WSU hammers Colorado 27-3, but win is bittersweet as Luke Falk is injured

ANOTHER SATURDAY, another win for Washington State in what has become the team's best season in more than a decade. But while the 2015 home finale resulted in a 27-3 win over Colorado, there was a cloud hovering over the victory, as quarterback Luke Falk left the game during the third quarter with an apparent head injury.

The Cougars defense, one of the great stories of this Pac-12 season, put together perhaps their best performance of the season, holding Colorado to three points and 323 yards. It was the first time this season the Buffaloes (4-8, 1-7) didn't score a touchdown in a game.

Washington State (8-3, 6-2 Pac-12) won its third consecutive game, and is only a last-second field goal miss from a seven-game winning streak.

Falk left the game with Washington State leading 17-0. With the Cougars driving midway through the third quarter, Falk was sacked on a clean play by the Buffaloes' Samon Kafovalu. Falk's head hit the turf, and was taken off the field by stretcher for precautionary reasons. Falk was moving all his extremities, and gave a thumbs up as he left the field.

ESPN2 reported that Falk was taken to Pullman Regional Hospital for tests. Prior to the tackle, Falk was 27 of 35 for 199 yards and a touchdown.

The game itself was decidedly in Washington State's favor. The Cougars scored in every quarter, with touchdowns in the first and second quarter for a 14-0 halftime lead. Keith Harrington started the scoring with a 1-yard run, followed by a second-quarter Falk to Dom Williams touchdown throw of 11 yards.

After the Falk injury, Colorado finally cracked the scoreboard with a field goal to cut WSU's lead to 17-3. But with Peyton Bender at quarterback, the Cougars immediately responded, scoring 35 seconds into the fourth quarter on a beautiful Gabe Marks' 16-yard touchdown reception.

It was Marks' 14th touchdown catch of the season, setting a single-season school record.

Washington State's defense was tested midway through the fourth quarter, when Colorado drove inside the 10 and threatened to score its first touchdown. But on fourth-and-goal from the 2, Buffs quarterback Cade Aspay fumbled the snap, and WSU turned back Colorado.

The Cougars later added the second of two Erik Powell field goals, a 37-yarder with 3:51 remaining, to increase the lead to 27-3.

Bender finished the game, completing 13 of 22 for 133 yards and a touchdown.

One of the Cougars' statistical stars was running back Gerard Wicks, who had 13 carries for 123 yards. It was WSU's first 100-yard rushing game since 2010.

Marks caught 11 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown to lead Cougar receivers.

Much, much more coming at regarding this game, including myriad video, commentary and other written pieces. Check back later this evening and tomorrow morning for all our coverage as the Cougars now turn their attention to the Apple Cup and Washington.

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