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HALF: WSU outplaying AZ in every phase

PULLMAN - Washington State opens up against Arizona with stellar play in all three phases of the game. Luke Falk was near flawless and the Wazzu defense created two turnovers and made plays necessary to get themselves off the field without giving up points.

Before fans got settled into their seats, Arizona put a scare into everyone in Martin Stadium. It appeared Brandon Dawkins hit Nate Phillips down the right side, beating Shalom Luani and racing 75-yards to the end zone. Illegal man down field for the 'Cats wiped out a start that would have put Wazzu back on the heels in front of a sellout crowd.

Luke Falk took his offense out the next two series with excellent field position. High snaps on the first series stopped Falk from getting into a rhythm forcing WSU to settle for a 24-yard Erik Powell field goal. Second series for the Cougs began on the Arizona 8 after Luani jumped a route to snag an interception. Falk simply shoveled a little pass to James Williams who easily scored WSU's first touchdown on the day.

Third possession for Wazzu in the opening quarter was a thing of beauty. Falk engineered an eight play 85-yard drive capped by a 1-yard plunge by Gerard Wicks. Wicks picked up 30 hashes on the first two plays of the series, making his score a fitting finish to the drive.

'Cat coach Rich Rodriguez switched quarterbacks in the hope of sparking his offense. Anu Solomon looked much the same as Dawkins. Alex Grinch's defensive schemes completely confused anyone taking a snap for Arizona in the first quarter.

Before the end of the first, Wazzu would add a 47-yard drive finished with yet another touchdown catch by Gabe Marks.

There was a huge difference on the scoreboard showing the Cougs up by an advantage of 24-0, the manner of which WSU controlled the line of scrimmage was even bigger. Dominating the trenches led to the best first quarter of football Wazzu has turned in this season. And that is saying something considering the Cougs have a six-game winning streak going for them.

Arizona had the ball and driving to begin the second quarter when Isaac Dotson stripped the ball from Solomon and Peyton Pelluer pounced on the rock for another turnover. 'Cat drive stopped by the strip.

With their worst field position of the first half, Falk managed another near perfect drive. This drive covered 93-yards in just over three minutes. For all appearance, the rout was on. WSU 31 - Arizona 0

Coach Rodriguez put Dawkins back in as the only answer he could try in response to, "how do we get in this game?" The Wildcat offense submitted the same answer. Wazzu just wasn't going to let them back in the game. Stalled drive again and sloppy punt coverage set the Cougs up at the Arizona 46.

'Cats finally get on the scoreboard when Darrien Molton and Robert Taylor collide covering a deep ball by Solomon.

Six possessions for Washington State. Six scores.

Luke Falk is 19 of 21 passing for 212-yards and three TDs.

WSU 38 - Arizona 7

Check back with CF.C for our wall-to-wall coverage and during the game for lively message board conversation.


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