Washington State Vs. UNLV Game Recap: Cougars Hang On For 35-27 Win

The Washington State Cougars (2-1) held on to defeat the UNLV Rebels (0-3) 35-27 Friday, picking up the second win of the Mike Leach era.

For the first time under Leach, WSU's offense looked like a traditional Leach offense. Connor Halliday, who started at quarterback with Jeff Tuel out with a knee injury, completed 26-of-45 passes for 378 yards and four touchdowns. Both Gabe Marks and Marquess Wilson went over the 100-yard receiving mark for Washington State. Wilson caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns while the freshman Marks caught six passes for 126 yards and his first collegiate touchdown.

WSU pulled out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter and looked for a moment like they might pull away from UNLV, but the Rebels countered with a touchdown of their own. The teams traded scores during the second quarter with WSU going into halftime leading 28-20.

Any hopes of a shootout quickly dissolved as the offenses were unable to do much in the second half. WSU scored a minute into the fourth quarter to go up 35-20. That 15-point lead was enough even though UNLV tacked on a late touchdown to pull within eight. UNLV had a shot late, but a hail mary pass fell incomplete as time expired.

Box Score Hero: Marks led WSU in receiving with 126 yards and the first touchdown of his WSU career.

Rankings Ramifications: Neither team was in the ranking conversation heading into this game and that isn't likely to change after a sloppy contest.

But Did They Cover? The Cougars entered the game as 8.5-point favorites, so UNLV's touchdown with 1:45 to play meant WSU failed to cover.

For More On This Game:

For more on Wazzu football, visit Washington State blog Coug Center, plus Pac-12 blog Pacific Takes and SB Nation Seattle.

For more on UNLV football, visit MWC blog Mountain West Connection.

Next Week's Schedule:

9/22: UNLV vs. Air Force

9/22: WSU vs. Colorado

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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