Just when Cougars fans were getting used to the bruise left by a season-opening loss to lowly Rutgers, an open wound developed in the football program Friday night when Washington State endured a wire-to-wire, 24-13 defeat to Nevada (2-0) in Reno, full of penalties, errors and misplays.
The question looms: If WSU can’t beat Rutgers and Nevada, what chance to they have to win a game in the Pac-12 Conference?
A week after scoring 38 points in the loss to Rutgers in Seattle, the Cougars managed a single touchdown against the Mountain West Conference opponent. QB Connor Halliday completed 38 of 57 passes for 428 yards, but two drives were stopped by interceptions and another two ended in missed field goals. The Cougars also had 10 penalties for 72 yards and were 5 for 15 on third-down conversions.
Late in the first quarter, Halliday misfired and freshman Kendal Jackson returned a pick 45 yards to set up a one-yard TD run by Don Jackson, his first of two. WSU never recovered.
Down 24-13 inside four minutes and facing a fourth-and-3 at midfield, the Cougars ran the ball for two yards turned the ball over on downs, ending their last real chance.