HALF: Cougs push Card around, lead 14-3 at break

A HARD HITTING Cougar D led the charge in the first half at No. 15 Stanford, helping pace Washington State to a 14-3 lead after two quarters down on The Farm. Luke Falk and the Cougar O stopped themselves early but found their rhythm, and the end zone, on Wazzu’s third drive of the game -- and later on a fourth-and-seven from within field goal range.

The Cougar D mostly contained the Stanford O in the first half --  a 23-yard run by Christian McCaffrey was among the few Cardinal highlights.

At one point late in the second quarter, Washington State had held Stanford to 88 yards of total offense with the Cougar Air Raid at 206 hashes and counting.

The only real surprise at the half was that Washington State “only” had an 11-point lead, so titled was the play in favor of the Cougs.

Falk dropped in more than one impressive touch pass to his receivers corps in the first half, including one to River Cracraft (pictured above). Meanwhile, Washington State running backs saw success on limited touches with the Cougar air attack – including a  45-yard shovel pass to Jamal Morrow – the primary crimson weapon.

Mike Leach in the second quarter eschewed a field goal try and went for it on fourth-and-seven from the 29-yard line. 

Falk rewarded his coach’s confidence by dropping a perfect arc  to Tavares Martin, who ripped and curled his way across the field and into the end zone. 

Linebacker Peyton Pelluer’s crushing sack forced a fumble, with Isaac Dotson’s recovery setting up the Cougs in Stanford territory.   Later, on fourth-and-six from the Stanford 25-yard line, Leach sent in kicker Erik Powell. But Powell missed, and is now 0-5 on field goal tries this season.

When Falk tossed a pick early on, setting up Stanford in WSU territory, the crimson stop corps forced a field goal attempt from 50 yards that clanked off the upright.

With Dylan Hanser, Hercules Mata’afa and Frankie Luvu among those flashing to the football when Stanford ran it, the front 4 made life difficult for the Stanford QB through the air. Can the Cougs sustain that, and carve out some breathing room in the third quarter?

Stay tuned, we’ll have complete coverage coming up on!


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