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Walk on LB, young RB help pace WSU victory

PULLMAN - It was a big night for Washington State after both Luke Falk and Gabe Marks set new school and Pac-12 records. But it was a couple unexpected performances from a walk-on and an upcoming star running back that really made the biggest impact on WSU's 56-21 win over Cal.

CFC Player of the game: James Williams

James Williams (pictured above) did it all for the Cougs against the Bears as he juked and spun his away around defenders for a combined total of 117-yards though the air and on the ground. He wasn’t the biggest contributor in either category, but he constantly delivered when the offense needed a spark or a big play to keep a drive alive. 

Surprises: Rising DeRider

Walk-on junior linebacker Nate DeRider stepped in for a sidelined Isaac Dotson and had arguably the biggest impact on the game as he recorded a game-changing interception and a big time sack that ended a Cal drive.

For the most part WSU played lights out on defense, but gave up a handful of explosive passing plays - a couple that went for touchdowns.

Stand out stats:

- Luke Falk: 35 of 50, 373 yards, 5 TD’s, 1 INT

- Gerard Wicks: 9 carries, 128 yards, 1 catch for 10 yards, 1 TD

- River Cracraft: 9 catches, 87 yards, 3 TD’s

- Gabe Marks: 7 catches, 87 yards, 2 TD’s

- Rushing Yards: WSU - 254, Cal - 100

- Third down conversions: WSU - 8/11 72%, Cal - 4-14 28%

- Red zone possessions: WSU - 7/7, Cal - 2-5

- Red zone points: WSU - 49, Cal - 14

- Penalties: WSU - 12/120, Cal - 10/120

- Nate DeRider: 4 tackles, 1 solo, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 interception

- Hercules Mata’afa: 4 tackles, 2 solo, 1.5 for loss, 3 QB hurries

- Kaleb Fossum: 1 punt return, 75 yards, 1 TD

Leading tackler:

- Peyton Pelluer recorded 12 tackles, 9 solo with 0.5 for loss

Misleading stat of the game:

- Passing yards: Cal - 425, WSU - 400

Cal out-performed Luke Falk in passing yardage and yet still lost the ball game 56-21.

Play of the game: 

-Nate DeRider's interception

WSU was up 21-7. Cal had just put together a nice drive with a handful of big plays that put the Bears in scoring range on the 5-yard line. On a third-and-three attempt, Cal’s Davis Webb was picked off by Nate DeRider in the end-zone who returned the ball out to the WSU 21-yard line. The interception accounted for WSU’s only turnover on the night and completely put the momentum back into the Cougars hands. The pick also set up an offensive scoring drive that put WSU up 28-7 just before the first half ended.

Injuries noticed:

- Luke Falk came out for one play

- River Cracraft went down with an apparent left knee injury

- Eduardo Middleton went down late in the fourth quarter with an apparent knee injury

- Isaac Dotson missed most of the game.

Up next:

- WSU travels to Boulder to face Colorado (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12) on Saturday, Nov. 19 (TBD).

Leach quotes:

- "Wasn't aware, all it says to me is we have the opportunity to play another Pac-12 team next week" - Leach (not aware UW lost)

- "He's a great representative to have that record" - Leach on Marks

 RELATED: CFC TV: Marks record a long time in the making

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