WSU (6-4) snapped their 5-game losing streak and stayed alive for a possible bowl game beating Arizona State 37-27 on a wet and snowy Saturday night in Pullman.
ASU could have taken over first place in the Pac 12 South with a win since UCLA lost.
Here are 5 reasons why the Washington State Cougars beat the Sun Devils.
1. Coming out party for WSU QB Connor Halliday
Cougars’ freshman QB Connor Halliday got his first legit playing time this season and boy did he take advantage of it passing for 494 yards with 4 TD and 0 INT.
He set the WSU freshman record for passing yards in a game and his future looks bright for the Cougars.
2. The ASU secondary did not show up
Not only did ASU’s secondary give up a ton of yards, but they could not keep the Cougars’ WR’s from making the big play down the field.
WSU WR Marquess Wilson caught 8 passes for 223 yards and 3 TD including a 85 yards TD catch and Isiah Barton caught 7 passes for 155 yards with 1 TD and a 44-yard catch.
For the game Wilson averaged 27.9 yards per catch and Barton averaged 22.1 yards per catch.
3. The WSU run defense shut down the run
While the Cougars did give up 351 passing yards in the game they shut down the Sun Devils’ rushing attack, as ASU had a grand total of 60 rushing yards in the game.
ASU feature back Cameron Marshall had rushed for 282 yards in his previous 2 games, including 168 last week, but the WSU Cougars held him to 37 yards on 16 carries for a paltry 2.3 yards per carry.
4. 3rd down play on both sides of the ball
The offense and defense for WSU stepped up, big time, on 3rd down in the win.
On offense the Cougars converted 8/17 of their 3rd down conversions and on defense they only allowed the Sun Devils to convert on 5/16 of their 3rd down conversions.
5. The Cougars came up HUGE in the 4th quarter
Entering the 4th quarter on Saturday night the Sun Devils had a 27-23 lead, but the WSU D shut ASU down in the last quarter while on offense they scored 2 TD’s.
The Cougars stopped the Sun Devils on their own 9-yard line when ASU turned the ball over on downs and then Halliday drove the length of the field to score a TD.
Next Up: Next week the Cougars look to keep their bowl hopes alive. They are home against a Utah team that is only 3-4 in Pac 12 play the Utes have won 3 straight and crushed UCLA 31-6 on Saturday.