Cougars shut out Colorado in homecoming game

For the second time this season, the WSU football defense did not allow a point

Redshirt senior quarterback Luke Falk runs the ball down field for a gain of yards against Colorado on Saturday at Martin Stadium.

JACKSON GARDNER, Evergreen reporter

It took No. 15 WSU (7-1, 4-1) a quarter to get in a rhythm, but the team scored more than they did in all four quarters of last week’s loss. The Cougars won with a 28-0 shutout over University of Colorado, Boulder (4-4, 1-4) on Homecoming weekend at WSU.

Immediately after the Cougars lost for the first time this season in Berkeley last week, Leach said his team was “outplayed,” and “out-coached.” He added that his team listened to the hype of the media and was overconfident.

The Cougars played in wind and rain this week, which can be a challenge to a pass-heavy team.

“We got to embrace this type of thing, we gotta get excited about weather and conditions,” Leach said. “Any of these guys who are ever lucky enough to elevate and play at [the NFL] level, this is a great opportunity.”

The Cougars played without leading junior wide receiver Tavares Martin Jr., who was suspended one week for losing his temper after the loss to University of California, Berkeley. He allegedly had some choice words for his teammates and coaches, according to Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times.

His absence gave way to WSU’s youth, where two Cougar receivers recorded their first career touchdowns.

Freshman wide receiver Davontavean Martin hauled in a 50-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Brandon Arconado caught his first touchdown when he found a hole in Colorado’s coverage that made a defender miss on his way to the end zone.

“Luke [Falk] threw a great ball, I just saw the field and took off,” Martin said. “It felt like a movie, man.”

Redshirt senior quarterback Falk responded after last week’s performance when he posted a career high number of turnovers. However, it wasn’t the plays Falk made through the air that had Cougar fans talking, but rather the plays he made with his legs.

In the third quarter, Falk exited the pocket and took off for a career high 16-yard run.

“Felt like I had 4.4 speed back there at the time,” Falk said. “[Leach] did call me the slowest quarterback in the country at one time, so I had to prove something to him, I guess.”

In a third and long situation, Falk tucked the ball under his arm and escaped the collapsing pocket for a rushing attempt in the first quarter. He finished his run by lowering his shoulder into a Colorado defender to pick up a first down.

This play was early in the game for the Cougar signal-caller.

Falk was able to add “Pac-12 leader in career total offense,” and “Pac-12 leader in passing attempts” to his resume. He also broke WSU football’s program record for most wins as a quarterback, passing Jason Gesser on the list.

On the other side of the field, Colorado Head Coach Mike MacIntyre seemed to be upset over his team’s performance most of the night.

His offense struggled to move the ball against the Cougars’ “Speed D” for four quarters. Colorado sophomore quarterback Steven Montez wasn’t able to complete a pass until there were less than five minutes left in the first half.

MacIntyre relieved Montez of his role after he only moved the ball 21 yards on four completions of 13 attempts in the first half.

Freshman quarterback Sam Noyer was next in line to take a stab at the Cougars’ defense. Although his 53 passing yards and a 39-percent completion rate was better than Montez, he could not score any points against the Cougars.

Colorado’s leading rusher, senior tailback Phillip Lindsay, was just shy of 100 rushing yards. He took a bulk of the workload from the Buffaloes’ offense with 29 carries for an average of 3.4 yards per carry.

WSU will be back on the road for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff next Saturday to take on the Arizona Wildcats (5-2, 3-1).