On a snowy night in Pullman Washington State lost to Utah 30-27 in OT and the loss means that the Cougars will have, yet another, losing season and they will not be going bowling.
Utah moved to 7-4 on the season to improve their bowl positioning and they still have a chance to in the Pac 12 South Division and play in the inaugural conference title game.
Here are 5 reasons the Cougars lost to the Utes.
1. Turnovers tamed the Cougars – Washington State had 5 turnovers in the game and the final one was HUGE. Midway though the 4th quarter Leon Brooks fumbled a Utah punt and the Utes took over at the WSU 37-yard line and ended up scoring a TD. That was big, but the costliest turnover came in OT.
The Cougars got the first possession in OT, but QB Connor Halliday was picked off right away and after only gaining 4 yards on 3 rushing plays Utah kicked a 38-yard FG for the win.
2. Running the ball more would have helped – Halliday had to do it all and while he had a good game, despite his 2 INT’s, the WSU rushing offense only had a grand total of 62 yards.
RB Rickey Galvin averaged a legit 5.8 yards per carry, but in the 4th quarter the Cougars were playing catch up and they had to air it out.
3. Cougars’ run defense sucked – The Cougars could not stop Utah RB John White IV, who rushed for 186 yards in the game.
Containing him was key in the game, as in every win for the Utes this season he has rushed for 100+ yards.
4. 3rd down offense sputtered – While the Cougars actually played better on 3rd down offense than Utah WSU was still only 6/18 on 3rd down conversions.
5. Utah dominated time of possession – With White IV dominating the ground game the Utes controlled the clock, as they had the ball for 34:55 while the Cougars only had the ball for 25:05.
Next Up: Even though the Cougars will not end the season with a winning record they can go out on a high note beating Washington on the road in the big Apple Cup game.
They will be facing a struggling Washington squad that has lost their last 3 games and 4 of their last 5.