Aug 31, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday (12) passes the ball during the second half against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium. The Tigers defeated the Cougars 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports
I was having an interesting conversation yesterday with my brother and he brought up a great point that I’d like to quickly share.
Records don’t just happen, even the trivial ones. If they did, everybody would be doing it or it would have been a record earlier. On Saturday night at Oregon, in Autzen stadium, Connor Halliday threw the ball 89 times and completed 58. The former is an NCAA record by 6 whole attempts and the latter ties the record.
Those don’t just happen, not with the offenses of today. It’s an impressive stat. Leach coached QB’s for 10 seasons at Texas Tech that didn’t put up that many attempts.
Halliday’s 557 passing yards is a WSU record! Thompson, Leaf, Bledsoe, Rypien, Guesser, Brink, none of them accomplished it. That’s special.
WSU out-first-downed Oregon 35-33. That means the Cougs were moving the ball with efficiency, believe it or not. The Cougs put 38 on Oregon, two touchdowns more than Washington did the previous week. Heck, Halliday and crew had tied UW’s score at halftime!
Alex Brink is celebrated and he never went to a bowl (although he did beat the Huskies three out of four which is a nice “next best thing”). But he set all these WSU records because he got so many attempts in a career that saw an injury put him in midway through his freshman season. A perfect example of attempts, yards and touchdowns based on circumstances and system.
Just because Connor is in a system that puts him in a good position to grab records, he still has to grab them. It’s not easy to get 101 plays off in a football game, the Cougs did that on Saturday against their most difficult opponent. That’s a positive result.
The records may have come in a loss, so I understand the initial apprehensive response to them. Nonetheless, they need to be celebrated going forward. We can’t let Nick Allioti’s comment that “in five years nobody will remember that he did that” come true.
Our quarterback did that. Connor Halliday did that, and he did it against the No. 2 team in the country, the Oregon Ducks. Even if Halliday ends up being remembered more for his ints than his touchdowns, he had the best day a Coug has ever had in the yardage department and threw 4 touchdowns against the Ducks secondary.
He deserves credit for that.