Jacob Thorpe’s Keys to the WSU Game
What went right
The Cougars began the second half well. After going into halftime trailing 17-10, WSU scored consecutive touchdowns to begin the third quarter and appeared to be taking control of the game. Wide receiver Vince Mayle caught a 40-yard pass from quarterback Connor Halliday, and capped that drive with a 4-yard touchdown reception on fourth down.
What went wrong
After scratching its way back to a lead, WSU didn’t have the ability to protect it. After OSU tied the game at 24, Halliday threw three straight interceptions. After amassing 521 passing yards against Cal last week, WSU’s quarterback fell apart and the Beavers scored 35 unanswered points.
OSU took a 31-24 lead 5 seconds into the fourth quarter, giving the Cougars plenty of time to respond in a back-and-forth game. But when Halliday’s pass was picked off and returned to WSU’s 30-yard line on the ensuing possession, the wheels seemed to fall off for the Cougars. OSU scored in just three plays, and Reynolds picked off Halliday again on the next series.
OSU wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been billed as arguably the Pac-12’s best receiver, and he did nothing to dispute that idea on Saturday. While OSU spread the ball around in the first half – limiting Cooks to just 46 yards – he finished the game with 137 receiving yards and two touchdowns. For good measure, the talented receiver added a touchdown on the ground.