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A stingy Coug D for the most part in spring game, but Falk, Williams, Harrington, Johnson-Mack among those who put up crooked numbers on O

THE WAZZU DEFENSE early on in the spring game closed fast and didn't allow the offense a whole lot of room to operate. But the offense adapted, as the Crimson squad defeated the Gray team 35-10 at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane.

Luke Falk was 21-of-30 for 191 yards with a pair of touchdowns, playing only the first half. Falk's Crimson team held a 21-3 lead after two quarters.

A pair of impressive Keith Harrington runs set up fellow running back James Williams’ 4-yard score giving the Crimson team a 7-0 lead. Harrington finished with a team-high nine carries for 87 yards, adding another nine catches for 56 hashes (full stats at bottom).

The Cougs were clearly looking to work on the passing attack in the first half, there were only a handful of running plays between the two units.  When passes were completed, the D closed quickly. Defensive back Sean Harper led the Cougs with six tackles. 

In the first quarter, the Crimson D forced a pair of three-and-out’s by Tyler Hilinski and the Gray team. Hilinski tested the Crimson squad deep on a few occasions but the coverage was consistently tight.

Hilinski finally did connect on a couple of bombs, one a 42-yarder to Isaiah Johnson-Mack, the other a 48-yard beauty to  Williams, who led the Cougs with 10 grabs for 112 yards. Still, the Gray team couldn’t punch it into the end zone until the third quarter on a Hilinski 6-yard scamper.

Falk and the Crimson offense began to find its rhythm later in the second quarter. He rifled a TD pass to Tavares Martin and later threw a perfect long ball to Dezmon Patmon late in the second quarter, a 43-yard TD where Patmon beat Grant Porter and then raced the final 10 yards into the end zone.

Cougar QBs completed 66 of 95 passes for 692 yards, led by Hilinski's 295 hashes.  But Hilinski was able to lead only one TD drive, and a prominent storyline was how Cougar receivers taking short passes had little room to maneuver against a swarming Wazzu D.  There weren’t many yards, especially early, after the catch.

Defensive backs Robert Taylor, Marcus Strong and Hunter Dale were among those providing sticky coverage in the secondary, though they were by no means the only ones. Both Falk and Hilinski were regularly going through several progressions.

Hilinski played one series in the second half before Trey Tinsley came in for Falk, with Anthony Gordon taking the following series for the Gray. Tinsley was 11 of 39 for 139 yards with a TD pass, Gordon was 8 of 11 for 67 yards but threw two picks, both by Hayden Schmidt.

The Cougar o-lines played well in spurts, but for the most part the WSU d-line brought pressure to bear.  DL Daniel Ekuale had a pair of sacks, with Nnamdi Oguayo and Tristan Brock also posting sacks.

In case you missed our earlier tweet on Marcellus Pippins:

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We’ll have more later on CF.C.


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