Connor Halliday nearly set a school record with 521 passing yards as the WSU Cougars took a huge step in their quest to return to the postseason by picking up their second road win of the Pac-12 season, this one a 44-22 victory over the California Golden Bears.
The Cougars moved to 4-2 (2-1 Pac-12) on the season, while the Golden Bears dropped to 1-4 (0-2).
As suggested by the score, the game featured all the offense you could ever want (or maybe it was bad defense, but whatever), as the two teams racked up more than 1,150 yards of offense -- 570 of them by WSU despite Halliday clearly still feeling the aftereffects of the leg injury suffered last week.
On the day, Halliday was 41-of-67 with three touchdowns and an interception in one of the more heroic performances you'll see in crimson and gray. He was far from perfect, as his accuracy was sometimes hit and miss, but when you consider that he set a school record for attempts while in obvious pain, admiration and respect are the only appropriate emotions.
WSU benefitted from some big plays, including a TDs of 35 and 72 yards to Vince Mayle, whose strength and speed presented a clear mismatch for Cal's inexperienced corners. Marcus Mason turned a dump-off into a 68-yard touchdown reception when he cut back against Cal's defense and barely outran the last defender to the pylon. Mayle finished with 113 yards on four catches, while Mason finished with 150 total yards -- 118 of them on four catches.
As feared, the defense did struggle to keep the Bears' aerial attack under control as Jared Goff threw for 489 yards -- 216 of them to Chris Harper on 13 receptions -- behind a slew of big plays.
But Cal continually shot itself in the foot with turnovers. The Golden Bears had a pair of fumbles inside the 10-yard-line that were recovered by Toni Pole. And as the defense started to generate a strong pass rush in the second half, Goff grew more and more wild, throwing two interceptions. Zach Kline tossed an interception late in the fourth quarter for good measure.
Andrew Furney was 3-of-4 on field goals.