Jacob Thorpe’s Keys to the WSU-Utah Game
What went right
The Cougars could seemingly do no wrong offensively. While there were a number of standouts on the offensive side of the ball, the sterling performance of the line made the difference in WSU’s win. Utah led the nation with 36 sacks entering the game but was unable to lay a finger on QB Connor Halliday.
What went wrong
While the WSU secondary scored a pair of TDs off interceptions, the Cougars struggled with giving up explosive plays in the passing game. Dres Anderson and Jake Murphy scored touchdowns on receptions of 57 and 64 yards, respectively. Those big plays allowed Utah to hang around into the fourth quarter.
WSU seemed poised to put the game away at times but Utah kept making it interesting. But on third-and-7 Halliday hit Dominique Williams in stride for a 71-yard touchdown to give the Cougars a 49-37 lead.
Halliday has struggled at times this season with decision making, leading to interceptions and missed opportunities. But the junior QB was on point against Utah, completing 39 of 62 passes for 448 yards and four TDs with no turnovers. He also checked into a run at the right time, leading to a 50-yard rush for Marcus Mason.