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STATS AND NUGGETS: Dylan Hanser's long arms of the law factor in big in Cougars 27-21 win over UCLA

THE COUGAR DEFENSE didn't garner much respect from one UCLA writer headed into the game. But after Washington State forced four UCLA turnovers and held the Bruins to 301 yards of total offense, "mediocre" isn't the first word that comes to mind. And it's a pretty safe bet no one writing about WSU's 27-21 win would have anything but superlatives for Wazzu rush Dylan Hanser.

With rush co-starter Logan Tago suspended, Hanser forced two key fumbles -- two fundamentally perfect rip-and-strips.  Hanser's production was part of a (mostly) salty Cougar D -- bottom line, if this what a "mediocre defense" looks like, they'll need to change the definition of the word.

Here are more notable crimson notes, followed by the official game stats:

•        RB Gerard Wicks rushed for two touchdowns - he now has seven rushing touchdowns and nine overall this season. Both are team highs.

•        CB Marcellus Pippins recorded his second interception of the season, fifth of his career.

•        Backup nose tackle Ngalu Tapa recorded his first career tackle. He finished with two stops, one for loss.

•        CB Charleston White recorded his second interception of the season

•        River Cracraft caught six passes for 74 yards, upping his career receptions to 196 and moving into second in WSU history. Cracraft upped his career receiving yards to 2,391 hashes, No. 8 in school history.

•        Gabe Marks caught six passes for 36 yards, upping his career receptions to 267, tops at WSU and second-most in Pac-12 history. Marks upped his career receiving yards to 2,896, passing Dom Williams to claim the No. 2 spot in school history (Marquess Wilson, 3,207).

•        DE Hercules Mata’afa made a career-high seven tackles, including one for loss. He tied with LB Peyton Pelluer for the team-high vs. UCLA.

•       Attendance: 29,310

•        WSU improved to 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 2003.  WSU also recorded its first four-game winning streak since 2003.

•        WSU beat UCLA for the second straight season for the first time since 2006-07.

•        WSU’s 18-play, 91-yard touchdown drive in 7:08 the was longest this season in plays, yards and time.

•        WSU improved to 12-3 when forcing two or mote turnovers under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.

•        WSU's three rushing touchdowns upped the total to 16 this season.  It is the most ground scores for the Cougs since 2005 (20).

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