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WSU vs. CSU New Mexico Bowl score update: Cougars lighting up the scoreboard, lead 35-23 at the half

Connor Halliday tossed five touchdowns in the first half and the Cougars are up big on Colorado State.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State's offensive success continued in the second quarter and the Cougars now lead Colorado State 35-23 at halftime of the New Mexico Bowl.

After WSU came out strong in the first quarter, CSU fought back early in the second quarter. The Rams pulled out all the stops on a 19-play drive, but WSU held CSU to a field goal making it 21-13. The Cougars were forced to punt on the next drive and CSU had an opportunity to cut further into the lead.

Deone Bucannon was having none of that.

Bucannon intercepted Garrett Grayson on the first play of the drive, giving WSU the ball in Ram territory. Connor Halliday and the offense took advantage with Halliday floating a perfect ball out to Vince Mayle for a 28-yard touchdown.

Halliday tossed his fifth touchdown of the half on WSU's next possession, hitting Rickey Galvin for the score. River Cracraft played a big role on the drive, catching a pair of passes. CSU got a score back before the half, driving 75 yards for a touchdown to make it a 35-23 game.

WSU botched the end of the first half. The Cougars could have taken a knee to run out the half on a third and long, but instead chose to pass. An incomplete pass and a poor punt gave CSU an opportunity for points at the end of the half. The Rams were able to move into field goal range and call a timeout, even though the broadcast listed CSU with no timeouts remaining. Some obvious confusion, but three points for CSU.

WSU has clear athletic advantages on both sides of the ball. CSU has dug deep into the bag of tricks and hit a couple of big plays. Limiting explosive plays on defense and keeping the foot on the gas offensively will be keys for the Cougs in the second half.