DOMINATION: Cougs, Lobster fire at will

WSU BROUGHT AN oversized carving board and a couple sets of high carbon steel knives to the tilt with UNLV -- and proceeded to slice, dice and carve up the Running Rebels from the jump. Marshall Lobbestael, and his o-line, had a game for the ages, while the D turned back UNLV time and time again in a rip-roaring 59-7 blowout victory on Saturday afternoon in sun splashed Martin Stadium.

Lobbestael wasn't on fire in the first half.

He was an oversized 25-burner gas grill cranked up on full inferno blast.

The fifth year senior from Oak Harbor was 18-21 (85.7 percent) for 274 yards with 4 TDs.

In the first half.

His first half QB rating, just north of Pluto, checked in at 258.2. The Lobster came back to the rings of Saturn by the end of the game, with a final game rating of 221.

The Cougs' domination of the last two weeks sets up nicely for a big test next Saturday, when WSU goes on the road and faces a large step up in class in the form of SDSU (2-0).

ON THIS SATURDAY HOWEVER, Lobbestael connected on TD strikes of 5, 19, 21, 23, 7 yards. He finished 24-32 for 362 hashes and 5 TDs with no picks. His performance today followed a 14-of-19 effort against Idaho State that put him in the top ten in the nation for QB rating. But he was far from the only offensive standout -- the Cougars had 610 yards of total offense.

Rickey Galvin had all of five carries, but racked up 80 yards and a touchdown on his limited touches. Marquess Wilson (5-102), Kristoff Williams (4-89) and Isiah Barton (4-69) all had touchdown receptions. So did tight end Andrei Lintz who hauled in a 23-yard scoring strike. Jared Karstetter? He had two touchdowns, with six grabs for 66 yards.

After two games, WSU looks to have grabmasters galore and a powerful, pace-setting offensive attack. But the defense doesn't look too shabby either.

AFTER ALL, as the Cougars went up 35-0 in the first half, the Cougar D had allowed UNLV all of two first downs and 52 total yards on offense.

UNLV had six possessions in the first half. Four of them were three and outs against the Cougar D.

The leading tacklers on defense were the three starting linebackers – C.J. Mizell (7, 4 solo), Alex Hoffman-Ellis (6, 3 solo) and Sekope Kaufusi (5, 4 solo).

The defensive line, particularly DT Kalafitoni Pole (4 tackles) and DE Travis Long (2 tackles, w/ one for loss), clogged the lanes, limited a UNLV rushing attack that went for 146 yards against No. 8 Wisconsin and put pressure on the QB throughout.

Defensively, with the substitutions beginning long before the fourth quarter, WSU held the Rebels to nine first downs.

And a paltry 158 yards of total offense.

Yow. Or as Jim Walden said on the radio broadcast, Yee-haw.

WITH LOBBESTAEL'S DAY done at the end of the third frame, playing most of the fourth quarter behind center was QB Connor Halliday. He wasted no time, hitting Kristoff Williams on his second pass for a 57-yard catch and run to the end zone.

Later, Halliday connected with Puyallup walk-on Bennett Bontemps on a scoring strike, the first career TD for the valuable special teams stalwart.

They weren't the only reserves to get valuable time and enjoy success. LB Mike Ledgerwood forced a fumble. Fellow ‘backer Darren Markle recovered it. Marcus Mason ripped off a nice 12-yard run as the Cougs chewed up more and more yards.

WSU LOST THEIR shutout bid late when a kickoff coverage snafu saw UNLV take one back 95 yards in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

It was a small positive for UNLV, on a day where the Palouse sun was shimmering a bright, blinding crimson.

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