Cougs Trap Bruins 27-21

In a rainy night in Pullman, the Cougs used 4 defensive turnovers including an interception with under a minute to go to give the Cougs a 27-21 win over UCLA.
After a huge win at Stanford last week, WSU was looking to add one to the win column in the last game they play against UCLA in 3 years.
After getting big run games the last 3 games, the Cougs start the game through the air, looking to put points on the board early.  The Cougs were slow to get their offense going after quarterback Luke Falk’s pass to River Cracraft was completed for a touchdown but was ruled incomplete because he didn’t complete the process of the catch.  That seemed to take the air out of their sales and they were only able to muster a field goal and 60 yards of offense in the 1st quarter. 
UCLA’s offense wasn’t any better as their highly touted quarterback Josh Rosen was out because of some hits he took last week against Arizona State.  That brought in Red-Shirt senior Mike Fafaul to make his first ever start.  The Bruins have one of the worst run defenses in the country so they were going to rely on Fafaul to beat the Cougars with his arm.  The Coug defense was able to hold UCLA to 100 Yards of offense in the first half.  WSU got in the end zone late in the second.  Faulk drove the Cougs down the field for a 19 play 91 yard drive ending in a Gerard Wicks 1 yard touchdown run.  Cougs held a 10-0 lead at the half.
The Cougs picked it up in the 2nd half after UCLA scored a touchdown off a Luke Falk fumble.  Falk drove WAZZU down in 7 plays and Wicks ran it in again from the  1 yard line to put the Cougs up 17-7 midway through the third.
Just when the Bruins looked down and out behind 24-7 in the fourth,  Fafaul put together a 15 play 75 yard drive ending in a 5 yard touchdown pass to Jordan Lasley  to pull the Bruins within 10.  After a WSU field goal, on the following possession, Fafaul drove the Bruins down again and found Darren Andrews for a 4 yard touchdown pass to pull the Bruins within 6.  That was as close as it would get.  With the Bruins backed up at their own 2 yard line, the pressure of the WSU defensive line forced Fafaul into a bad pass that Charleston White intercepted and ended the scare.
The Cougs looked a little down this game, but got the win.  This can be chalked up to a cold rainy grind out win that they can learn from.   This was Luke Falks first game without a touchdown pass in his career as they are starting to rely more on the run game inside the 5 yard line. The Cougs have won four in a row after losing their opening two games.   Next week, they go on the road to Tempe to battle the 5-2 Arizona State Sun Devils who were pummeled by the Colorado Buffaloes Saturday 40-16 in Boulder.

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Zenon Thornton

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