First thing’s first - this was probably the toughest decision we’ve faced in our three-plus years of writing this weekly post. That’ll happen when your favorite team takes down a Top Five team for the first time since 2003. We gave serious consideration to naming co-players of the week, but we’re not fence-sitters here, so one performance must be awarded the internet’s highest honor.
As you fans are surely aware, WSU beating USC is not exactly a regular occurrence, to put it mildly. On those rare occasions when it does happen, it takes standout performances up and down the roster. That’s what we got Friday night and, as a result, there are several strong candidates. On to the honors.
Honorable Mention: Erik Powell - Powell hit all three field goals, and WSU needed every last one of them to win the game. This is probably not measured anywhere, but Powell is probably among the nation’s leaders in field goals made that went inside the uprights by less than a foot. Doesn’t matter, though, as they all count the same.
2nd Runner-Up: Luke Falk
While this game almost certainly wasn’t among Falk’s five or ten best statistical performances, it was probably one of the best games he’s played at WSU. Being at the game means you miss a lot, especially since we’re all seemingly programmed to follow the ball. Watching the game replay offers a lot more context. There was a play in the 3rd quarter where, facing 3rd-and-10, Falk stood in and hit Jamire Calvin for 21 yards and a first down. What I didn’t see at the time was that Falk got absolutely drilled as he was throwing the ball. He stood in there and threw a critical pass while knowing he was going to take a shot. Tough as nails.
And you can @ me if you like, but I’ll argue that the greatest pass Luke Falk has ever thrown at WSU fell incomplete. On WSU’s first drive, Falk tried to scramble away from pressure, got caught by the ankle, and (while falling down) threw an absolute dime from the 33 yard line to the corner of the end zone between two USC defenders, right into the hands of Jamire Calvin. Unfortunately, it’s lost to history because Jamire Calvin dropped it. I’ve watched the play at least five times, and it is still amazing. There aren’t many NFL quarterbacks who could make that throw. If Falk’s receivers had helped him out, his stats would look far better. Oh well, he still played a great game.
Falk’s performance was rewarded when he was named the Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week.
1st Runner-Up: Jahad Woods
Much was made of USC’s injury situation following the game, while precious little was mentioned about WSU playing nearly the entire game with it’s third-string middle linebacker. When Isaac Dotson went down, I honestly wondered if Ronald Jones would be tackled once for the rest of the game. Not to worry, as Jahad Woods stepped in and, along with Nate DeRider, allowed WSU to hum along without having to work outside Alex Grinch’s game plan.
Woods tallied seven solo tackles, four more than any other Cougar player. In sum, he had nine tackles, one tackle-for-loss and one forced fumble. When was that TFL/forced fumble? Oh yeah, IT WAS ON USC’S LAST POSSESSION WHEN HE TOOK THE PERFECT FIRST STEP TO HIDE BEHIND DANIEL EKUALE, THEN SPED TOWARD SAM DARNOLD FORCING A FUMBLE HELL YES COUGS WIN! AM I YELLING IT FEELS LIKE I’M YELLING I DON’T CARE LET’S WATCH IT AGAIN.
Even more impressive is that Woods is a redshirt freshman. He has the potential to have a brilliant WSU career.
Winner: Jamal Morrow
We could give Jamal all the credit in the world, and I feel like it still wouldn’t be enough. I’ve marveled at his unparalleled balance in the past, and that’s only a fraction of Morrow’s tremendous talent. His intangibles were on display on WSU’s first touchdown. Tavares Martin, Jr. took a screen pass and sped toward the pylon. Morrow raced past the linemen and screened off Marvell Tell, giving Martin a clear path to the end zone.
There was also the part where Morrow took a shovel pass and ran past everyone to give WSU a 27-20 lead. The best part of the clip below is certainly when Morrow gives the “Fight On” sign to the USC fans.
Morrow was easily WSU’s leading rusher, gaining 91 yards on just six carries. That included a couple explosive plays, such as the 35-yarder on 3rd-and-four that set up WSU at the USC 23 yard line, and led to the game-winning field goal. Morrow also caught five passes for 47 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. All in all, he was essential in WSU’s victory. Congratulations, Jamal. This award is probably overdue.
Who was WSU’s Player of the Week?
This poll is closed
Leach’s Woodstock reference
The Coug Den bartenders (personal favorite)