WSU football: Falk owes Halliday dinner

PULLMAN—There is never any question whether quarterback Luke Falk (pictured above) is working hard or hardly working. Without a game this Saturday, the new Cougar starter is still spending his time studying film, as well as catching up on school work. Dinner with Connor Halliday is also on the schedule at some point, and Falk is buying.

“I’m pretty hard on myself with a few things, so anytime on film when I don’t do something right, the way I like it, I’m pretty hard on myself, and I try to correct it,” Falk said.

Falk found his love for watching film in high school when he would meet with his coach on a weekly basis and study the material for the upcoming matchup. From there, Falk continued his studying habits and developed a passion for preparing in the film room. Now he says it’s fun, and has taken it to a whole new level in college.

Mike Leach said Falk is focused and disciplined when it comes watching extra film and determining what he needs to improve on in football. Leach said the former walk-on quarterback compares very well to past quarterbacks who have played in the coach’s system, and that the most admirable quality about him is his work ethic.

“I’d say, as far as being calm and mentally going in their and taking the reins of things, he might be ahead of all of them. He seems way up there for that,” Leach said.

After taking the reins and leading the Cougars to a 39-32 victory over Oregon State in his first career start, Falk remembered the end of the game the best.

“The biggest memory I got is taking a knee and just looking up, praising God and just thanking Him for the blessings he’s given me, and it was just a great, great feeling right there to get a win and be with my teammates, singing our fight song down there,” Falk said. “That was probably the best memory I have from the whole experience, just being with my teammates and celebrating the win.”

Before that game, and before he filled in for the injured Halliday against USC, Falk had only played in the blowout win over Portland State. Falk said Halliday texted him after the Oregon State game with congratulations, and that the two will be going to dinner soon because the young quarterback owes Halliday for getting the big enough lead that led to Falk seeing some playing time against PSU.

Falk said he tried visiting Halliday in the hospital, but they weren’t allowing visitors at the time he went, so he left some gifts instead. Falk said he couldn’t divulge what those gifts were, though.

During the conference call on Tuesday, Falk also talked about the gift he received in the form of a phone call from inside receivers coach David Yost during the recruiting process. Falk had already committed to Cornell after receiving an offer from the school during his senior year at Logan High. However, the stars aligned, Falk said, when Yost called him about a walk-on spot at Washington State, just before the coach at Cornell left.

Falk said one of his favorite teams was Texas Tech when Leach coached there, and Leach’s offense resembled the scheme Falk ran in high school. Falk accepted the invitation to join Washington State as a walk on, leaving behind the opportunity to go to the Ivy League school that was primarily an academic decision.

When Falk took his visit to WSU, he recalled meeting with Leach and hearing the coach promise an equal opportunity at competing for the quarterback job. Sure enough, Leach stayed true to his word, Falk said. The chance to play quarterback may have come sooner than most people, including Falk and Leach, would have imagined, but Falk is now utilizing the mental reps spent being the understudy to perform on the field as the starter.

Leach said he thought Falk would make an immediate impact once he received the chance, and that was evident as early as fall camp this season. Leach also confirmed what Falk’s film studying and meticulous work have indicated, saying the quarterback was further along mentally in camp than even the coaches had expected.

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