WSU

Luke Falk, Cougs could tear up some Washington State, Pac-12 records with strong Holiday Bowl performances

A BELOW AVERAGE performance in the Holiday Bowl would still net Cougar QB Luke Falk the all-time single-season TD passing record at Washington State. An average Falk outing on Dec. 27 would make him the all-time career leader in TD passes at Wazzu. And a standout passing yardage performance in the Holiday Bowl? It would make Falk the all-time single-season passing yardage leader in the 101-year history of the Pac-12.

Here are some of the WSU records Luke Falk could break in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 (4 pm, ESPN) as well as a pair of all-time Pac-12 records that could fall:

- Needs two TD passes to break his own WSU single-season record (38).
- Needs three TD passes to break Connor Halliday’s WSU record for career TD passes (90).
- Needs 37 completions to break the Pac-12 and WSU single-season record of 449 (2013, Halliday).
- Needs 394 passing yards to break Halliday’s WSU single-season record of 4,597 (2013).
- Needs 516 passing yards to break Jared Goff’s (Cal) Pac-12 single-season record of 4,710 (2015).

Falk has the most completions in the FBS this season (413).  The fourth-year junior finished the regular season third in the country in passing yards per game (350.3) and passing yards (4,204) and is tied for fourth with 37 TDs. Falk threw for a Pac-12-best 342.2 ypg in conference play in 2016.  He is also second nationally in completion percentage (71 percent).

Gabe Marks ranks ninth all-time in FBS history for career receptions with 312 grabs.  A four-catch day in the Holiday Bowl would move Marks into eighth place, a nine-catch day would spot him No. 7 all-time.  Marks already owns the Pac-12 and WSU records for most career receptions.

DE Hercules Mata'afa is sixth in the Pac-12 with 12.5 tackles-for-loss, and the third-year sophomore stands just 0.5 out of third place.

WASHINGTON STATE IS averaging 40.3 ppg this season with the bowl game still to come, a significant jump from last season (31.5).   WSU averaged 31.8 ppg in 2014; 31.0 in 2013 and 20.4 in 2012, Mike Leach’s first year at Wazzu.

One of the big differences in 2016?  Cougar running backs Gerard Wicks, Jamal Morrow and James Williams have 22 rushing TDs this season.  Last season, the three primary WSU backs rushed for five.

Indeed, WSU running backs lead all Pac-12 backs with 31 total touchdowns and are third in total yards (2,591) according to WSU SID.

The Cougar running back corps needs 19 more receiving yards to become the first Mike Leach-coached RB group to surpass 1,000 hashes in both rushing and receiving.

Despite a final two-game stretch where WSU surrendered an average 41.5 ppg, WSU’s scoring defense stands at 27.2 ppg headed into the Holiday.  Last season, WSU allowed 27.7 ppg in d-coordinator Alex Grinch’s first season at WSU.  In 2014, WSU allowed 38.6 ppg.

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