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Washington State Cougars land a big comeback win, Utah Utes left scratching heads

For more on WSU football, hit up CougCenter. For more on Utah football, go to Block U.

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The word I would best use to describe Washington State's performance is _____________ because _____________. The word I would best use to describe Utah's performance is _____________ because _____________.

Trace Travers: Washington State's performance could be categorized as gritty. They went down 21-0 early due to Kaelin Clay, Connor Halliday locking on to his receivers, and a long Devonte Booker run. After that they calmed down, Connor Halliday was slinging it around Brett Favre style, and the defense tightened up.

For Utah, the word is disappointing. Taking a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, it seemed like Utah slowed down and underestimated what Washington State could do. A week after beating an admittedly terrible Michigan team on the road, this game has to be a letdown from that high.

Roy Stenlund: The word I would use to describe WSU's performance is inspiring because they were done, down 21 against a tough Utah defense at home. The word I would use for Utah is pitiful because they choked big time.

Check out the box score. What were the key stats of the game to you?

Trace Travers: Take out the sacks on Halliday and the Cougars are rushing for almost 5 yards a carry. But on a more important note, overcoming three turnovers is almost unheard of for Wazzu, making it even more of a great victory for Mike Leach.

Roy Stenlund:  The key stats for me were 495 yards of offense for WSU, in a monsoon, against a tough defense playing at home. Connor Halliday had 417 yards passing in severe wind and rain. Incredible.

What was the most impressive part of Washington State's performance and why? What was the most concerning part of their performance?

Trace Travers: Coming back from being essentially undressed in the first quarter is a welcome sight for a team that has been a punchline for the conference since Mike Price left. They still need to avoid turnovers and to get Connor Halliday going through his reads instead of locking on early.

Roy Stenlund: WSU was dead and buried in the first quarter. This was the biggest comeback for the Cougars since 1988. The most concerning part was the 21 points they spotted Utah in that first quarter. They need to cut out the mistakes to make a bowl game.

What was the most impressive part of Utah's performance and why? What was the most concerning part of their performance?

Roy Stenlund: Not much of Utah's performance impressed me. They showed flashes, but were very inconsistent. Most concerning part of their performance was the total lack of offense. Maybe it was the rain, maybe the Cougar defense, but Utah stunk it up on offense. They only scored 13 points on offense, and seven of those were from one long run. Take that run out, and they were really bad.

Trace Travers: Kaelin Clay is incredibly exciting to watch, I really wish he wasn't playing only one year. Being held to two field goal after the first quarter however is a failure of the offense to produce.

I would grade Washington State's September a(n)  ____________________ because __________________________.

Roy Stenlund: I would give WSU an incomplete for a grade in September because they did not show up for the Nevada game.

Trace Travers: Going Harry Potter grading, I'm going with A for acceptable. Despite not showing up against Nevada, the Cougars played Oregon tough and scored an upset against Utah. It's not perfect, but they are improving.

I would grade Utah's September a(n)  ____________________ because __________________________.

Roy Stenlund: I would give Utah a B- in September because choking at home against a very beatable WSU team really hurts. A loss would have been OK, but they horrible way they fell apart raises serious doubts.

Trace Travers: I'm gonna give Utah and A for acceptable as well. If they won, I would have given them an Exceeds Expectations. A loss to the Cougars does not bode well for the rest of Utah's conference schedule.