Sam Lockett III
The junior safety from Spokane had his finest performance as a Cougar, snagging two of his team’s four interceptions against Arizona QB Jayden de Laura, who started for WSU over the past two seasons. Lockett jumped an ill-advised pass deep down the middle and returned the pick 31 yards. WSU cornerback Derrick Langford Jr. recorded a pick-6 on the ensuing Arizona possession. Lockett added another takeaway a drive later. De Laura led a long series that reached the red zone, but he and a receiver miscommunicated on a crossing route, and Lockett was well-positioned to make the interception. The Wildcats were deflated by the three consecutive interceptions, which allowed WSU to open up a 25-point lead late in the third quarter. Lockett contributed five tackles, including one for loss.
The Cougars tailback continued his late-season tear, scoring two touchdowns and producing 86 yards from scrimmage. Watson had his two best games of the season in the two weeks before the game at Arizona, totaling 353 yards and four TDs on 38 carries combined in wins over Stanford and Arizona State. He put together another impressive effort in Tucson, taking 15 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown and adding 30 yards and a score on five receptions.
The first-year Cougars quarterback’s numbers weren’t anything sensational, but he played a consistent and efficient game, outdueling his WSU predecessor. Ward completed 25 of 36 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown, adding 59 yards and a TD on eight carries. Ward dodged sacks, taking just one, and avoided turnovers. He has scored 11 touchdowns against two giveaways across the past six games.
Up 21-3, it appeared WSU was comfortably in the lead. The Cougars were productive in the first half, piling up 244 yards to open up a big advantage at halftime. But WSU – like last week – lost rhythm on offense in the second half and couldn’t string much of anything together, leaving the door open for the Wildcats to make it interesting. WSU’s defense stepped up and shut down any inklings of an Arizona surge. De Laura threw interceptions on three consecutive third-quarter possessions – one returned for a touchdown – and the Cougars coasted .
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