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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Another quarterback carves up the Arizona secondary

Zi Yang Lai

Washington State quarterback Luke Falk (4) fires off a pass during the Cougars’ win over the Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015.

Washington State quarterback Luke Falk had a game to remember, throwing for 514 yards and five touchdowns and completing 47 of his 62 passes against an abysmal Arizona defense.

Falk really tore apart the Arizona defense, and it seemed the middle of the field was wide open through the entire game. It was evident from the first drive of the game that Falk was comfortable and in control, going a perfect seven for seven.

In just the first half alone, Falk already had over 300 yards passing. In the second half, Arizona was still unable to make adjustments, and Falk continued to shred through the struggling Arizona defense.

It wasn’t just one or two receivers taking part in the damage; Falk almost had a choice of who he would throw to each play. River Cracraft made eight catches for 102 yards, Kyrin Priester made six catches for 64 yards, and Robert Lewis, Dom Williams and Keith Harrington each made five catches. Falk’s favorite target of the day had to be Gabe Marks, who caught eight catches and four of those for touchdowns.

Falk’s explosive performance really exposed the 3-3-5 defense, a defense Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez has been unwilling to change.

When asked why Washington State was so successful at attacking the middle of the field the entire game, Rodriguez could not even offer an explanation, saying he would have to look back at film to see what went wrong.

A decision made by Rodriguez in the middle of the fourth quarter also showed the lack of confidence he himself had in his defense. Down 38-28, Arizona faced a fourth down at two at the 6-yard line.

Normally, a team would go ahead and kick the field goal to ensure to make the game a one-possession game. Rodriguez instead decided to go for it, and admitted he did so because he knew his team would need every possible point they could get to have a chance to win.

The decision ended up paying off, as Jared Baker ran for a 6-yard touchdown, cutting Washington State’s lead down to just three.

With 8:07 left, the Cougars took over and Folk once again drove his team down field with ease. The drive concluded with yet another touchdown pass to Marks.

With the loss, Arizona’s record has now fallen to 3-3, and any chance at repeating as Pac-12 South champions has become very slim. If anything, Falk’s explosive performance can ignite some much needed changes and adjustments to the Arizona defense.

Follow Brandon James on Twitter.

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