In 3OT win vs. Boise State, WSU’s special teams comes through in key moments

Dillon Sherman makes a big special teams play, Jamire Calvin proves prophetic and Luke Falk breaks some career records on a night when he had a career-low 193 passing yards and left the game early

PULLMAN — Due to Washington State’s early offensive struggles in their 47-44 triple-overtime win over Boise State on Saturday night, the 20th-ranked Cougars punted seven times throughout the game, “way more than I’m ever interested in punting,” said WSU coach Mike Leach.

But the Cougars sixth punt of the evening, at the end of the fourth quarter, played an integral role in their 21-point rally.

Erik Powell’s punt hit Boise State’s Reid Harrison-Ducros in the back of the helmet, and Dillon Sherman – who was named WSU’s Special Forces player of the week after his the Montana State game – recovered to give WSU the ball at BSU’s 24, with 2:51 left.

Hilinski connected with Tavares Martin Jr. for 4 yards, then hooked up with Johnson-Mack to pick up 14 and get the Cougars to Boise State’s 6-yard line.

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Two plays later, Hilinski found Morrow on a 6-yard touchdown pass, and Powell’s extra point tied the game at 31-31 with 1:44 left.

Powell, by the way, was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra point attempts, and he also made both his field goals – a 20-yard attempt in the second quarter, and a high-pressure 22-yard attempt in the first overtime.

A miss at that juncture would have given the Broncos the win, but even though Boise State took a time out to ice Powell right before his attempt, then declined a delay of game penalty WSU committed to try and get the ball moved back for a less steep angle, Powell coolly converted.

The senior kicker is now fifth in WSU history with 34 career field goals.

Never lost hope

Even though WSU started out slow against Boise State, the Cougars never lost hope, says running back Jamal Morrow.

No one panicked, not even freshmen who’d never been in these types of situations before.

Down 31-10 at home against the Broncos, with 8:53 remaining in the game, true freshman receiver Jamire Calvin sauntered up to Morrow on the sidelines and said, “Man, we’re gonna come back and win this game.”

“I was like, ‘I know. We’re good,’” Morrow said.

The exchange proved prophetic as WSU scored 21-unanswered points to force the game into overtime.

“Then Jamire gets his touchdown and Peyton…

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