One of the bigger questions entering 2016 revolved around who would step up to replace Dom Williams. Gabe Marks may have put up bigger numbers last year, but Williams also caught 75 passes for over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. You don’t just replace production like that over night. Saturday in Boise, Tavares Martin may have given us an indication that Williams’ absence won’t be as apparent.
Martin became Luke Falk’s primary target early, catching two passes on the drive that would end in a pick six, a play that would doom WSU. Martin was just getting started, though. A couple possessions later, Martin caught two 18-yard passes that set WSU up in scoring position. Unfortunately, WSU didn’t score then either, making a habit of moving the ball until it really mattered.
Staying with that theme, the Cougs decided not to score midway through the third quarter despite moving to the BSU 13. After the defense held BSU, Luke Falk’s checkdowns were all covered, so he went deep to Martin. Martin delivered, making a great play on the ball, then keeping his body off the ground until he rolled into the endzone. It was a tremendous play.
In all, Martin hauled in 12 passes for 158 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. It was easily his most productive game as a Cougar, and it will almost certainly not be his last. WSU really needs Martin to produce in order to take some heat off Gabe Marks. It also feels like he’s a step from taking a kick back as well. Congratulations to Tavares on his breakout game.