Sep 14, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington State Cougars wide receiver Marquess Wilson (86) catches an 81 yard touchdown pass while defended by UNLV Rebels defensive back Kenneth Penny (17) during the second quarter against the UNLV Rebels at Sam Boyd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Washington State Cougars Fend Off UNLV Rebels For 35-27 Win


Sep 14, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington State Cougars wide receiver Gabe Marks (84) runs for a 52 yard touchdown catch as UNLV Rebels defensive back Dre Crawford (left) chases during the second quarter against the UNLV Rebels at Sam Boyd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

No thanks to questionable decision making and play calling late in the game, the WSU football team came through again on Friday night, winning in an eerily similar fashion to the way they did on Saturday. UNLV had a chance on the last play of the game, from around midfield, but Freshman quarterback Nick Sherry came up short on his desperation heave. Sherry , showed why UNLV is high on his talents, going an efficient 33-49 for 351 yards and 3 touchdowns on the evening.

It was the kind of heart-stopping finish that never should have been, if the clock management of the offense was a little bit better. Just one more run early on the final Cougar possession would have iced the game down and the Cougs could’ve knelt the clock out. But the saying goes “A win is a win, is a win”, and we got it. The Cougar defense went hot and cold on the day, giving up big plays when they were up 28-10 late in the 2nd quarter to allow the Rebels back in the game. But in the second half, despite dropping easy interceptions and failing to pick up two forced fumbles, they came up with 3 crucial stops when backed into a corner and won the game.

UNLV had nice contributions from Tim Cornett and Matt Sullivan. Cornett ran 20 times for 97 yards and Sullivan caught 6 balls for 136 yards and 2 touchdowns. The big play was a 75 yard touchdown late in the first half, in which Sullivan made a catch down the sidelines and fended off Cb Demante Horton, pushing him away twice before jaunting into the end zone. The play got the Rebs back in the game when it seemed they were about to be blown out.

The Wazzu offense finally clicked for a full half under this weeks’ starting quarterback Connor Halliday, who went 26 of 45 for 378 yards and four first half touchdowns. Connor threw 2 large interceptions on the day as well, but for his first start this season, he really played well. Finally Marquess Wilson got going, scoring twice on catches of 4 and 81 yards in his usual blow-through-coverage way, despite dropping 2 more sure touchdowns. Meanwhile Gabe Marks got on the board with 6 catches for 126, including flying past an unfortunate cornerback who had no chance against a post route and scoring his first Cougar touchdown.  And then there were the consistent performances by Isiah Meyers (5 for 45 and a td) and Leon Brooks (6 carries for 35 and the deciding td).

Gotta love a win baby, even though I have to roll my eyes at the way we had to get it. Go Cougs!

 

 

Tags: Football UNLV Rebels Washington State Cougars