Luke Falk leads No. 18 Washington State over Nevada 45-7
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) – Luke Falk threw five touchdown passes, and No. 18 Washington State beat Nevada 45-7 on Saturday for the team’s best start in 16 years.
Washington State (4-0), which opened the 2001 season by winning its first seven games, piled up 560 yards of offense and five sacks.
Nevada was held to just 151 total yards as the Wolf Pack (0-4) fell to 0-17 on the road against opponents in the Top 25. Nevada came in as a 28-point underdog.
Falk completed 36 of 47 passes for 478 yards and was not intercepted.
A 52-yard pass from Falk to Tavares Martin Jr. set up Falk’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Morrow in the first quarter as Washington State took a 7-0 lead.
Falk’s shovel pass to James Williams went for 13 yards and a touchdown to put the Cougars ahead 14-0. It was the 100th touchdown pass of Falk’s career, passing Matt Leinart of Southern Cal for third in Pac-12 history.
Nevada went three-and-out on its first three possessions and produced only seven yards of offense in the first quarter. Starting quarterback Kaymen Cureton was replaced by David Cornwell, but it didn’t help much.
Martin caught a short pass from Falk and turned it into a 40-yard touchdown early in the second quarter for a 21-0 lead.
Williams ran for a touchdown, Jamire Calvin added a 6-yard touchdown reception and the Cougars went ahead 35-0 at halftime.
Falk added a 19-yard touchdown pass to Martin in the fourth.
Maliek Broady ran 3 yards for Nevada’s first touchdown with 1:56 left in the game.
Coach Mike Leach is 33-34 in his sixth season at Washington State.
The rebuilding project at Nevada under new coach Jay Norvell is starting slowly, with previous losses to Northwestern, Toledo and Idaho State.
Washington State has finished the easiest part of its schedule, and the competition gets much tougher now.
Nevada opens Mountain West play at Fresno State next Saturday.
Washington State hosts No. 5 Southern California next Friday night in their biggest challenge of the young season. It will be the fifth straight home game for the Cougars, who have yet to play on the road.