on a hard hit to Cougars running back Carl Winston which placed the ball at the Cougars 1 yard line for the Buffaloes which set up a 1 yard touchdown run for quarterback Jordan Webb to pull the Buffs within seven at 21-14.

Midway through the third, the Cougs corner Daniel Simmon intercepted Jordan Webb on the sideline and just got the one foot in bounds.  That lead to a Halliday to Marquess Wilson 49 yard touchdown connection for Wilsons second touchdown of the game and fourth in the last two games.

Unfortunately for the Cougars, their 4th quarter woes continued.  At the 7:06 mark of the 4th quarter, Colorado quarterback Jordan Webb hit Nick Kasa for a 70 yard touchdown pass which made the score 31-21.  After a cougars punt, Colorado back Tony Jones ran for 84 yards and another Buffalo touchdown to make the score 31-28 with 4:23 remaining.  The Cougars were able to add a field goal, and then the Buffaloes had one last drive and 3:17 to do it.  The Buffaloes drove it all the way down to the Cougars four with seconds remaining.  That set up a 4th and goal in which Jordan Webb scampered up the middle for the winning score and handing the Cougs a devastating second loss.wsu v col4

Following the game coach Leach said, “The biggest thing is our mentality.  We are a mentally week team.  When we get ahead we want to relax and enjoy it.”  He went on to say, “As coaches and players, there has to be some accountability.  Mentally we’re afraid to be successful, afraid to win, I don’t know if were afraid of the responsibility that comes with winning.  But we need to go out there and take pride in our individual battles and winning them.”  Coach leach was visibly upset as expected and expressed optimism in the team.

The Cougs travel next week to Century Link Field in Seattle where they face the #3 rated Oregon Ducks for a 7:30 night game on ESPN.  The Cougs will have a good home crowd, and the Husky fans will mostcertainly be rooting for the Cougs as their hatred for the Ducks runs much deeper. 

Although I said earlier this week that  Jeff Tuel  is the starter when he gets healthy, he hasn’t seen a snap in over 9 quarters.  Halliday has the experience now by starting the past two weeks.  Although the Cougs may get blown out by the ducks, the Cougs want to give their team the best chance to win.  I believe Tuel is the better quarterback overall, but Halliday has the reps with the this new offense, and although you can never tell with Leach, it would be probable to see Halliday start next week.  Leach runs a tight ship and doesn’t like the media to know much, so we’ll probably find out on gameday.

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