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Two-minute drill: Keys to victory for Washington State against Montana State

UPDATED: Fri., Sept. 1, 2017, 9:03 p.m.

Washington State Cougars quarterback Luke Falk (4) looks for an open teammate against UW during the first half of the 2016 Apple Cup. Falk can become WSU’s all-time leader in passing yards Saturday against Montana State. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State Cougars quarterback Luke Falk (4) looks for an open teammate against UW during the first half of the 2016 Apple Cup. Falk can become WSU’s all-time leader in passing yards Saturday against Montana State. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Theo Lawson’s keys to a possible WSU victory over Montana State today:

Don’t take your eyes off

Montana State quarterback Chris Murray won’t have the best arm the Cougars will see this season – it could be the worst – but he may have the best feet. If Murray can take advantage of his best asset, the Cougars could be in for another long night against an opponent from the Big Sky Conference. Those running QBs have been quite tricky for WSU over the years.

When WSU has the ball…

It’ll be key for Luke Falk to develop a rapport with his fleet of receivers – many of whom took a backseat to Gabe Marks and River Cracraft last season, or true freshmen who’ve never played in a college game. The Cougars are a little older and more experienced on the outside, but less proven on the inside. Week one, against a theoretically inferior opponent, will be a good time for Falk to build chemistry with the newcomers.

When MSU has the ball…

Murray is the Bobcats’ top rushing threat, but MSU will also go to running back Troy Andersen plenty. Andersen is a true freshman who came to Bozeman to play defense, but switched to running back as soon as he got on campus. With senior tailback Nick LeSane suspended four games, Andersen will get the load of the carries in this game. If the Cougars can stop both Murray and Andersen, they’ll almost surely be on the winning side of things.

Did you know?

Falk needs only two touchdowns to leap former teammate Connor Halliday on WSU’s all-time list. Additionally, he needs just 20 yards to jump past Alex Brink for second on the career passing yards list and 411 to overtake Halliday for the No. 1 spot.