Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 45° Partly Cloudy


WSU Football Unit Grades: Arizona

From Pullman -- The Cougars bring home a remarkably better report card home from the desert this week thanks to winning a critical Pac-12 matchup.


Quarterback, A-: After the game, coach Mike Leach said that it was probably the best quarterback Connor Halliday has played all season. While Halliday has thrown for much more than the 319 yards he put up against the Wildcats, he was efficient in completing 39 of 53 passes and a pair of scores, while only turning the ball over once.

Running backs, B+: Marcus Mason had one of the Cougars' best runs of the year for the game's first touchdown, and the running backs added over 100 yards rushing. Teondray Caldwell's sideline catch was one of the highlights of the season.

Wide Receivers, B: Gabe Marks was held without a reception but the rest of the unit picked up the slack. Dom Williams, Vince Mayle and River Cracraft all continued to emerge on Saturday.

Offensive Line, B+: Both Halliday and Leach signaled out the offensive line for praise on Saturday after the game. Halliday seemingly had more time in the pocket than usual and the running backs were able to consistently get yardage on the ground. While the were some miscues that led to four sacks by Arizona, all in all a good day for the offensive line.

Defensive Line, B: The Cougars only had one sack of quarterback B.J. Denker, but more troubling was the way Denker was seemingly able to pick up first downs with his feet at will. The team was successful in limiting the damage done by Ka'Deem Carey, who ran for 132 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

Linebackers, B+: The linebackers did yeoman's work on Carey, and Justin Sagote had one of his best games. Darryl Monroe added 11 tackles to go with Sagote's team-leading 12, and the linebackers did a god job of denying the Wildcats any big plays.

Defensive Backs, B: While Deone Bucannon didn't lead the team in tackles he still wracked up 11. Taylor Taliulu added six despite being shaken up and missing some time, while cornerback Damante Horton added a pair of breakups. Nolan Washington came in and played one of his best games of the season in place of Daquawn Brown.

Special Teams, C-: The only unit bringing home a bad grade, the special teams weren't especially special on Saturday. Punter Mike Bowlin pinned a couple punts deep in Arizona territory to start the game, but followed with a punt that traveled a scant three yards. He also had a pair of kickoffs hook out of bounds, and kicker Andrew Furney missed a field goal.

Jacob Thorpe
Jacob Thorpe joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Washington State University athletics.

Follow Jacob online:

Looking for a Grip on Sports?

Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.