Garrett McBroom ignites furious Cougar comeback over Oregon State

WITH ROBERT BARBER on his left arm, first-year Washington State defensive lineman Garrett McBroom used the first sack of his WSU career to ignite the seemingly hapless Cougars on Saturday at Oregon State in one of the most confounding crimson performances this season.

With OSU deep in WSU territory at the start of the second half following a botched fake punt by the Cougars, McBroom blew through the OSU line to sack scrambling Beaver QB Marcus McMaryion for an 8-yard loss. The take down pushed the Beavers out of field-goal range and, following an incomplete pass, OSU had to punt.

Three plays later, Luke Falk and Jamal Morrow teamed up for a 66-yard scoring aerial that Falk and River Cracraft capped off with a two-point conversion.

Just like that, a team that had been dominated by a heavy underdog in every way since the opening whistle had narrowed the deficit to 24-14.

And McBroom, the 6-3, 282-pound junior college transfer with the high motor, was on the ground floor of a third quarter Cougar firebombing.

Following the Morrow TD, the Cougar defense produced another three-and-out stop and moments later Falk went deep to Gabe Marks for a scoring strike covering 37 yards that brought the Cougs to within 24-21.

Rinse and repeat. The Cougar D then cranked out another three-and-out and Falk subsequently connected with Marks on a 28-yard TD aerial to put the Cougs up for the first time, 28-24. They finished the quarter with 235 yards.

The 21-0 deficit WSU found itself in mid-way through the second quarter was now ancient history as they went on to the 35-31 victory — the Cougars' sixth-straight win that makes them bowl-eligible for the third time in the last four years and kept their unbeaten Pac-12 record intact.

McBroom — who had the letters ROB written on his left arm in homage to Barber, his suspended linemate — was an unlikely fire starter to this Cougar blaze.

While he’s played a ton this season and started the past four games, he came into Corvallis with modest stats: four total tackles (none for loss) and one quarterback hurry.

Now he may be known as the guy who reignited a glorious season that looked for all the world like a season on the brink after the first 22 minutes of play in Corvallis.

The Cougars are now 6-2 overall and 5-0 in Pac-12 play. They host Arizona (time TBD) next Saturday.

McBroom is a Stillwater, Okla., product who enrolled at WSU this past January following two years at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. He earned All-Southwest JC Football Conference second-team honors after tallying 66 tackles with 19 tackles-for-loss including 10 sacks. He chose WSU over Purdue.

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