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WSU Vs. EWU: Just How Close Was That Hail Mary

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I was standing just a few feet from where the Eastern Washington wide receivers and Washington State defensive backs were congregated on the final play from scrimmage. I should say defensive backs and Marquess Wilson, because the Cougars' star wide receiver was in on defense in what Washington State calls the "victory formation." Not the typical one, mind you, but a "prevent the hail mary" defense.

Washington State was inches -- maybe fingertips -- from losing. It was this close:

Hail-mary-vs-ewu

Wilson went up to get the ball at its highest point, as he's been taught. But there was one small problem: He mistimed the jump. And because he mistimed the jump, the Eastern receiver nearest to the sideline had a relatively free shot at the ball.

Eastern actually set this up perfectly. Notice Cory Mitchell set up in front of the group, waiting for someone to try and knock it down. I believe that's Nicholas Edwards getting his hands -- both of them -- on the ball, as well. Brandon Kaufman kind of got boxed out, but he was in position as well.

It looks like Wilson's jump -- while ineffective in the sense that he didn't deflect the ball -- served a purpose. He got up and almost shielded the Eastern wide receivers. Couple that with Cyrus Coen going up in front of Mitchell and Damante Horton swatting at the ball, and the catch was going to be difficult.

But still, that was way too close for comfort for Washington State.