WSU quarterback Luke Falk exploded for 398 yards on 42-53 passing and 3 touchdowns as the Cougs hang on in the desert 37-32 over the Arizona State Sun Devils and improve to 5-2 on the season.
The Cougs started the game, with another slow first quarter. It took the offense almost the entire half to find their stride. Gabe Marks said following the game, “Luke sometimes takes some time to see what they are giving him.” Their offense was held to a field goal until midway through the second quarter following a Sun Devil touchdown, Robert Taylor returned the kickoff 100 yards to ignite the team and pull them within 4 points at 14-10. On the next possession, quarterback Luke Falk began to click. He drove the Cougs down by getting consistent gains throughout the possession. Falk completed a 9 yard pass to Tavares Martin Jr. for a touchdown that gave WAZZU at 17-14 lead at half.
The Sun Devil defense was putting the pressure on Falk the entire game. This was the same defensive front that sidelined UCLA’s quarterback Josh Rosen for the last two games. Falk was sacked 7 times in the game and looked hobbled for a good majority of it but battled through. Don’t be surprised if he sat out next week’s game against Oregon State to rest up. When asked how he felt following the game, Falk said, “I feel great that we got the win.” Under coach Leach, the Cougs don’t talk about injuries and it is hard to get a good feel on what their status is.
The Coug rushing game was only able to get 7 carries in the game because Arizona State was loading the box and giving Cougs the opportunity to pass at will. “They just loaded the box, gave different looks and different fronts. We’re a pass heavy team, so why wouldn’t we do that?” Falk said about the negative run yardage in the game. Early in the 4th Falk found Gabe Marks on a streak route down the sideline for a 52 yard touchdown strike to put the Cougs up 37-21. “I saw that Gabe had single coverage, and shook the crap out of the guy,” Falk said on the big play. The Cougs withstood a furious rally from the Sun Devils and were able to hold on for the five point win. “We started off slow, but ultimately did a nice job of having a gutsy win,” Falk said.
Mike Leach made national headlines this week, because of his comments regarding Arizona State stealing their play signs, and was fined $10,000. Coach responded to many of the questions in the post game press conference by saying that he respectfully declined to respond to the questions so that he would not get publicly reprimanded or fined.
The Cougs go on the road again next Saturday to face the 2-5 Oregon State Beavers who lost to the Huskies 41-17 Saturday. If the Cougars do rest Falk, this would be a good week to do it. This will be another late night Cougars game at 7:45 on ESPN 2.