Luke Falk and Tavares Martin team up as Cougars put a 52-23 hurt on Oregon State

Luke Falk, the FBS active leader with 98 touchdown passes, completed 37 of 49 passes for 396 yards without an interception for WSU. Tavaras Martin Jr. had 10 catches for 194 yards.

PULLMAN — Time and time again, Luke Falk has made the Oregon State Beavers pay simply because once a year they’ve decided it was a swell idea to share the same field on the same day as the Washington State quarterback.

The Beavers have stomached a few of Falk’s best days as a college football player, so with OSU on the Palouse for the Pac-12 opener Saturday, the Cougars’ signal caller was on schedule for another hallmark day.

Falk posted eye-popping numbers, passing for 396 yards while matching a school record with six touchdowns in a 52-23 shellacking of the Beavers at Martin Stadium. The Cougars, ranked No. 21, stayed unbeaten (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) as their quarterback mercilessly wrapped up his four-year run against OSU.

The Beavers never did beat Falk, making him the only quarterback in WSU history to win four games against a single school. And the OSU defensive backs might shiver when they hear Falk’s career numbers against the Beavers.

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He finishes 153 for 206 passing for a completion rate higher than 74 percent. He finishes with 1,689 yards and 22 touchdowns. In 16 quarters against the Beavers, WSU’s fourth-year starter was intercepted only twice.

“My hat goes off to the throws that were there, and the contested balls that were caught,” OSU coach Gary Andersen said. “It was as impressive as I’ve been around.”

It was a bounce-back game for Falk, who was out of character in the triple-overtime victory last week over Boise State. He finished with 193 yards and no touchdowns in that game and had one interception.

Through two games, the downfield passing game was something of a lost art. Saturday, it was easily the Cougars’ best asset.

Tavares Martin Jr., reeled in 10 passes for a career-best 194 yards and three touchdowns. Isaiah Johnson-Mack, the outside target opposite Martin, hauled in nine balls for 79 yards and two more touchdowns. Inside receiver Kyle Sweet made three catches for 32 yards and was on the end of Falk’s sixth touchdown.

“They’ve been having a good camp, been having good practices and it’s just good to see it in a game today,” Falk said. “And that’s their potential right there, they can play that good every week.”

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