Washington State lost at home to Portland State last week to open the season on a losing note. Rutgers put up 63 points in its season opener last week. After one half of play between these two programs, you may have never guessed these were the same two teams from a week ago. Washington State is actually playing some defense and Rutgers cannot get much of anything going on offense as the Cougars take a 13-6 lead to halftime.
The Cougars opened the scoring with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Luke Falk to Dom Williams on the game’s opening drive. The drive covered 75 yards. Washington State kicker Erik Powell has tacked on a pair of field goals to help pad the lead. Falk has completed 24 of 29 pass attempts against Rutgers’ depleted pass defense (thanks to recent dismissals). Those 24 completions have gone for 201 yards to lead the pass-heavy offense. Washington State has attempted just four rushes (for 16 yards).
Washington State’s defense has been a pleasant surprise though. Washington State has allowed just the two field goals, forced a turnover and continues to bring pressure on Rutgers quarterback Chris Laviano. Laviano got away with one potential turnover in the end zone when he lobbed a pass up for grabs to a spot on the field with only two Washington State defenders in the area to make a play., Fortunately for Laviano, the two defenders got in each other’s way of a possible interception. Rutgers scored three points on the drive for and added three more on the final possession of the half.
Washington State was 117th in the nation in scoring defense a year ago.