In today's 85th Battle of the Palouse, Washington State - much to the chagrin of Idaho --- made a strong argument that good things do indeed come in threes.
Just ask Cougars Darling, Smith, and Rien Long.
Darling and Smith both registered hat tricks for the Cougs today, accounting for six of the seven WSU touchdowns in a 49-14 victory over their border neighbors. And Long did his best to see the Vandals did minimal damage by thrice sacking UI quarterback Brian Lindgren.
Darling started things off early for the Cougs, scoring on a reverse from 15-yards out early in the contest. The touchdown came just one play after WSU linebacker Will Derting recovered a Vandal fumble.
The other two Darling's scores came via passes from Heisman candidate Jason Gesser, who concluded the day completing 12 of 16 passes for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns in front of a Martin Stadium crowd of just more than 30,000. His third TD pass went to Mike Bush and covered 37 yards.
Running back Jonathan "Jet Speed" Smith scored on runs of one, six, and six yards but set the Martin Stadium turf ablaze with a sweet 52-yard scamper late in the game. He finished with 121 on 12 carries.
The ground game belonged to John Tippins in the first half. The senior notched 81 yards in the first 30 and tallied 85 on 8 carries total.
Long led a defensive effort that saw Lindgren sacked 6 times and picked once by Marcus Trufant. The Vandal rushing game was held to 51 net yards on 31 carries.
WSU ran up 517 total yards of offense on the day.
The Cougs head to Columbus and a showdown with the No. 8 Buckeyes of Ohio State.
Check back later with CF.C for all the highlights and insights.