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Interactive Graphic: Recapping WSU vs. OSU

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Luke Falk posted some very impressive stats in his debut as a starter. Come explore why he gives the Cougs reason to be optimistic about the future.

Steve Dykes

Russell Wilson always talks about the need for the Seahawk offense to stay on schedule and Luke Falk channeled his inner RW3 by keeping the Cougs humming along and posting some season-best stats.

The Cougs kept pace with the yards per play, yards per attempt and total yards that they’ve been putting up through 2014.  The offense also surpassed their 2012 and 2013 regular season totals in total yards with two weeks left to play.

Coming into the game, the Beavers had the best interception rate of any team in the Pac-12; Falk went 61 throws without a pick.  OSU was holding opposing QB’s to 5.8 YPA; Falk walked out with 7.7 YPA.  They also were No. 1 in the Pac-12 in limiting passing TD’s, giving up a TD on 2.5 percent of their opponent’s passes; Falk threw a TD on 8.1 percent of his throws, torching the Beavs for five TD’s to five different receivers.

What is most exciting for me is how well Falk and company did on 3rd down and moving the chains.  They posted the best conversion rate since week one vs. Rutgers (57 percent) and tied the season best of 33 first downs, which oddly enough the Cougs have now hit four times this season.

The Cougs also had nine different receivers catch a ball, which as Brian Anderson noted on Twitter, is true Air Raid balance.

One thing stats can’t explicitly show is Falk’s pocket presense.  I thought he did a great job of moving in the pocket and finding those quiet places among the chaos to buy enough time for his receivers to get open.

The Cougar defense also stepped up in stopping the run, posting their lowest yards per carry of the Mike Breske era.  Mannion still looked like the Mannion of old, but they showed up in the red zone by limiting touchdowns.

As exciting as this game was, I think it still highlights the main problem ailing the Cougs in 2014.  With a defense that gives up so much through the air and does not force turnovers, the offense has to play near perfect for WSU to have a chance to win games.

However, let's not let that take away from what was a great team effort that provided many reasons to be excited about the final two weeks and next season.  Onward to ASU!