Earlier this week it was looking as though Washington State quarterback Luke Falk might be available to play Washington in this year’s edition of the Apple Cup. Now the outlook is not so good.
According to a report from Stefanie Loh of The Seattle Times, Washington State will start Peyton Bender at quarterback against the Huskies. Falk, who is recovering form a concussion last week, is not expected to dress for the game. It will be the first start of the redshirt freshman’s career. Bender has appeared in four games this season serving as Falk’s backup. In his limited playing time, Bender has completed 17 of 33 pass attempts for 210 yards and two touchdowns. He has been picked off twice.
The loss of Falk is certainly a blow to Washington State’s offense, although we will see if Mike Leach has a system in place where he can plug in a quarterback and still get the production through the air as has been the case during his career. There is no word on whether or not Falk will be available for the bowl season, although that would seem to look possible given more time to recover from a concussion.
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk was removed from last weekend’s game after being slammed to the ground against Colorado. Despite the apparent severity of the injury, Falk could actually be ready to play this weekend in the latest edition of the Apple Cup between the Cougars and rival Washington.
The news, oddly enough, comes from Washington State athletics director Bill Moos instead of head coach Mike Leach. Leach has a history of not discussing injuries, but Moos shared the insight on a weekly radio program earlier today. Moos confirmed NCAA-mandated policies regarding concussions have been followed and the injury does not appear to be season-ending.
Washington State has just one game left in the regular season, but the Cougars are heading to a bowl game this year. If Falk is unavailable this week for Washington State, backup quarterback Peyton Bender will be the next man up for Leach’s Cougars.