Washington State headed into Auburn with high expectations, that much was obvious. Let’s revisit with a quick look at the first half of the game.
Washington State had their best start in 11 years (that I can remember) when Connor Halliday rolled the Cougars down the field on their way to a touchdown, shocking the Auburn crowd and igniting the Cougar sidelines with confidence. The 75 yard drive was the most efficient
Auburn came out and laid an absolute egg on their first drive as the Cougar defense forced a 3 and out.
Rest of the 1st Quarter
The Cougars had 2 distinct opportunities to stretch the lead after receiving terrific field position near the 50. They didn’t take advantage, but did pin Auburn on their own 1 after a terrific punt by Mike Bowlin and a heads up play by Nolan Washington. The Tigers picked up a first and punted it back, but Halliday would throw the first of his three interceptions on the 3rd drive of the game when he was slightly behind Bartolone and the ball bounced off his hands and into the Auburn defenders’ hands.
The return went inside the 20 and set Auburn up to score their first touchdown, after which they went for the sneaky 2 point conversion and “converted”, after the replay looked like he came up short but had no definitive angle to be able to see the play clearly. Washington State then ended out the quarter with Halliday throwing his second interception of the game when he sprinted out and tried to throw back across his body about 30 yards downfield.
Auburn came out of a quarter that seemed like it was dominated by Washington State with an 8-7 lead.