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Washington State running backs get a break as Luke Falk, Cougs’ offense take to the air

Washington State running back Jamal Morrow (25) runs the ball against OSU during the first half of a Pac-12 football game on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Surely this would be the day when Mike Leach would unleash his ground game.

Going into Saturday’s game, opposing running backs had gashed Oregon State for 677 yards on 137 carries.

That’s 4.95 yards a carry, enough to cause the semblance of some play-balance from the Cougars.

Nope. After one quarter, Cougar running back Jamal Morrow got his only two touches on a pair of short receptions, and the only ball carrier was quarterback Luke Falk, thanks to a sack.

Finally, with 11 minutes left in the second quarter, James Williams went off left tackle for 24 yards to help the Cougs extend their lead to 14-2.

By halftime, the stats were as one-sided as it gets, even for the Air Raid: the backs combined for three carries while Falk was 22-for-30 for 199 yards and four TDs.