Arrow-right Camera
Sports >  WSU football

Washington State backup Tyler Hilinski gets first career start in Holiday Bowl

UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 28, 2017, 6:10 p.m.

Washington State Cougars quarterbacks Luke Falk (4) and Tyler Hilinski (3) warm up before the first half of the 2017 Holiday Bowl Thursday, December 28, 2017, at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, Calif. Falk did not play in the game. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State Cougars quarterbacks Luke Falk (4) and Tyler Hilinski (3) warm up before the first half of the 2017 Holiday Bowl Thursday, December 28, 2017, at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, Calif. Falk did not play in the game. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

SAN DIEGO – Backup Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski will start in place of Luke Falk Thursday at the Holiday Bowl against Michigan State.

Falk was seen wearing a cast when he arrived at the Cougars’ bowl practice Tuesday at Southwestern College and the Cougars’ fourth-year senior starter was careful to keep his left hand in his pocket at bowl events throughout the week.

Falk went through warmups with the Cougars at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, but it was Hilinski who took the game’s first snap, signaling the first career start for the redshirt sophomore who’d been called into action multiple times this season.

Falk came out of the WSU tunnel in street clothes prior to the Holiday Bowl.

Cougars coach Mike Leach was asked multiple times this week about the cast on his QB’s left arm, but, sticking to his policy of not commenting on injuries, Leach didn’t offer anything about Falk’s status other than that he’d been wearing a glove on his non-throwing hand all season.

“He’s doing great,” Leach said during Wednesday’s Holiday Bowl practice. “You can use your imagination all you want about the cast. He has had something on his hand all year and hence we named him the King Slayer. Beyond that you’re on your own.”

Leach was asked about Falk’s cast on Tuesday as well.

The WSU coach responded: “He’s doing exactly what we need him to. Luke’s doing good.”

Hilinski has played in seven games this season, completing 91-of-129 passes for 904 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions.

Subscribe to the Cougs newsletter

Get the latest Cougs headlines delivered to your inbox as they happen.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com