It just doesn't get any easier.
Striking early in each half and getting more dynamic, disruptive play from its defense, No. 11 Washington State slapped OR 33-10 in a Pac-12 game Saturday night, passing its first road test to stay undefeated through six contests.
Falk has thrown for 19 touchdowns with two interceptions this season. Washington State ranked third in rushing defense, allowing just 134.2 yards per game. Falk will look to his standout wide receiver, Tavares Martin Jr., to continue his torrid start to the season. OR might be past its Chip Kelly days, but the Ducks still have a potent offense under first-year coach Willie Taggart this season. Last season then Freshman Justin Herbert played in his first game against Washington.
The Cougars didn't know if the starter would be Burmeister or Taylor Alie, who had sustained a concussion the previous week.
Location: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Ore. Freeman was the leading OR running back, but he had just 62 yards.
It was not pretty, but No. 11 Washington State is still undefeated.
Powell converted from 25 and 52 yards in the second quarter, banged out a 47-yard field goal in the third, and padded WSU's lead with a 29-yard kick late in the fourth quarter. If I had to point to one sequence that likely saved the game for WSU, that's it. The loss could have been worse than 23 points and it cannot be put on the Defense. What an incredible effort. He even had a long 21-yard gain at the start of the second quarter that was reminiscent of the runs he used to uncork past year. His fractured collarbone will keep him off the field. "We did some good things, did some explosive things", Leach said. "It's hard to get into a rhythm against them". "I didn't think we did enough offensively to show how well they played", OR coach Willie Taggart said. Honestly, he plugs gaps very well for always enduring a double team from opponents. The Cougars were also tied for fourth in tackles for a loss with 72.
As for the rest of the AP top 10, those teams are (in order) TCU, Wisconsin, Washington State, Ohio State, and Auburn. The Trojans trailed by three points in the final two minutes and had the ball at their own 25-yard line.
The game didn't get off to a great start for Oregon. With a win the Ducks would launch themselves into the elite class of the Pac-12. Across-the-board experience for the Cougar defense proved to be too much for the quarterback making his first collegiate start.
So how has he felt about getting less work this season?
Falk's first pass of the game was one for the books.
In the end, the Washington State Defense was better, holding Oregon Football to 10 points for the game. The key word there is "essentially" as MSU did their damnedest to hand the game back to its rivals, from a holding penalty on their last offensive possession that kept them from, basically, running out the clock to an inexplicable personal foul penalty on their last defensive possession that helped give the Wolverines one shot at a (failed) Hail Mary with no time left. The Cougars are second only to the Ducks among Pac-12 teams in both categories.
Washington State followed its best win of the season with its first road game of the season, and any concerns Cougars' coach Mike Leach might have had about a lack of focus were erased early in the week.
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