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Cougars reclaim the season with ground game leading rout of Oregon

WASHINGTON STATE, it turns out, just needed a few weeks to get the rust off. The Cougars turned in an all-purpose beating of Oregon Saturday in front of  sold-out Martin Stadium to reclaim a season of promise. 

On a gorgeous Palouse night, the Cougars did to Oregon what they did to Idaho two weeks ago: deliver on offense and defense, and dial up a potent ground game.

Except for two special teams miscues — a blocked field goal and an Oregon kickoff return for a TD — the Cougars’ dominance was complete.

The final score was 51-33, and the season-opening losses to EWU and BSU look increasingly distant as the 2-2 Cougars now head to 3-1 Stanford next Saturday night.

Running backs Jamal Morrow, Gerard Wicks and James Williams combined for six rushing TDs (two each), nearly 300 ground yards and a pile more receiving hashes. The Cougars haven't rushed for six TDs in a game since 1992 and the days of Shaumbe Wright-Fair.

The Cougar offensive line of Cole Madison, Cody O’Connell, Riley Sorenson, Eduardo Middleton and Andre Dillard looked all the world like the Cougar roader graders of 1988 who produced two 1,000-yard rushers.

Luke Falk summed their play up nicely: "Our offensive line dominated the entire game."

Cougar coach Mike Leach told the Pac-12 Networks after the game that "you want to run it sometimes," and then borrowed an old June Jones joke that he'd like to run the ball 100 percent of the time in one game and then throw it 100 percent in another and say your offense is balanced.

"We have plenty of work to do but I'm proud of our guys," he said.

In all, WSU collected more than 650 total yards to Oregon’s 412 and doubled up on time of possession. Falk passed for 378 yards,  a TD on 36 of 48 accuracy.

The offensive output overshadowed a coming-out part for the Cougar defensive line, which has struggled with pressure this season but woke the echoes of Destiny Vaeao & Co., not only with sacks and hurries but a safety by Hercules Mata’afa in the third quarter.

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