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Déjà vu disaster: WSU loses 45-42 to Eastern Washington in season opener; second straight season opener with loss to FCS team

BACK IN JULY, CF.C columnist and Eastern Washington radio man Paul Sorenson pondered this game. "I’d say the Cougs should beat EWU by three TDs.That’s on paper. If the Eagles play a near-perfect game and the Cougs lack energy, this could be a whole bunch of fun in the fourth quarter." Wazzu fans, players and coaches might differ with Sorenson’s definition of fun as WSU lost for the second year in a row to an FCS team, 45-35.

The Cougar defense was shredded all night long by Eastern Washington. And the Washington State offense went missing for virtually the entire third quarter.

Unofficially, EWU racked up 610 yards of offense against the crimson stop corps, including 496 passing yards.

The Cougs led 28-24 at the half but Washington State’s offense didn’t score again until 4:42 remained on the clock. 

Still, WSU had time after pulling to 38-35. But Eastern marched 75 yards one more time on the Cougar defense to rebuild the lead to 10 points. WSU scored with 14 seconds left on a Gerard Wicks 2-yard run, Eastern recovered the onside kick and Mike Leach fell to 0-5 in season openers at Washington State.

Falk unofficially was 41-51 for 418 yards with 4 TDs and 1 INT.  Gabe Marks, who was limping badly at the end of the game, caught 10 passes for 108 yards and 2 TDs.

Washington State suffered a shocking loss to FCS Portland State in the opener last year. The Cougs bounced back to post a  9-4 mark on the season including a bowl game victory over Miami in the Sun Bowl. Cougar fans on Saturday night were left hoping somehow the Cougars can pull off a repeat in 2016.

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