Monday, October 9, 2017

MONDAY MORNING PLACEKICKER: Cougs pass first road test, Gubrud's arm rallies Eagles, Pirates keelhauled

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 11:56 AM

Washington State stayed unbeaten and took another step toward a potentially epic Apple Cup, Eastern showed what it's made of — in a good way — for the fourth straight week, Idaho came up short in its conference home opener, and Whitworth was blindsided at home by a team it had never lost to. The Seahawks? They're back in first place, thanks to their defense. Your Monday Morning Placekicker:

click to enlarge MONDAY MORNING PLACEKICKER: Cougs pass first road test, Gubrud's arm rallies Eagles, Pirates keelhauled
WSU Athletics
A swarming, relentless Cougars defense held Oregon's high-powered attack to just 10 points at Autzen Stadium.


Washington State's defense pitched a second-half shutout and the Cougars' attack wore down Oregon's defense as WSU — now ranked No. 8 in the new AP Top 25 poll —  stayed unbeaten through its first six games and moved to 3-0 in the Pac-12, pulling away from the Ducks 33-10 on Saturday night at Autzen Stadium.

The Cougs, who weren't fazed by their first trip away from Pullman, have beaten Oregon for three consecutive years for the first time since winning four straight under Jim Walden from 1981-84. WSU quarterback Luke Falk continued his assault on the record books, completing 24 of 42 passes for 282 yards and all three of the Cougs' touchdowns, and moved ahead of former Ducks Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota for second-place all-time in the Pac-12 with his 106th career TD. Erik Powell kicked four field goals, including a career-high 52-yarder midway through the second quarter that gave WSU the lead for good. The Cougs' tour through the Pac stays on the road; they travel to Berkeley on Friday night to face Cal.

MONDAY MORNING PLACEKICKER: Cougs pass first road test, Gubrud's arm rallies Eagles, Pirates keelhauled
EWU Athletics
Gage Gubrud strafed UC Davis defenders for 452 yards and six TDs and rallied Eastern from a late 11-point deficit.


Trailing 31-20 early in the fourth quarter, No. 10 Eastern Washington stormed back behind three Gage Gubrud touchdown passes, then held off a last-minute rally to stun UC Davis 41-38 Saturday night in Davis, California.

The victory kept the 4-2 Eagles unbeaten in three Big Sky Conference games; Eastern has  won 11 consecutive conference games dating back to September 2016. Gubrud, named FCS Offensive Player of the Week for the second straight week, completed 33 of 53 passes for 452 yards and six touchdowns, two to tight end Talolo Limu-Jones and another to wide receiver Nsimba Webster, who caught six passes for 102 yards. Eastern returns home to face Montana State next Saturday at 1:05 pm at Roos Field.


Idaho stumbled in its final Sun Belt Conference home opener, falling behind Louisiana-Lafayette 21-10 and coming up short in a 21-16 loss to the Ragin' Cajuns in Saturday afternoon's Homecoming game at the Kibbie Dome. A bright spot in defeat was the play of the Vandals' defense, which sacked Ragin' Cajuns quarterbacks seven times, their most in a single game since 1999. Idaho (2-3, 1-1) stays at home, but the schedule doesn't get any easier, with Appalachian State coming to Moscow next Saturday for a 2 pm start. The Mountaineers are 3-2, 2-0, with their losses against FBS teams Georgia and Wake Forest.


Something seems to have made George Fox angry; sure hope it wasn't us. The Bruins, from Newberg, Oregon, spoiled Whitworth's Homecoming Saturday morning at the Pine Bowl, routing the Pirates 43-23, beating Whitworth for the first time in four attempts.

Dual-threat quarterback George Schroeder did most of the damage for George Fox, throwing for 261 yards and three TDs and running for 82 yards and two more scores. Brad Lander caught six passes for 163 yards and two TDs, while Wesley Riddell ran for 121 yards and another score. The Bruins improved to 4-1 overall, 2-0 in Northwest Conference play. Ian Kolste completed 21 of 28 passes for 162 yards and a TD for Whitworth, which fell to 3-2, 0-2 with its second straight loss. The Pirates will try to end the skid next Saturday in Puyallup, Washington, against Pacific Lutheran.


The Seahawks fell behind the Rams 10-0 early in the second quarter on Sunday in Los Angeles, then shut out their NFC West rivals the rest of the way and dodged a bullet in the final seconds, holding on for a gutty 16-10 victory that left Seattle and L.A. tied atop the NFC West at 3-2 after the season's first month.

Russell Wilson completed 24 of 37 passes for just 198 yards., but hit Jimmy Graham with a 4-yard pass with less than 2 minutes left in the first half, getting the Hawks on the board. After the Seahawks defense forced a three-and-out, Wilson drove Seattle back down the field, the drive ending in Blair Walsh's game-tying 48-yard field goal with 2 seconds on the clock.

Walsh's 49-yarder in the third quarter proved to be the game-winner, but his 35-yarder with 1:09 left in the game forced the Rams to drive for a touchdown, rather than a field goal. They nearly pulled it off, but Jared Goff's bullet to the end zone with 12 seconds on the clock came in too hot for Cooper Kupp; the pass slipped through the usually reliable hands of the Rams' rookie wide receiver from Eastern Washington. Goff tried to find Kupp with 8 seconds left, but his pass again fell incomplete, as an Earl Thomas-led Seahawks defense that "just never let up" saved the day.

The Seahawks get a bye week, then return to action on Sunday, Oct. 22, with a game at the New York Giants, who fell to 0-5 yesterday with a 27-22 loss to the Chargers. Both of the NFC West's other teams — the 49ers (0-5) and Cardinals (2-3) — lost Sunday as well.

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