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Vince Grippi’s Keys to the WSU Game

What went right

The fourth-quarter comeback from 10 points down. The last two times Washington State had the ball, quarterback Marshall Lobbestael led the Cougars on drives of 77 and 90 yards, respectively. The former ended with a 19-yard scoring pass to Isiah Barton, the latter with the winning 63-yarder to sophomore wide receiver Marquess Wilson. In between those long scoring drives, the defense earned a key stop.

What went wrong

The Cougars were penalized 10 times for 125 yards, both season highs by wide margins. Not all of them were calls they agreed with. Take a pass interference call on Daniel Simmons on the Buffs’ second-to-last possession. “I played that to perfection,” Simmons said. “Just like I was coached to do. I felt like it was textbook.” But he drew what could have been a game-deciding flag.

Turning point

Facing a third-and-6 from the WSU 46 with 2 minutes left, Colorado decided to pass. But Paul Richardson was covered, Tyler Hansen couldn’t find him and the pass fell incomplete. The play saved WSU time and gave the Cougars hope when they took over 10 seconds later. “You have to give them credit for reading the play,” Hansen said. “We have to make that play.”

Difference maker

Can there be anyone else than Marquess Wilson? The winning touchdown showed just how explosive the sophomore can be, as he split the two Colorado defensive backs with ease and put on a burst of speed which gave him about 3 yards of separation over the course of less than 10 yards. Wilson finished with six catches for 121 yards. He has 21 catches for 550 yards and five touchdowns in 2011.