USA Today Sports Images

A big takeaway after the Cougars' loss: Washington State's Pac-12 title hopes still very much alive

BOULDER - A tough loss and the first in a couple months for Washington State (8-3, 7-1 Pac-12) came in unexpected ways. But the loss doesn't impact the Cougs' No. 1 goal, they remain in control of their own destiny when it comes to the Rose Bowl. Before we put the loss in the rear view mirror, first delve into how the Cougs came up short against Colorado. And let's start with the WSU player of the game.

CFC Player of the game: Luke Falk

Falk completed just under 50 percent of his throws (a season and career low) but he was by far the most effective player for WSU on Saturday. He gave the Cougs every chance to stay in the game. Two probable touchdown passes were dropped and several potential scoring opportunities were lost. But while Falk gave WSU its best chance at winning the game, the reality is that Colorado’s defense was well prepared and came to play against the Pac-12’s No. 1 offense.

Surprises:

WSU's defense had no answer for QB Sefo Liufau running with the football. Liufau rushed for 108 hashes and three touchdowns.

WSU’s defensive backs did a great job of taking away deep throws but gave up too many slant completions and Colorado owned the middle of the field on far too many third down plays.

Colorado’s offensive game plan was executed to perfection. They stuck to their guns using a heavy run attack, short completions, and periodic deep shots.

Stand out stats:

Third down conversions: WSU - 4/15, CU - 13/21

Luke Falk: 26 of 53, 325 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT

Jamal Morrow: Seven carries for 87 yards, 2 receptions for 48 yards, 1 TD

Total Offense: WSU - 462 yards, CU - 603 yards

Rushing: WSU - 137 yards, CU - 258 yards

Red zone scoring: WSU - 3/4, CU - 5/5

Turnovers: WSU - 2, CU - 1

First downs: WSU - 21, CU - 31

Sign up for Cougfan!
Why join?

Leading tackler:

Peyton Pelluer recorded 16 tackles (11 solo, 1 TFL)

Misleading stat(s) of the game:

Colorado committed nine penalties to WSU's five. The Buffs' didn't miss the 75 yards lost to penalties, racking up 603 yards of total offense on 100 offensive plays.

Play(s) of the game: 

There were several plays that we can point to that really turned the game in favor of Colorado.  Despite how poorly WSU performed on third downs, it’s safe to say that any one of those failed conversions led to the loss. Down 31-24, all WSU needed was a scoring drive to tie the game and take momentum back. But on third-and-three, Falk was sacked for a nine-yard loss. That ended up being the dagger. Colorado went on to score the go-ahead TD and put the game effectively out of reach.

Injuries noticed:

Andre Dillard came out for one play then returned to action

Robert Taylor came out of the game with what looked like a potential ankle injury.

Up next:

Washington State will host Washington in Martin Stadium next Friday for the annual Apple Cup (Nov. 25, 12:30pm Fox).

Mike Leach quotes:

“They’re a good football and they earned what they got, and we earned what we got, too"

"You guys saw the game, saw how many times we dropped the ball. That’s all things we can control”

RELATED: 3 takeaways; WSU doesn't stop CU running game


Cougfan Top Stories