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Shalom Luani a difference maker but not big enough to overcome WSU's litany of miscues

BOISE - Shalom Luani returned to led a Cougar secondary that picked off three Brett Rypien passes. The game was almost another memorable Cougar comeback.

BSU's first possession of the second half came after the Cougs could muster up just 15 yards of offense forcing another WSU punt. That was all Bronco QB Brett Rypien needed. On the fifth snap Rypien connected on a 47-yard deep ball to Thomas Sperbeck for a TD. WSU found themselves on the wrong side of the score trailing 24-7 midway through the third quarter.

It looked as if WSU would pick themselves up off the mat as they took the ensuing kickoff and marched 62 yards in 13 plays. Unfortunately for Cougar fans, they couldn't convert a fourth-down play at the BSU 13. 

But the Cougar defense did their job and were able to force BSU to punt the ball right back. Kaleb Fossum's return to the WSU 47 set up Falk and company to claw their way back into this one.

After Falk scrambled for a few yards to midfield, he launched a missile down the middle on the next play. In a spectacular play on the ball, Tavares Martin hauled it at the Bronco 3. He rolled over the defender into the end zone. The play was initially ruled down at the 1, but replay correctly ruled it a TD: It was now BSU 24, WSU 14

Rypien rallied his troops to bounce back and equal the Cougar TD almost as simple as 1-2-3. Four plays from scrimmage for Boise State and they had a three score margin once again. BSU went up 31-14 and it felt for all the world like this one was over.

With just under 15 minutes left, Falk engineered a 9-play 75-yard scoring drive to close the gap on the scoreboard. The key play was a quick fourth-down scrambling pass by Falk to Jamal Morrow who slashed up the middle to earn another touchdown for WSU to pull to within 31-21.

Though neither team could crack the other defense over the next three series, there was plenty of time left to stage a Cougar comeback.

A Falk 33-yard deep ball to Gabe Marks went for another Cougar touchdown with 4:17 left in regulation, tightening the score to 31-28.

But that was all the scoring in this one as WSU was relegated to trying a Hail Mary which fell incomplete as time expired. Washington State dropped to 0-2 in the early going of the 2016 schedule.

We'll have much more coverage for you coming up.


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