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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Some final thoughts from WSU’s win over Portland State

The Cougars picked up a much-needed win in style on Saturday night, treating the 30,874 fans in attendance to a 59-21 blowout. It's easy to say that not much can be learned from a big win over an FCS opponent, but I don't buy that.

This game could have been close if the Cougars didn't put together their most complete game of the season to date, at least that's what I think. I've got a few other thoughts from this game, and I'll share them after the jump.


-- I think the Cougars have found their field cornerback for at least the rest of the season, and probably longer, in redshirt freshman Charleston White.  He makes good plays when they're available – he could have called a fair catch on his interception in the red zone today – but more than anything he's the type of cornerback you go long stretches without noticing because he's playing well and not giving the offense any more than what's available. Against Nevada he left the game and the Wolf Pack immediately started throwing at his replacement. He stayed on the field against the Vikings and played well enough that the visitors had to throw at Daquawn Brown, which is exactly what the Cougars want.

-- The coaches hinted that they didn't like how little the running backs were used in the first two games, and quarterback Connor Halliday clearly made it a point to rectify that early. Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks combined to touch the ball 11 times during WSU's first two drives and had more carries (13) by halftime than they finished with against either Nevada or Rutgers. After the game coach Mike Leach said that he'd still like to see their workload ramp up in the weeks ahead, and Halliday said that he hopes next week's game against Oregon is a big one for the running backs.

-- Speaking of Halliday, he finished with 544 passing yards, six touchdowns in 62 attempts and still didn't have the night's gaudiest passing statistic. That belongs to backup quarterback Luke Falk, who finished with a quarterback rating of 626.20 after completing both of his passing attempts for 86 yards and a touchdown.

-- Jordan Dascalo has been rock solid at punter so far this season, particularly for a freshman. Two of his three kicks Saturday night were downed inside the PSU 20-yard line, and he finished with a consistent 45.0 average per punt with a long of 50.

-- Fans got their first look at Martin Stadium since the construction of the Football Operations Building, the installation of new LED lights, crimson end zones and the brick ribbon around the field and the venue looked great. Walking around before the game I got the impression people were stunned at the transformation the stadium has made since last season and with nearly a full-house it was the perfect night to show off all the improvements.









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

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