WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: WSU offense comes alive

WASHINGTON STATE'S Air Raid offense was unleashed Friday against UNLV after being mostly absent the first two games of the season. After Connor Halliday's 379-passing yard effort against the Runnin' Rebels, many scribes far and wide wrote that this Cougar offense is beginning to come to form.

Connor Halliday may not be the Washingon (sic) State starting quarterback when the Cougars host Colorado next Saturday, but the WSU backup made a strong case for the starting job against UNLV on Friday. Playing in relief of injured starter Jeff Tuel (knee), Halliday threw for 379 yards and four touchdowns as WSU topped UNLV 35-27 -- John Breech, CBS Sports

Was Washington State's 35-27 victory over UNLV on Friday night pretty? No. Did it suggest the Cougars are ready to compete in the Pac-12? No. But is this program, even with fancy new coach Mike Leach, in any position to gripe about a road victory over an FBS team? Not yet, particularly with its backup quarterback getting the start. -- Ted Miller, ESPN.com

Connor Halliday, who has a track record backing up Tuel, did it again admirably. Making his second career start, he gunned four touchdown passes in the first half and ensured the Cougars didn't lose to one of FBS's most dubious football teams, 35-27. -- Bud Withers, Seattle Times

Halliday treated a national television audience and more than 5,000 WSU fans to his high-risk, high-reward style of play, passing for 378 yards and four touchdowns in a wild 35-27 triumph over UNLV. -- Howie Stalwick, Kitsap Sun

Halliday completed 26-of-45 passes and was intercepted twice for the Cougars (2-1), who earned their second straight win after dropping their season opener to BYU.Gabe Marks had six receptions for 126 yards and a score, while Marquess Wilson pulled in five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns for Washington State -- The Associated Press

In their third game under Mike Leach, the Cougars showed flashes of the offensive explosiveness the new coach was expected to bring to Pullman. -- Lewiston Morning Tribune

Still, in between the busted coverages, penalties (12 for 128 yards) and failed attempts to knock UNLV out for good, the Cougars (2-1) managed their best offensive effort of the season – by far – in a 35-27 win at Sam Boyd Stadium, making sophomore Connor Halliday a winner in his second career start. -- Christian Caple, Spokesman Review

"We had 5,000 fans come here, which is impressive. Washington State sold 5,000 tickets this game, and they're incredibly supportive. I can't say enough about that." -- WSU head man Mike Leach. Connor Halliday came up huge for the Washington State Cougars, leading them to a nice 35-27 win on Friday night (September 14). There were times when he didn't play very cleanly on the field, but Halliday came through when the offense really needed it. -- Ryan Gamble, Examiner.com

It's a touchy subject in our community and on the campus of UNLV. Each year some fans call for the university to toss out the football program. Following an embarrassing loss to Northern Arizona last weekend, The Rant lines lit up. -- Craig Huber, Las Vegas Fox5 News

UNLV is a little more than an hour away from playing its most important football game of the season when the Rebels meet Washington State at 6 p.m. at Sam Boyd Stadium. -- Mark Anderson, Las Vegas Review-Journal

"Well it did and it shouldn't have." -- Mike Leach on the second straight week of having a game do down to the wire and defending at the end.

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