It was the Theron West show early on at the New Mexico Bowl and West's exploits helped WSU jump out to a 21-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
West, a seldom used back up running back, got the start on Saturday and took advantage. He touched the ball once during the regular season, but made two huge offensive plays in the first quarter. The first came on WSU's opening scoring drive when West caught a short pass on third down and used a plethora of juke moves to evade multiple CSU defenders and pick up the first down.
He then set up the second touchdown by blocking CSU's punt on the following possession. That set WSU up and Connor Halliday took advantage with a touchdown pass to Gabe Marks. West got back into the action on WSU's third scoring drive, catching a 28-yard touchdown pass to put WSU up 21-7.
West's coming out performance is a great example of Mike Leach's coaching philosophy. Players are rewarded for working hard in practice, no matter where they start on the depth chart. West likely had some excellent bowl practices and got rewarded with some playing time.
Defensively, the Cougars allowed a pair of big passing plays on play-action. CSU hasn't had much success on the ground, but got free in the passing game twice. WSU has dominated the line of scrimmage defensively, but will need to limit big plays defensively.
The first quarter was very chippy, including a CSU coach throwing a few choice words at Halliday.
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