Our belated day-after post looks at Washington State's win over Arizona. And we've got some links to pass along.
Gabe Marks was directly responsible for 28 points in Washington State's 45-42 win at Arizona on Saturday. It was just the latest in a series of productive games for the wide receiver that places him in some pretty rarefied company. Just check out this tweet from CougCenter contributor Britton Ransford.
Crabtree '08 through 7 games — 51/724/12 (13 gm: 97/1165/19; 5th in Heisman) Gabe Marks '15 through 7 — 57/717/10 (13 gm pace: 94/1331/18)— Britton K. Ransford (@BKRansford) October 25, 2015
And while Marks had a dominant game, the kind of game that Biletnikoff Award voters will have to take notice of, there were plenty of performances by his teammates that are worth diving into as we look back at WSU's third consecutive win.
-- Earlier this season, the offensive line's issue was that it wasn't getting to the second level to seal off linebackers and defensive backs well enough. Lately, it's been struggling against good pass rushes, allowing seven sacks each by California and Oregon. WSU's front five performed well at both on Saturday.
Marks' first two touchdowns came on screen passes, the second of which was a 43-yarder in which the entire offensive line rumbled downfield ahead of the receiver, clearing an eight-lane highway for the receiver to travel upon. I mean, look at this:
That rumbling phalanx would give pause to a Persian prince. The offensive line also kept Falk relatively clean, giving up just two sacks. I'll let Vince handle the pass-rush praise.
-- The UA backsups' backups the Wildcats trotted out at linebacker never really did get a handle on River Cracraft, who had his best game since Rutgers by finding holes in the middle of the defense where he could sit with no defenders anywhere around him. "He's good at finding the zone, finding the weak spot in the defense," Luke Falk said after the game. And a breakout game from receiver Kyrin Priester, who we spent all preseason camp touting the abilities of but had yet to really show off his skills in a game. Priester is strong and fast, and he can do things like this.
Now that he appears to be getting used to game speed, expect Priester to continue making the WSU offense even more potent.
-- But perhaps the most impressive aspect of WSU's win, and certainly the most unexpected, was the way the WSU defensive line took Nick Wilson, the Pac-12's No. 4 rusher, out of the game. Wilson was stuffed repeatedly during the first two UA drives, which went nowhere, severely hampering the UA offense until backup quarterback Jerrard Randall entered the game in the third quarter.
Now for some links.
-- A lot of people will be watching Washington State's game against No. 8 Stanford, for better or worse.
-- Quarterback Luke Falk was named the Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week.
-- Here are the highlights from the game.
-- Just one win away from a bowl game, the Cougars are in all the bowl projections. There are people projection the Cougars to the Las Vegas Bowl, Poinsettia Bowl, Sun Bowl and the Las Vegas Bowl again.