Vince Grippi’s Keys to the Game
What went right
Once again, almost everything. And unlike last week, Washington State got out of the game with no major injuries. The offense, led by an efficient, close-to-dominating offensive line, rolled up 613 yards of total offense. Marshall Lobbestael was almost perfect in taking over for the injured Jeff Tuel. The defense dominated the line of scrimmage, holding UNLV to 158 yards of total offense. In every way, complete domination.
What went wrong
The Cougars were less than six minutes away from their first shutout since 2003, when they opened the season with a 25-0 whitewashing of Idaho. But Tim Cornett hauled in a kickoff at the 5-yard line, broke through a hole on the left side of WSU’s coverage team, was the recipient of an iffy block, and raced 95 yards to kill the shutout. “I know some players were probably upset, but that’s OK,” WSU coach Paul Wulff said.
Ever since Rickey Galvin appeared on campus last year, Wulff has been saying the 5-foot-8, 171-pound running back is a game-breaker. On WSU’s first drive, he showed what Wulff was talking about. Taking a handoff from Lobbestael, Galvin burst up the middle behind blocks from Andrei Lintz, B.J. Guerra and Andrew Roxas. A quick cut to the right and Galvin was off. Seconds later he had finished off a 48-yard scoring run and WSU led 7-0.
Washington State’s defensive front has been maligned the past couple years as opponents have run over them consistently. But against a UNLV team that found running room last week at Wisconsin the front four won the battle, whether it was the starters – Adam Coerper, Travis Long, Anthony Laurenzi and Toni Pole – or backups that rotated in. UNLV’s top two running backs, Tim Cornett and Bradley Randle, combined for just 57 yards.