Unit Grades: Apple Cup

The Apple Cup didn't go as planned for the Cougars, who fell, 27-17 in Seattle. While the defense had possibly its best half of the season to start the game, holding the Huskies to just a field goal, but couldn't keep it up in the second half. Connor Halliday played well for most of the game, keeping the Cougars within striking distance despite constant pressure from the UW defensive line. However, in the fourth quarter's critical moments a pair of costly interceptions by Halliday doomed the Cougars, who fell to 6-6 on the season.

Grades for each individual unit, after the jump.


Quarterback, C+: I bet this quarterback wishes he could have that third quarter, back, eh? Ok, sorry.While Halliday's 282 passing yards may seem paltry after his 488 against Utah, credit must also go to UW's physical, veteran secondary. The junior quarterback completed 32 of 59 passes and lost 44 yards on five sacks. The Cougars were intercepted twice and could have given up two more but for drops by UW. While Halliday needn't shoulder the blame for the loss, it wasn't one of his better performances.

Running Backs, B: The running backs weren't asked to carry the ball often on Friday, with Marcus Mason getting just 11 carries and Teondray Caldwell adding a pair. When the Cougars ran the ball they actually had success as Mason averaged 4.9 yards per carry while Caldwell turned one of his two runs into a 20-yard scamper. Mason was shut down in the passing game, picking up just 9 yards on six receptions, although he did a great job picking up a linebacker blitz on one play. Caldwell again got just two touches in the passing game,  turning them into 24 yards.

Offensive Line, C: After giving up no sacks last week to Utah, which led the nation in the category entering the game, the Cougars offense gave up five to the Huskies. While Halliday probably held onto the ball too long on a pair of those, the quarterback was under constant pressure from the UW's defensive front.

Defensive Line, B-: The WSU defensive line was able to get pressure as well, sacking UW quarterback Keith Price twice and forcing him to run 12 other times. However, WSU was often unable to keep contain on Price on those runs, and he gained 42 yards from the line of scrimmage.

Linebackers, B: Justin Sagote led the team with 13 tackles and the linebackers accumulated 4.5 tackles for loss. After a solid first half, however, the linebackers were unable to stop UW running back Bishop Sankey, who finished the day with 200 rushing yards.

Defensive Backs, B: The Cougar secondary was solid for the most part in pass coverage, with cornerback Nolan Washington making a perfect play to intercept a pass intended for UW tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who has over half a foot and nearly 100-pounds on the  senior corner. Deone Bucannon had a big hit to blow up a short pass for a loss, and senior safey Casey Locker added nine tackles.

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Jacob Thorpe
Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.




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