The monkey is finally off their back. I'm not sure if it was playing at home, the disappointment of the previous two games, or just playing Portland State, but the Cougs put it all together and thoroughly dismantled the Pilots.
Connor Halliday passed for 544 yards and six touchdowns for the Cougars. WSU rolled up 706 yards of offense, while holding Portland State to 362 yards. The Cougars never trailed in the game.
The offense was almost perfect in this game. They scored on all seven trips into the red zone, which had been a major problem in previous games.
The running game finally got going for the Cougs. Gerard Wicks rushed for 50 yards on 12 carries and scored the Cougars first rushing touchdown of the year. Jamal Morrow added 38 yards on 10 carries. The offensive line played well opening holes for the backs and giving Halliday plenty of time to shred the defense.
Isiah Myers had 11 receptions for 227 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cougars. Nine different receivers caught passes for WSU.
The Cougar defense played very well in this game. They finally had some help with turnovers, with Charleston White notching an interception. The also recovered a fumble on their own 7 yard line, preventing an early tie of the game in the first quarter.
Washington State held the pilots to only 362 yards of offense in the game. Portland State finished with 269 yards passing and 93 yards rushing.
In a first for the season the Cougars had no major breakdowns in the game. The special teams played solid for the Cougs this week.
This overall was a great game for the 1-2 Cougars. A victory was needed for the players, coaches and also for the fans. A loss in this game would have ended any hope of a bowl game for WSU.
The Coug faithful were starting to grumble, but this win will buy the team a few weeks. WSU still has five home games left, and winning this one will keep the seats filled for a while longer.
It's hard to tell if this can be a turning point for the team. A victory against an FCS team is expected. But the manner in which the Cougars won was impressive. The team could have folded, but instead they rallied and pounded Portland State.
WSU is heading into a tough game against Oregon this week and maybe, just maybe, this could be the spark the Cougs need to get going.