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Cougars Win Instant Classic in OT!

Boise State silenced the crowd  in Martin Stadium after an interception return for a touchdown put the Broncos up 21 points in the 4th quarter.  The Cougs went on to put up 21 unanswered points with their back up quarterback Tyler Hilinski, before the end of the quarter and shock the Broncos in triple overtime 47-44.

WSU was looking to avenge a loss from last season against Boise State, and got off to a slow start.  Former Cougar legend Mark Rypien’s nephew Brett, used 6 plays to start out the game and go up 7-0 early.  The following drive, Luke Falk drove the Cougs right down the field, but on 3rd and goal, Falk was intercepted by Boise State’s Tyler Horton.  The Cougs redeemed themselves the next Boise State possession. Herc Mata’afa hit Rypien from behind and forced a fumble that Robert Taylor ran in to tie the game at 7.  The remainder of the first half was a defensive battle, the offenses couldn’t get much going and both teams went to the locker room tied up at 10.  Wazzu had only 148 yards of total offene and 116 through the air in the first half.  On how the receivers played in the first half, coach Mike Leach said,  “I thought they played timid.  They’ve got to go out there and play like they deserve to be there.”

The third quarter showed more struggles for the Cougar offense.  After Falk got hit hard a few times, back up sophomore Tyler Hilinski took over for good in the fourth quarter. “We were being cautious with Luke,”  Coach Leach said forllowing the game.  Falk took his final snap of the game late in the fourth when he was hit hard by Jabril Frazier and forced a fumble that was returned 55 yards for a toucdown by Curtis Weaver and the Broncos held a comportable 31 to 10 lead with only 10:53 to go in the game. 

Hilinski entered the game and made quick work on a 8 play, 75 yard drive lasting only 3 minutes and pulled the Cougs within two touchdowns.  The Cougs were in need of another huge defensive play, and they got it.  Bronco quarterback Montell Cozart was pressured and tried to shovel a pass and did so right to Wazzu’s Peyton Pelluer who took it back 18 yards to the end zone, and the Cougs were now within 7  with 5:44 to play.  Washington State stopped the Broncos on the next possession and the Cougs had just under 4 minutes to tie the game.  The Cougs were stopped and forced to put with 3 minutes to play.  On the Erik Powell punt, the ball landed on the back of a Bronco player and WAZZU recovered at the Boise State 24 yard line.  4 plays later, Hilinski connected with Jamal Morrow for 6 yards and the Cougs tied it up at 31 1:07 to play.  Neither team was able to score, so the game went to overtime in Pullman for the first time since the 2012 Apple Cup.

In the first over time, both teams came up with field goals.  Tavares Martin Jr. caught a 9 yard touchdown pass to put the Cougs up 7 in the 2nd overtime.  On Boise State’s possession, Cozart found Cedrick Wilson for 5 yards, and the score was tied again.  In the third overtime after the Broncos were held to a field goal, Hilinsky found Jamal Morrow in the flat on a screen pass from 22 yards out, who leaped over the pile on to give the Cougs one of their greatest victories in Martin Stadium history.

After this improbable win, the Cougs look to go 3-0 Saturday as they play the lowly Beavers who have looked terrible so far this season.  Washington State will have 2 more games to warm up for the mighty Trojans of USC.

 

 

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Shafer Murray

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