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CougCenter Player(s) of the Week: The Defense

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Saturday was a true team effort

Stanford v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Welcome back. We were on a mini-hiatus last week, mostly because of work but also because WSU lost pretty badly, and seemingly every guy who made some good plays also made some bad plays. That certainly wasn’t the case this week. Yes, there were some bad plays, but on the whole, everybody made some good ones, too. Except you, #Forces. Go sit in the corner.

But while we will recognize those individual performances (it’s called Player of the Week for a reason), top honors go to an entire group of guys who brought their “A” game on nearly every play. There were too many players on defense to pick out a single person.

Honorable Mention: Ok we should probably recognize underwear guy even though we generally shy away from impish behavior. The execution was just too perfect, from jumping down, to getting right near the play, to getting the pants down and posing. Just textbook execution. I thought it was a little odd that he had Jamire Calvin’s name on his underwear, but I’m not gonna ask any questions.

The cherry on top is the fact that “Busted and Caught on Tape” was supposed to be airing on Fox Business Network at the time.

2nd Runner-Up: Luke Falk

If we were going purely off of Falk’s second and fourth quarters, he may have taken the top award. Falk was on fire in the even quarters, in which he threw all three of his touchdowns and no interceptions. Those other quarters held him back a bit. Not only did Falk start slowly, he almost drove his own nail in WSU’s coffin with his third quarter interception that Stanford took back for a score. In all, Falk completed 71% of his passes at a 7.0 YPA clip. Oh, and he also led WSU on a 94-yard drive to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, and killed precious time late in the game, making a Stanford comeback extremely difficult.

1st Runner-Up: Jamal Morrow

Ho hum, just another 130 yards on 21 touches for Jamal, including a couple huge runs and crucial catches. I honestly had to do a double-take when looking at Morrow’s rushing totals. The 67 yards seemed about right, but 16 carries? Man, Jamal was a workhorse on Saturday. There was also a play on which Morrow was instrumental even though he didn’t touch the ball. On a third down late in the game, with WSU trying to kill the clock, Morrow cut down a blitzing defender, enabling Falk to find Jamire Calvin for a critical first down. Morrow did everything well Saturday, even though he forces me to hold my breath during punt returns.

Winner: #SpeedD

When Stanford announced that K.J. Costello would start Saturday, I’ll admit to being a little bummed. After all, WSU stood a much better chance to win with uber-terrible Keller Chryst taking snaps. Didn’t end up making a difference, as Costello completed just nine of 20 passes for a paltry 105 yards. The defense was in his face all afternoon, and it felt like most of his completions were the result of great catches moreso than anything Costello did.

Same goes for Bryce Love. I was hoping he’d have to sit out again, but hoo boy did it not really matter. WSU gave him one play, a 52-yard score. Even with that, averaged just 4.3 YPC, and was tackled behind the line seven times! In other words, Love was tackled for a loss on nearly half of his attempts. At one point this season, Love was averaging a first down every time he carried the ball.

Stanford ran 47 plays, and WSU posted a tackle-for-loss on 11 of them (two were sacks), for a total of 31 yards. No matter how you slice it, that’s incredible. Justus Rogers led the way in TFLs with 2.5. In all, nine Cougar defenders tallied at least half-a TFL. They also broke up four passes, hit the quarterback four more times, and sealed the Senior Day win with a Frankie Luvu interception. Just an outstanding performance all around. So congratulations to SpeedD and all the coaches. You guys were truly incredible.

Poll

Who was WSU’s Player of the Week?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Luke Falk
    (42 votes)
  • 11%
    Jamal Morrow
    (37 votes)
  • 52%
    The Defense
    (175 votes)
  • 19%
    Underwear guy
    (64 votes)
  • 4%
    The beautiful-yet-not-too-heavy snow
    (15 votes)
333 votes total Vote Now