Halliday hospitalized after Cougar loss
It was tough afternoon for the Cougs on Saturday, losing a 30-27 OT thriller in the snow, but it was especially painful for QB Connor Halliday. Halliday was brutalized all night long by Utah defenders, taking shot after shot from the Utah defense and after the game, he was taken to Pullman Memorial Hospital. Doctors found that Halliday had suffered a lacerated liver. He is in stable condition in the intensive care unit.
How Halliday managed to finish the game is beyond me. Obviously, the injury didn’t occur after the game – meaning that he suffered a LACERATED LIVER and continued to play.
That is one tough kid. Get well soon, Connor.
The Cougar team as a whole played tough despite miserable conditions, but couldn’t overcome their five turnovers, including an interception in the overtime period.
If there’s any good news to be taken from this, it’s that we are spared yet again from worrying about making those always-tedious bowl game arrangements.
Early on, it appeared that neither team had any interest in winning the game, providing one of the least-interesting opening 25 minutes of football I have ever witnessed. Utah punted the ball on their first six possessions and was about to punt on their seventh when they decided to fake it and threw for a touchdown to finally break the stalemate. The Cougs did their part as well, punting four times and throwing three interceptions in their first seven possessions. The Cougs did manage to score before the break, setting up a second half that nearly made up for the boredom of the first.
Connor Halliday threw for 212 of his 337 yards in the second half and led two big drives in the fourth quarter to bring the Cougars back from a late 10-point deficit.
In the final drive, he marched the Cougs 75 yards down the field on four plays, and when he hit Marquess Wilson at the goal-line with seconds left in the game, many thought the Cougs had won. The officials, though, did not. Wilson was ruled down on the one yard line and Paul Wulff was faced with a decision – go for the win or go for the tie and try to win it in OT.
Unfortunately, he played it safe and Andrew Furney booted the game-tying field goal.
In overtime, Halliday threw his fourth interception and the Utes kicked the game winning field goal minutes later.
With that, the Cougs guarantee yet another losing season. With that, the Cougs once again head in to Apple Cup week with nothing on the line other than bragging rights. With that, the frustration builds.
Halliday finished the game with 290 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. Jared Karstetter caught six passes for 111 yards and touchdown and Bobby Ratliff had an impressive game, racking up 97 yards and a TD on four catches. Marquess Wilson had eight catches for 83 yards and a TD.
Running the ball, the Cougs were led by Rickey Galvin, who had 69 yards on 12 carries with an impressive 5.8 yards per run. If you’re wondering why Galvin and the RBs didn’t see the ball more on a freezing cold day, you’re not alone. All in all, the Cougs ran 50 passing plays and only 23 running plays. I guess they were trying to surprise the Utah defense.
Before I get too far in to questioning the coaching decisions, or piling on too much about the fact that yet again I’ll be spending the bowl season trying to think only about basketball, or pleading with Bill Moos to move on to the next chapter in Cougar football, I will try and hold my tongue and remember that it’s now Apple Cup week. This week, I will aim my sour attitude directly at the huskies, and based on their past few performances, the bulls-eye on their back is pretty big.
But despite the looming rivalry game, despite this latest loss, and despite the triumphs and mistakes that occurred in it, for fans and players alike it’s hard to keep focused on any of it and not think about Halliday. Again, get well Connor.
Here are some highlights:
In basketball news, Faisal Aden had a break-out performance, scoring 21 points in a 83-73 win over Portland.
WSU came out strong for the first time this season and only relinquished the lead once in the game, early in the first half. From then, it was all Cougs, who shot 57% from the floor.
Brock Motum had 13 points on the night and freshman DaVonte Lacy had 11 of his own. Both players have scored in double-digits in every game this season.
The Cougs are now 2-1 as they head in to the first round of the 76 Classic in Anaheim, CA. They will take on Oklahoma (2-0) on Thursday in a nationally-televised game with tip-off at 8:30pm on ESPN2. Eat your turkey, take your nap, wake up and watch the Cougs.
Win or lose, the Cougs will play on the 25th as well, taking on either New Mexico or Santa Clara at either 6:30pm or 9:00pm. The final game will take place on Sunday, November 27th.