WSU’s bad storyline continues with loss to ASU

A Hollywood movie could be made about Washington State’s collapse.

Even if Steven Spielberg wrote and directed the picture, redshirt sophomore quarterback Connor Halliday thinks it would not do the story justice.

“I don’t think you could write a movie to the way this season has gone,” Halliday said. “Our best player leaving the team, everything that has transpired, all the drama, all the outside hoopla, all the plays that I haven’t even seen in a junior high, YMCA-grade kid game happened. I don’t think a Hollywood writer would write something like this.”

The 46-7 loss to ASU was just another scene from the horror flick that has been the Cougars’ season.

Before the credits started rolling, the Cougars were struggling. On their first drive, they went three-and-out, then followed that up with a high snap on the ensuing punt.

It was downhill from that point. The offense and special teams continued to struggle and the Cougars gave the Sun Devils excellent field position early in the game. ASU started three of their first four drives inside Cougar territory.

Washington State coach Mike Leach said the field position hurt them early and they did not respond well to the situation.

“I thought we played hard, then we went frantic when we faced adversity,” Leach said. “We’d run hard and miss tackles. We’d run routes hard and try to go up field before the ball got there and drop balls.”

The Sun Devils were helped by nice field position but they also dominated the line of scrimmage. From the onset of the game, the ASU offensive linemen were able to push defenders back and open up big holes.

The Sun Devils were very effective up the middle on the ground. At the end of the game, the ASU running backs accumulated 260 yards.

ASU has not had much success up the middle this season. Cougars junior safety Deone Bucannon said the ASU power game surprised the defense.

“That first half, it kind of caught us off guard you know, running up the middle pounding,” Bucannon said. “I didn’t really see them as that type of offense on film. There’s no excuses you just need to adjust to it as fast as possible.”

The Cougars came into this game as the top passing offense in the conference. The ASU defense stepped up by holding the air raid that averages over 300 yards a game to 240 yards. One play near the end of the game went for 54 yards, but that was the ASU back-ups in the game.

With the hire of Leach and his prolific offense, WSU had a lot of hype heading into the season like a summer blockbuster film.

Leach and his players said they thought they could definitely win a bowl game this season, but that is not going to be the ending this season’s story.

The Apple Cup against Washington now becomes their bowl game. It will be the final chance for Cougars to change their season and their fans with somewhat of a happy ending.

 

Reach the reporter at ehubbard@asu.edu