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The Good, bad and ugly of WSU’s win over Colorado

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Two shutouts in one season is pretty great!

Colorado v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Well that was certainly more fun than last week. Ok, it was more fun if you were watching from the comfort of a climate-controlled environment. I don’t know how it felt watching WSU’s 28-0 whitewashing of Colorado from the Martin Stadium bleachers, but I imagine it was a lot less painful to be on WSU’s side of the score.

You might think that Saturday’s win was an ugly one. You’d be wrong. WSU fought rough conditions all night, scored four touchdowns and held Colorado under 200 yards. Yeah, the offensive numbers weren’t eye-popping, but given all that had happened around the team and program over the last eight days, along with high winds and rain throughout, this was a thing of beauty. The Cougars and their fans certainly needed it.

The Good

  • Gotta start with the shutout. WSU blanked an opponent for the second time this season, and even though Colorado got within scoring range a few times, it never felt like they were on the verge of breaking through.
  • Red zone production on both sides - WSU entered the red zone three times and scored three touchdowns. Colorado entered the red zone twice, and didn’t score a point (which you probably knew)
  • On a related note, Mike McIntyre has now coached two games in Pullman. His team still hasn’t found the endzone, and has been outscored 55-3. Saturday was the first time Colorado didn’t score a touchdown since the last time Colorado visited WSU.
  • Luke Falk’s numbers don’t really reflect it, but he had a pretty damn good game. He took off a few times when he couldn’t find a receiver, and probably most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over.
  • Piggybacking on that, after a disastrous game at Cal in good conditions, the offense played through terrible conditions. They turned the ball over once early, then settled in.
  • Frankie Luvu continues to be awesome.
  • I thought Philip Lindsay was supposed to be really good? Well, he is really good, but you’d never know it if you’d only watched Saturday’s game. The defense kept him under 100 yards despite getting the ball 29 times.
  • Jamal Morrow continues to be the glue that holds this offense together.
  • Those back shoulder throws to Dezmon Patmon were things of beauty. More of them, please.
  • Congratulations to Tay Martin and Brandon Arconado on their first career touchdown catches.
  • The offensive line had one of its better efforts this season. While that isn’t necessarily saying a lot, they kept Falk relatively clean and opened up some running lanes. Looked like Noah Osur-Myers got some extensive time at guard in Cody O’Connell’s stead.
  • Hunter Dale is really damn good.
  • Colorado was 1-17 on third down. ONE FOR SEVENTEEN! Incredible job by the WSU defense.

The Bad

  • Classy effort by Colorado lineman Jeromy Irwin, getting rightfully ejected for blindsiding Derek Moore with the crown of his helmet. I’d never seen an offensive lineman ejected for targeting.
  • #Pac12refs were out in full force, particularly on a kick catch interference call that cost WSU 15 yards in the first quarter. Absurd.
  • Remember when people (and there were more than a few) who thought Steven Montez was an upgrade over Sefo Liufau? Yeah, no.
  • CJ Dimry is not a Pac-12 player, and is stealing snaps from younger players with much higher ceilings.
  • While we’re talking about receivers, Isaiah Johnson-Mack has to step up. He’s capable of far more than he’s producing.
  • EDIT: Forgot to mention Tyler Hilinski. I realize it was garbage time, but man, he looked lost.

The Ugly

  • Gotta start with the weather. No thank you.
  • Then again, my niece and nephew were there well into the second half. Suck it up, students.
  • Another day, another special teams turnover. In a close game, stupid plays like that will be be the difference between a win and a loss.
  • Went to bed at 3am and was up by 830am. I planned to record the second half and go to bed earlier. I did not follow the plan. I am a moron.

So now it’s on to Tucson, where Mike Leach is unbeaten as the WSU coach. If you ask me (you didn’t) Khalil Tate and Co. will present the toughest test the WSU defense has faced to date, including USC. But let’s not think about that until Monday. 7-1, Go Cougs.

Football

Three touchdown passes, strong defensive play leads No. 15 Washington State to 28-0 win over Colorado | The Spokesman-Review
The rain caused some miscues here and there, but WSU established offensive balance, throwing it 43 times and running it 35 more. On a night when it was all the Buffaloes could do to reel in a pass, the Cougars outgained their opponent 406-174.

Vince Grippi’s three takes: Cougars bounce back with some new faces | The Spokesman-Review
The 15th-ranked Cougars outlasted Colorado and a pouring rain for a 28-0 victory, their sixth this season at home.

Difference makers: Defense, running game sets tone for Washington State in win over Colorado | The Spokesman-Review
Thompson, the Cougs’ sophomore strong safety, set a career high with a team-best 10 tackles and recovered a late fumble.

John Blanchette: Cougars’ win over Colorado shows new normal | The Spokesman-Review
But even the new normal is abnormal: in blanking the Buffs, the Cougars notched two shutouts in the same season for the first time since 1981.

5 observations: Washington State rolls past Colorado, 28-0 – The Denver Post
While CU struggled to establish consistency at quarterback, WSU’s Luke Falk fought through adversity with an inspired performance.

CU Buffs stifled by No. 15 Washington State - Buffzone
The Buffs had their worst performance of the year, and maybe their worst in a few years.

Saturday Night Five: Lessons in the Pac-12 in Week Eight (USC hammered by Notre Dame)
After returning from the long trip home from South Bend to heal and regroup, the Trojans head back on the road this week to face the searing Sun Devils in Tempe.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: This week was full of outstanding beer at the Kendall house. Friday afternoon started with a crowler of Neighborly Sugar from local brewery Angry Chair. I’m a sucker for flavored stouts, and this was outstanding. I also had a 5 Rabbit sour called Cascarudo. I’m not a fan of sours, but the tart in this one is just right. The best beer I had comes from Big Top Brewing, and I stumbled upon one solitary can. I love peanut butter and jelly. I eat PB&J sandwiches at least three times per week. Big Top made a special release called PB&J Pale Ale that is simply outstanding.

How Hops Are Harvested | Tasting Table
You can likely take a brewery tour and see the mash tuns churning away, but there's something you're missing: the actual growing of hops, one of beer's basic ingredients.

Non-Sports

Two-fer this week. The first is a gripping read. I couldn’t stop until I finished it.

Dirty John Part 1: The Real Thing - Los Angeles Times
Who you marry might be the most important decision of your life, but it can also be the least rational.

How Israel Caught Russian Hackers Scouring the World for U.S. Secrets - The New York Times
Exploiting the popular Kaspersky antivirus software, Russian hackers searched millions of computers for American intelligence keywords. Israeli intelligence tipped off American officials.