The Washington State Cougars hung on for a 24-20 win over the Eastern Washington Eagles in a sloppy game at Martin Stadium on Saturday. The Eagles gave WSU all they could handle, including out-gaining the Cougs, but were undone by some crucial turnovers in the second quarter.
Wazzu starting quarterback Jeff Tuel left the game with a right knee injury in the third quarter after completed 20 of 27 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns to wide receiver Isiah Myers. The senior was able to walk off under his own power, but did not return to the game.
Sophomore Connor Halliday came in for the Cougars and threw an inteception in his first full drive. The next time WSU had the ball he drove them down to the goal line with a chance to ice the game away, but running back Teondray Caldwell fumbled the ball back to Eastern Washington.
The Eagles went on a 99-yard touchdown drive immediately following that fumble as Kyle Padron connected with Brandon Kaufman for the second time on the day to bring EWU within four points at 24-20.
The extra point was blocked, then WSU recovered an EWU onside kick attempt. It looked like WSU would put the game away on a long touchdown run by Caldwell, but it was called back on a hold by tackle John Fullington. It happened again two plays later, as a long Marquess Wilson touchdown was undone by another hold
WSU punted the ball back to Eastern for one final drive. EWU made it all the way down to the WSU 32 for one final heave, but it fell incomplete and the Cougars survived for the victory.
Padron had an erratic day for the Eagles. He made some big plays, including a 93-yard touchdown pass to Kaufman. He also made some key mistakes, throwing interceptions that led to all ten of WSU's second-quarter points.
For more on Wazzu football, visit Washington State blog Coug Center, plus Pac-12 blog Pacific Takes.