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Difference makers: Luke Falk bounces back as Washington State flies past Oregon State

UPDATED: Sat., Sept. 16, 2017, 8:41 p.m.

Washington State Cougars quarterback Luke Falk (4) is sacked by OSU during the second half of a Pac-12 football game on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. WSU won the game 52-23. Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State Cougars quarterback Luke Falk (4) is sacked by OSU during the second half of a Pac-12 football game on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. WSU won the game 52-23. Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Luke Falk

With everyone asking how Washington State’s record-setting quarterback would bounce back from last week, Falk needed just half a game to give an emphatic answer. The Cougs led OSU 28-9 at halftime largely because Falk was 22 of 30 for 199 yards with four touchdowns. By game’s end, Falk was 37 of 49 for 396 yards with six scores.

Tavares Martin Jr.

Washington State Cougars wide receiver Tavares Martin Jr. (8) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Oregon State Beavers during the first half of a Pac-12 football game on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State Cougars wide receiver Tavares Martin Jr. (8) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Oregon State Beavers during the first half of a Pac-12 football game on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Early, often and when it mattered most, Martin was the key target for Falk. Martin opened the scoring with a 21-yard catch in the first quarter and gave the Cougs their first two-score lead late in the first half. His final play, a 57-yard catch-and-run, put WSU up 35-16 late in the third. Martin finished with 10 catches for 194 yards.

Jalen Thompson

Washington State Cougars safety Jalen Thompson (34) breaks up a pass intended for Oregon State Beavers wide receiver Seth Collins (22) during the first half of a Pac-12 football game on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State Cougars safety Jalen Thompson (34) breaks up a pass intended for Oregon State Beavers wide receiver Seth Collins (22) during the first half of a Pac-12 football game on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Thompson, a sophomore safety, was all over the field against the Beavers. He had a team-high nine total tackles – including one for loss – plus a pass breakup and the Cougars shut down Oregon State when it mattered most.