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WSU welcomes Oregon State, hoping Luke Falk gets right

NCAA Football: Boise State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Your Washington State Cougars welcome the Oregon State Beavers for a—what's that? They're playing a day game? I forgot what those were like!

Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

We've had a week to come down from that thrilling triple-overtime win over the Boise State Donkeys. That game was such a roller coaster, and it saw backup quarterback Tyler Hilinski take over for starter Luke Falk, as you know.

Mike Leach said Falk is still the starter, but methinks he won't hesitate to yank him should he falter, given Hilinski's performance last week.

But Falk can't falter, right? He's the guy that brought us back against Rutgers, Oregon and UCLA in 2015, and the Beavers in 2016. He'll need to recoup that magic, and the Beavers are the perfect team at the perfect time.

But as we discussed in this week's mailbag, Falk hasn't exactly impressed since the Cal game last season. I don't know what it is exactly—thinking too much? Doesn't trust his receivers?—but he needs to get it fixed.

By the way, when Connor Halliday went down in 2014 with a season-ending injury, were you nervous about how unproven Luke Falk was at that point? And are you more comfortable now, knowing Hilinski has proven he is a capable Pac-12 quarterback?

I'm much more comfortable than I was in 2014.

But let's hope it doesn't come down to WSU relying on its backup quarterback to win games in Mike Leach's sixth season.

Links

Football

With reeling Oregon State in town, Washington State looking to iron out its offensive kinks | The Spokesman-Review
Last week’s triple-overtime win over Boise State – Washington State came back from 21 in the fourth quarter to stun the Broncos, if you happened to be off the grid – churned the heart more than the heart is meant to be churned.

The pick: Why Washington State will beat Oregon State on Saturday | The Spokesman-Review
How long has it been since Oregon State won a football game outside of Corvallis city limits? Well, here’s a hint: Mike Riley was still calling the shots and Sean Mannion was still throwing the passes.

Two-minute drill: Keys to victory for Washington State against Oregon State | The Spokesman-Review
Theo Lawson’s keys to a possible WSU victory over Oregon State on Saturday.

5 things to watch: Oregon State Beavers at Washington State Cougars | OregonLive.com
Oregon State will play at Washington State on Saturday at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington, kicking off the start of Pac-12 play.

Falk to start as No. 21 Washington State plays Oregon State | FOX Sports
Quarterback Luke Falk has had great success for No. 21 Washington State in three career wins over Oregon State, averaging more than 430 yards passing with 16 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Washington State Head Football Coach Mike Leach Reacts to Thrilling Overtime Win by His Cougars against Boise State; Gives Thoughts on Solid Start to Season, Recent Movies He Likes, More | CYInterview
Mike Leach is introduced as, "Washington Head State Football Coach" in this interview.

Volleyball

Volleyball Takes 3-2 Win at Missouri State | Washington State University Athletics
The WSU volleyball team is now 10-1.

Old YouTube Clip of the Week

The Spokesman-Review's Theo Lawson had this wonderful feature on the Hilinski brothers yesterday, so I thought I'd share this YouTube video produced six years ago by the Los Angeles Times:

  • Eldest brother Kelly is a junior at Notre Dame High School in California in this clip. He went on to play at Columbia and Weber State.
  • Current Coug Tyler is a freshman in this clip and looks pretty much the exact same as he does nowadays, more or less.
  • Youngest brother Ryan is just ten years old here. He's now a stud junior quarterback at Orange Lutheran High School.
  • Tyler played at Upland High School. Yes, all three brothers went to different high schools, likely to the disappointment of the head coach featured in this clip, who wants the Hilinski family to have more kids.
  • Is it just me, or is Ryan incredibly polished in this media interview for a ten-year-old?
  • Weird to think of Tyler as a defensive end, but apparently that's what he was at one point.
  • I think it's safe to say Ryan will be playing D-I college football in a few years.