Washington State Is Thriving Behind Quarterback Luke Falk

    The Washington State Cougars are thriving behind the direction of quarterback Luke Falk. Mike Leach's squad is the Pac-12's surprise team.

    October 23, 2015

    Picked by many to finish last in the Pac-12 North, the Washington State Cougars started off the season giving every indication that they would be among the conference’s worst teams. The Cougars opened with a home loss to Portland State. Yes, Portland State.

    But halfway through the season, Washington State has won four of five and has a legitimate chance to become bowl eligible. How did that happen?

    A big part of the positive progress for the program is walk-on redshirt freshman quarterback Luke Falk. Expectations were low heading into 2015 after a 3-9 finish last season and Falk in his first full year. But the Cougars have left their ugly season-opening loss to Portland State behind, and have since pulled off a handful of impressive wins.

    Washington State bounced back in Week 2 with a come-from-behind win in the closing seconds on the road at Rutgers.

    Three weeks later the Cougars beat Oregon at Autzen Stadium for the first time since 2003.

    Just this past weekend, Falk threw for six touchdowns in a 52-31 win over Oregon State – the Cougars’ largest margin of victory at home against a Pac-12 opponent in head coach Mike Leach’s tenure at Washington State. He also set a conference record, tossing all six of his scores in the first half against the Beavers. 

    Falk has completed 72.3% of his passes for 2,371 yards, 21 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. He is No. 5 in the country in passing yardage and touchdowns thrown.

    Leach showed promise in the 2013 season, his second with WSU, bringing the Cougars back to their first bowl game since 2003. However he took a major step backwards last season in winning just three games.

    Leach was thought to be on the hot seat heading into 2015, with each of his first three seasons ending in a losing record and the program appearing to be regressing.

    But for once, we’re hearing about the Cougars on the national airwaves for reasons other than their College GameDay streak of flying the WSU flag. With a 4-2 record and half of the season to go, the Cougars may just give Leach his first winning record with the program and a few more years in Pullman.

    MORE: Midseason Pac-12 Championship Pick

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