Connor Halliday, Kache Palacio take home CougCenter Player of the Week honors

Stephen Dunn

The Gunslinger™ throws for over 300 yards and 5 TDs while the sophomore Buck makes his presence felt.

Boy oh boy did I not expect to have to debate whether to pick Damante Horton as Offensive POTW again, but here we are. Horton's second pick six in as many weeks made for some awesome tweets and game time expletives, but as awesome as his 72-yard return for a TD was, I went with two other players this week. No slight to Horton, as he's making me believe he could be 1st Team All Pac 12™, but I'm gonna try to spread the wealth a bit.

The Thunderbirds (super underrated mascot, by the way) of Southern Utah came into Pullman, and for nearly the entire 1st half, we all wondered if we were in another Montana State situation again. Then Connor Halliday threw this pass:



GAVE US THE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES or, wait, am I doing this right? Sherwood was quoting Dane Cook, right? I digress.

***

Offensive POTW:

Connor Halliday -- 32/41, 383 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT

Halliday threw another red zone interception, but this time, it wasn't his fault! Which is progress in a really sad way. Isiah Myers ran the wrong route, and the DB made a really incredible catch that was hard to see from where we were sitting. For a fleeting moment, the "oh no, Bad Connor is back" overcame the stadium. Then he settled down and made some pretty ridiculous throws. His first TD to Dom Williams was insanity, and probably the best throw I've seen him make. His second throw was equally fantastic. 2012 Connor Halliday doesn't make either of those throws, and 2011 Connor Halliday throws the first TD into the CrimZone. This gives me hope not only for the rest of this season, but for 2014. Man, he's gonna rewrite the record book, huh?

Defensive POTW:

Kache Palacio -- 6 tackles (2 solo), 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT returned for a TD stolen by Deone Bucannon

When I got my copy of NCAA Football '14, I finished my first year of my Dynasty with WSU as National Champs. Teondray Caldwell won the Heisman Trophy (lol wut), Halliday threw for 5,000 yards, and Logan Mayes led the nation with 24 sacks. Fast forward a few months, and not only is Mayes not starting at Buck, but he's not even on the team anymore. My depth chart had Mayes as the #1 guy, JC transfer Ivan McLennan as the backup, and Jeremiah Allison as the 3rd stringer. Kache Palacio was the 3rd string WILL linebacker behind Cyrus Coen and Tana Pritchard. I guess it's better to be spectacularly wrong than just sort of wrong. Either way, Palacio has looked pretty darn good thus far, and is using his speed to wreak the havoc we thought Mayes would. I'm very excited for his future at the BUCK position. Man, our LBs are really good.

Special Teams POTW:

Michael Bowlin -- 9 kickoffs, 561 yards (62.3 avg), 6 touchbacks; 3 punts, 113 yards (37.7 avg), 2 inside the 20, L44

Now, I know Andrew Furney kicked two FGs, and one was from 46 yards. But, Bowlin had six freakin' touchbacks. SIX. I remember a time not so long ago when we couldn't hit the 10 yard line on kickoffs, so the fact that he had six in one game blows my damn mind. Even Mrs. Kyle was like, "He sure is kicking it out of the endzone a lot. Is it those weird shoes he's wearing?"

***

Last week's prediction:

Dominique Williams, Cyrus Coen, Theron West (?)

I almost went with Dom, but Halliday was really good. 0/3 :(

***

Next week's prediction:

Gabe Marks, Deone Bucannon, Andrew Furney

***

(stats vs. SUU)

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