The Cougar football team rolled in to Seattle last weekend with the intentions of beating our in-state rivals and ensuring themselves a spot in a bowl game. The previous week, the Cougs beat the Utah Utes to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2006. A win against the Huskies would have guaranteed the team a place in college football’s postseason.
The game got off to a slower start than many imagined it would. Both offenses came in to the game riding hot streaks and scoring points at an impressive rate. But at the end of the first quarter, only three points were on the board thanks to an opening drive field goal from the Huskies.
Both defenses came to play early, and neither offense could get going in the opening quarter. In the second quarter, Washington State finally started to find some rhythm. After kicking a field goal to tie the game, the Cougs put together an impressive drive that ended with a Connor Halliday touchdown pass to Rickey Galvin. This gave the Cougs a seven point lead, and a little momentum heading to the half.
The second half was a whole different story. The Cougar offense looked sloppy, and the defense couldn’t get off the field on third down like they did in the first half. Sophomore student Charles Hyland says the third quarter is where the game was lost. “The third quarter is what killed us,” said Hyland. “Our offense couldn’t move the ball, and the defense couldn’t stop the run.”
The Huskies scored 17 unanswered points in the third quarter, and headed to the final quarter with a 20 to 10 lead. All the Huskies needed to do was hand it to their red-hot running back Bishop Sankey. The Cougs couldn’t find an answer for Sankey, and he continued to run the ball right down our throat.
Thomas Breckenridge, a junior at Washington State, says that Sankey is to blame for the Cougs tough loss. “We had no answer for Bishop Sankey,” said Breckenridge. “We couldn’t stop him, and he kept picking up key first downs in the fourth quarter.” Sankey finished the game with 200 yards on 34 carries and one touchdown.
The final score was 27 to 17 and the Cougs left Seattle disappointed once again. It was a very winnable game for Washington State, but the team just came out to flat after halftime and couldn’t get things going in the second half.
Now the Cougar football team will play the waiting game, as they hope to learn soon that they have finally made it back to a bowl game. The decision will be made by a committee within the next couple of weeks. Hopefully the Cougs have done enough to earn a spot in the postseason, but a win over the Huskies certainly would have helped.
- - Flash Hodges