WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: Falk falters in heat

AN OUTING IN WHICH Luke Falk threw for 601 yards and three touchdowns should have elicited joy across Cougar Nation -- and yet turned into a debacle that had even staunch loyalists burying their heads in the desert sand. When all was said and done, five turnovers negated any positives as Washington State fell 52-31 to No. 13 Arizona State. And the media and Twitter-verse had plenty to talk about.

The accumulation of the pressure from the Sun Devils seemed ultimately to unnerve Falk, who had four interceptions among his 74 attempts, throwing for 601 yards, plus a fumble when he was hit hard from behind. It was a different day from the one at Oregon State two weeks ago, when Falk threw for five scores and no interceptions in a winning first start.
-- Bud Withers, The Seattle Times

In many ways Luke Falk still looked very impressive for a freshman quarterback. But for the first time we also saw some blemishes. And against an attacking defense, and with a defense that didn't give him second chances, they were the difference in a blowout loss and an upset win.
-- Jacob Thorpe, The Spokesman-Review

Two weeks ago, CF.C’s message boards compared Falk to “A Who’s Who of WSU Quarterbacking History.” He was favorably regarded to the winningest signal-caller in WSU history, Jason Gesser. Or, in the eyes of some, the former No. 2 overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, Ryan Leaf, was a better example of how successful Falk can become ... On Saturday, Falk looked, well, human. His youth showed.
-- Chris Chancellor, Cougfan.com

Arizona State didn't attack Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday much in 2012 and '13, yet won those games 46-7 and 55-21. So with Halliday out with a broken leg and a freshman in his place, the Sun Devils figured a similar defensive strategy would work Saturday. Except it didn't. The Cougars went ahead 21-7 late in the first half, and ASU reverted to its big-time rush in an attempt to rattle Luke Falk.
-- Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic

Falk was impressive coming off the bench to replace an injured Connor Halliday against USC and had a brilliant starting debut at Oregon State and a strong start at Arizona State, when the Cougs jumped ahead 21-7 against the Sun Devils. But things went haywire thereafter, and Falk started looking like a freshman.
-- Ted Miller, ESPN.com

Arizona State knew exactly what it was getting into against Washington's "Air Raid" offense and figured it could take advantage. The Cougars played right into the Sun Devils' hands.
-- Tyler Lockman, FOX Sports Arizona

In a wildly uneven season, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to look at yet another lopsided score and marvel at the Cougars' defense giving up yet another boatload of points. But in the case of Saturday's 52-31 loss at No. 13 Arizona State, the final tally was not, in fact, the result of a defensive debacle.
-- Jennifer Chancellor, Cougfan.com

Whatever the reason, Arizona State started slowly Saturday against Washington State, falling behind at halftime, looking like a team about to bottom out in the final weeks of the regular season. Then everything changed.
-- Doug Haller, The Arizona Republic

On the first play of Saturday’s game Arizona State tried to pick on the new guy. It didn’t work. The Sun Devils sent running back D.J. Foster up the far side of the field, daring Marcellus Pippins to make a play in coverage against one of the Pac-12’s most dynamic players.
-- Jacob Thorpe, The Spokesman-Review

In the first half, Washington State was on the move. First the Cougars were up by seven, then by 14. Just before halftime, they kicked a field goal that put them up by three. Then came an avalanche of turnovers, and a promising Saturday in the desert became a 52-31 loss to No. 13 Arizona State.
-- The Associated Press

Our d line is unstoppable when they play like this
-- @c_halliday12

Falk threw 74 passes??? Attention RB recruits thinking about attending Washington State! lol
-- @willblackmon

AKA: I still believe in my Cougs. I still believe in Luke Falk. And I'll never stop believing. #GoCougs
-- @hard_days_tweet

I got a feeling @Vince_Mayle is gonna be a Husky killer next weekend. #GoCougs #AppleCup
-- @rastern6

Still trying to figure out why Wazzu defense fell apart after every turnover but played pretty well on all the other drives #GoCougs
-- @BreatheEasy2614

At least our kicker was 100% on all attempts today. #progress #GoCougs
-- @EricMcMillan15

Falk looked great for the most part today. Made a few young QB errors but he's only going to get better. #GoCougs
-- @JB_GoCougs

Cougars looked real good today. Turnovers weren't all on Luke. That's my 2 cents. #GoCougs
-- @TimmySorensen

Falk just threw for 600 yds and I'm not even close to calling that one a moral victory. Lean from it and go kick some ass next week #GoCougs
-- @cjbrinton

Still think Falk's future is looking really bright. To be fair ... I thought the same thing about Swogger. #GoCougs
-- @WhatSmileyKnows

@Lukefalk4 you know how you get over this loss? You crush the Huskies! #GoCougs
-- @Joycethecoug

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