The Auburn Tigers lead the Washington State Cougars, 25-21, after one half of play at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The quarter was back-and-forth with WSU holding leads on two separate occasions. Neither of those leads lasted long, as Auburn came up with a pair of big plays to answer the Cougs' scores.
The Tigers brought an 8-7 lead into the second quarter, and were poised to pull farther away from Washington State after a Connor Halliday interception to end the first. Auburn couldn't capitalize on good field position and the Cougar defense made a stand to force a 50-yard field goal attempt, which was missed by Cody Parkey.
Following the missed field goal, Halliday shook off his interception to lead the Cougs down the field on a 9-play, 67-yard touchdown drive that put WSU on top 15-8. Halliday hit Marcus Mason on a swing pass to convert a 3rd-and-8 in the redzone before finishing it off with a 7-yard TD strike to Bobby Ratliff.
The celebration for WSU was short-lived, as the Cougars failed to hold their lanes on a kickoff return that Auburn's Tre Mason bounced outside to take 100 yards to paydirt. Suddenly, the game was looking like a shootout.
The Cougs came right back to take the lead again with the help of a 53-yard strike to Ratliff on the best play in the world--four verts. That took WSU down to the 1-yard line, where Jeremiah Laufasa punched it in on the next play for his second score of the day.
Again, Washington State didn't lead for long. Auburn's Corey Grant took the first play of the next drive 75 yards down the sideline for a score. There was some controversy, as it looked like he may have stepped out of bounds. The play stood after a review, and the Tigers held the lead 22-21 after an extra point.
WSU's ensuing drive ended near midfield as the Cougs went for it on a 3rd-and-2. Halliday hit Kristoff Williams in the hands on the play, but he couldn't hold on after taking a big hit. Auburn then took over at Washington State's 45 with 3:15 left in the half.
After one first down, Auburn stalled as WSU's Cyrus Coen made a great tackle on Tiger QB Nick Marshall to prevent a conversion. Parkey came in for his second long field goal attempt of the quarter, but was true this time from 47 yards.
Halliday and company took over from the 25 with just 1:11 remaining in the half. It looked like Gabe Marks had a first down on the second play of the drive, but in attempting to dance around defenders, he took himself behind the line to gain. Halliday sailed an open receiver on the next play and the Cougs ended their final drive of the half with a punt.
Washington State has had little trouble moving the ball. Halliday completed 24 of 36 for 264 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions in the first half. Ratliff led the Cougs with 66 yards on three catches. Marks added six grabs for 53 yards.
Auburn will get the ball to start the second half.