The WSU Cougars overwhelmed Portland State in Pullman today to pick up their first victory of the 2014 season, a 59-21 win over the FCS Vikings.
As Cougar fans, we've gotten used to seeing firsts -- mostly of the negative variety -- over the past few years, but tonight, it was a positive first: As in, the first time WSU has gone over 700 yards of offense in a game. The Cougars set a school record with 706 yards of offense.
As per usual, the bulk of those yards came through the air: Connor Halliday completed 41 of 62 passes for 544 yards and six touchdowns. The main beneficiary was Isiah Myers, who hauled in 11 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns.
Backup quarterback Luke Falk also threw the first touchdown of his career, finding Dom Williams streaking down the sideline for 84 yards.
The defense was hit and miss for much of the evening, giving up 362 yards overall. There were stretches where the Cougars physically dominated, but there also were stretches where the Vikings were able to move the ball freely, particularly on two consecutive touchdown drives in the third quarter.
That said, while it wasn't always a work of art, the Cougars did what an athletically superior team is supposed to do to an inferior team: Overwhelm them enough that the inferior team can't keep up. WSU repeatedly broke big plays on offense -- together, Halliday and Falk combined for 9.8 yards per attempt -- and WSU generally was able to contain the Vikings on defense.
WSU now is 1-2 at the completion of the nonconference portion of the schedule with a visit by Oregon looming on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Martin Stadium.