Wazzu opened the game just as Cougar fans had hoped, with a defensive three-and-out on Minnesota’s first drive followed by a 76-yard march down the field. But WSU’s drive stalled and the Cougs settled for three points. It wasn't until Nnamdi Oguayo's sack and forced fumble in the closing minutes that Washington State again threatened the end zone. But the Cougs had to settle for another Erik Powell field goal.
The Cougar D handled Minnesota much of the first half, not allowing the Gophers to cross the midfield stripe on their first three drives. But after a WSU punt gave Minnesota the ball on the Cougar 40-yard line, the Gophers got on the board.
The Cougar O went three-and-out on four of its six drives in the first half. The Wazzu offensive line had trouble at times giving Luke Falk a comfortable pocket and the run blocking after the first drive wasn't anything to write home about. The Cougar QB was 16-25 for 117 yards in the first half, taking off on the run three times for 10 hashes. Falk was sacked once.
Washington State’s defense allowed Minnesota but 110 yards of total offense in the first half. But WSU only had 134 yards of total offense of its own.
Cougar kicker Erik Powell has punted three times for the Cougs. He had punted only one time previously this season, with Kyle Sweet (31 punts) or Zach Charme (7) usually handling the duties. Sweet handled the other WSU punt in the first half.