In a teleconfrence on Monday, Washington State head coach Mike Leach said that Shalom Luani will play on Saturday against Boise State. The senior free safety missed last weeks loss against Eastern Washington after being arrested on August 24th for allegedly punching another student in Domino's.
The Cougar defense allowed 496 passing yards on 35-of-41 team passing. Seven different receivers for the Eagles had at least a reception over 10 yards including 3 for over 25 yards. Gabe Gubrud, the first-year starter for the Eagles, finished his night with 5 touchdowns through the air and one on the ground.
Washington State defensive coordinator, Alex Grinch said on Sunday that the game was probably "our worst day since I've been here." It did not help the team's case when Robert Taylor, who started in place of Luani, was ejected in the second half and Hunter Dale saw quite a bit of action in his place.
Luani's return to the defense means adding a 2015 Pac-12 Honorable Mention safety to a defense that is taking on a Boise State team that is led by Brett Rypien, who went 22/33 for 347 yards and 2 touchdowns in his season debut. Last season Luani finished with 67 solo and 23 assisted tackles to finish third on the team. Luani also was tied for first on the team in passes broken up with 6 and led the team in interceptions with 4.
Head coach Mike Leach said, "but suffice to say, I'm comfortable with any punishment we've issued and don't plan to issue any more." It is unknown if there was any more punishment besides being held out of the season opener but it appears that the investigation with the Pullman Police department is still ongoing.
Mike Leach says Shalom Luani will play this weekend— Stefanie Loh (@StefanieLoh) September 5, 2016
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WSU is the only opponent Boise State has played at least four times and has not defeated.
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Shalom Luani of Washington State Cougars to play despite arrest
Luani did not play in WSU's 45-42 loss to Eastern Washington on Saturday and has not practiced with the team since his arrest, according to The Seattle Times.
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