Tale of the tape: UCLA 44, WSU 36

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — We'll keep this quick because it's late, but here we go with our capsulated look at UCLA's 44-36 win over WSU. Read on.


OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME — Connor Halliday did everything he could in the second half, finishing with 330 yards passing and five touchdowns. Sure, he threw an interception late that didn't help WSU's chances. But this is the best Halliday has played all season, and he calmed considerably after completing just 7 of 18 passes in the first half. Brett Hundley only threw three incompletions for UCLA.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME — Cyrus Coen had the best game of his young career, finishing with a sack, a fumble recovery and an interception. Cassius Marsh and Anthony Barr each had 2.5 sacks for UCLA.

PLAY OF THE GAME — Probably Eric Kendricks' 40-yard fumble return for a touchdown, because that made it 37-7 heading into halftime, and that proved to be just too many points for WSU to overcome.

STAT OF THE GAME — Four. That's how many kicks the Cougars had blocked in the first half. Another number: 65. The Bruins scored four of their touchdowns in the first half with the aid of just 65 yards of total offense (a blocked field goal for a touchdown, a fumble returned for a touchdown, a 24-yard scoring drive after Teondray Caldwell's fumble, and a 41-yard scoring drive after the safety and ensuing kick return.)

WHAT WE LEARNED — There's still some fight left in this team, and maybe there's more hope for the future than some thought after a pretty tough week. The Cougars trailed by 30 points at halftime, yet they played in the second half as if they thought they had a chance to win. And if they recover that last onside kick, who knows? Mike Leach called it the best effort he's seen from WSU this season, and said it ranked up there with any he's ever seen as a coach. That's high praise after what he said a week ago.

UP NEXT — A 12 p.m. game Saturday against Arizona State (Pac-12 Networks). The Sun Devils dropped to 5-5 today after losing to USC.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple


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