Pulled one out?
The Washington State Cougars picked up their first win of the season yesterday by taking advantage of a gift given to them by the scheduling gods.
Even though the game belonged to WSU from the start, they allowed EWU to close the gap in the second half. Washington State should feel fortunate to walk away with a 24-20 win.
Offensive Game Ball
I don’t like to hand out game balls to any one person unless there was such a standout performance that it can’t be ignored. In this case, two players really stood out – Carl Winston IIIand Teondray Caldwell.
Coming off an embarrasing performance last week vs BYU (in which Winston and Caldwell combined for 11 yards on 8 carries), the Cougs really needed something that resembled balance on offense.
I know what you’re thinking. The Air Raid offense is a predominantly pass happy offense, but in any pass-oriented offense you need some consistency in the running game to keep defenses honest and open some things up in the passing game.
Yesterday, Winston and Caldwell were able to do just that, combining for 113 yards on 23 carries (4.6 ypc).
Say what you want about the level of competition because at the end of the day it’s all true, but if WSU hadn’t been able to run the ball with any consistency, Jeff Tuel doesn’t look as efficient as he did in the stat sheet (20-26 (77 com%) 171 yards, 2 TD’s).
Isiah Myers is the clear-cut honorable mention with 2 touchdown receptions. You can also make a case for freshman WR Gabe Marks who checked in with 3 catches for 77 yards.
Defensive Game Ball
The entire Cougar defense deserves recognition for their improved play from the week prior.
When you look down the stat sheet and see 469 total yards of offense and 21 first downs, it reads like EWU was able to move the ball effortlessly against WSU. However, that wasn’t the case.
The defense made huge strides this week in problem areas. The Cougar defense held RB Jordan Talley to 71 yards on 14 carries, which should be considered a win on defense considering recent memory will show us how ineffective the Cougs have been trying to stop the run in previous seasons.
They also held the Eagles to 20 points. This is a major victory for a defense that gave up 381 points (31.7 ppg) last season.
Switching to a 3-4 will have it’s adjustment periods, but having this type of performance will add confidence to a group that has UNLV next on their schedule.
Special Teams Game Ball
Without any question Andrew Furney deserves credit for his 60-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
Yes, he did miss what would be considered a chip shot for him (40 yarder), but he was 3-3 on extra points and he did continue his steady influence on the kicking team.
Total Yards – 355
Passing – 25-37 – 247 yards – 6.7 YPA
Rushing – 30 carries – 108 yards – 3.6 YPC
1st Downs – 20
Penalties – 8 – 75 yards
TOP – 30:08
Jeff Tuel: 20-26 (77 com%) – 171 yards – 6.6 YPA – 2 TD’s
Conner Halliday: 5-11 (45 com%) – 76 yards – 6.9 YPA – 1 INT
Carl Winston III: 12 – 67 yards – 5.6 YPC – 1 TD
Teondray Caldwell: 11 – 46 yards – 4.2 YPC
Gabe Marks: 3 – 77 yards – 25.7 YPC
Isiah Myers: 6 - 58 yards – 9.7 YPC – 2 TD’s
Marquess Wilson: 4 – 47 yards – 11.8 YPC