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WSU Football Spotlight: QB Connor Halliday 1 Game Phenom?

WSU QB situation

In one game Connor Halliday changed how we look at the Washington State QB situation. I guess when a QB passes for 494 yards with 4 TD’s,  and breaks  your school and conference freshman passing records, that will tend to happen.


That performance did more then recharge a fan base. It allowed Cougar fans the ability to dream a little. Can you picture how this offense could look like with Halliday as a junior or a senior?

Can you envision future conference titles and bowl victories?

These are the visions Connor Halliday gave an entire fan base with the most legendary performance a Cougar freshman QB has ever had.

Then again this could be a one game flash.

As freshman’s go, Halliday could come back down to earth.  There has to be reasons that make Halliday so special. Things in his game that make you believe last Saturday was no fluke.

I believe Halliday does posses these intangibles.

I will now give you 5 good reasons why Connor Halliday is not a one game phenom.

1. Athletic ability

This is nothing new when it comes to QB’s. All signal callers must possess some level of athleticism, but when the pocket collapse and your QB needs to improvise to make a play, you must have confidence in your QB’s ability to come through.

This is the kind of athletic ability Halliday possesses. Multiple times Halliday was able to put the ball right on the money to Marquess Wilson time and time again from outside of the pocket in stride.

2. Arm strength

This is the one aspect about Halliday that sometimes gets lost on people.

At times during Saturday’s victory over Arizona State, some of Halliday’s passes looked a little unorthodox, and downright ugly at times. Make no mistake, Connor Halliday has a cannon for a right arm.

He can make every throw down field in stride (he’s deadly accurate too), and has the sideline touch to drop the ball in areas (over the back shoulder) most QB’s can’t.

Connor Halliday

Connor Halliday is more then just a one game phenom

It’s almost unheard of for a freshman this early in his development to possess these arm qualities this soon.

3. IQ

Having the athletic ability and the arm strength to be able to get it to your receivers are very important qualities, but you must be able to make the right decisions with the football at all times.

Halliday possess the ability to constantly keep his eyes looking downfield at all times. This allows him to see the entire field, and defense schemes unfold before him.

He finds receivers open in zones that Marshall Lobbestael couldn’t. He doesn’t make unnecessary throws or take calculated risks with the football that could lead to turnovers.

4. Big play ability

Good QB’s must be able to make big plays.

Against Arizona State, Halliday completed passes of 85, 27, and 31 yards all in his first four passes. Halliday has the look and feel of a QB always looking to make a big play downfield.

That’s the type of confidence, and swagger that’s contageous. It trickles down to every player in the huddle, and because of Halliday’s youthful exuberance, everyone in that huddle wants to play for him.

5. Halliday is a better fit for Wulff’s offense

This is the biggest sticking factor for Paul Wulff.

Under Lobbestael, the offense was one-dimensional, vanilla, and lacking the big play excitement. Because of certain limitations in Lobbestael’s game, Wulff had to adjust to what his QB was able to provide.

With Halliday at QB, Wulff was able to get back to his spread offense. Wulff loves to give defenses multiple looks, and with Lobbestael he just could do what he wanted on offense.

Now Wulff can have that deadly, big play offense he desires with Connor Halliday.

It been a long time since I’ve seen a QB that possessed all these tools so early in his college career.

Drew Bledsoe was the last QB that I can remember to have stepped on campus and was able to have success right away.

This isn’t just a one game thing. This could very well be the beginning of something special. Yes, next season there could very well be a potential QB controversy awaiting the Cougs, but with WSU’s bowl life on life support, we cannot worry about next year.

We cannot lose focus on today, and Connor Halliday gives Washington State the best chance to reach our first bowl game since 2003.

With everything we have been through this season, bad losses, and bad play, this has been a welcome sight.      

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