Cougs Beat Colorado, But Falk Leaves With Injury - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Cougs Beat Colorado, But Falk Leaves With Injury

Luke Falk was taken off the field on a backboard with 8:16 left in the third quarter after being sacked by Samson Kafovalu. Luke Falk was taken off the field on a backboard with 8:16 left in the third quarter after being sacked by Samson Kafovalu.

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Gabe Marks and Dom Williams both had touchdown receptions and No. 24 Washington State beat Colorado 27-3 on Saturday night in a game the Cougars saw quarterback Luke Falk carted off the field with an apparent head injury.

Falk was taken off the field on a backboard with 8:16 left in the third quarter after being sacked by Samson Kafovalu. Falk, whose head slammed against the turf on a below-freezing night on the Palouse, appeared to be knocked out and was tended to on the field for 7 minutes. His facemask was removed and he was immobilized as he was carted away. Falk gave two thumbs up and waved his hands as he left the field.

Falk's injury came a week after he was checked for a concussion against UCLA and passed protocol allowing him to return in the second half.

Against Colorado, he finished 27 of 35 for 199 yards and one touchdown. The Cougars (8-3, 6-2 Pac-12) have a short turnaround before facing rival Washington in the Apple Cup on Friday.

Washington State won for the sixth time in seven games, reached the eight-win mark for the first time since 2003 and preserved hopes for just the sixth 10-win season in school history if the Cougars can beat Washington on Friday and win their bowl game.

That chance to get to 10 wins will largely depend on Falk's health. The sophomore entered the week leading the Pac-12 in passing and was second in the country. His 11-yard TD pass to Williams in the second quarter gave him 36 TD passes for the season, six behind Marcus Mariota's Pac-12 record of 42 last season.

Falk was replaced by Peyton Bender, who was 13 of 21 for 133 yards including a 16-yard TD toss to Marks with 14:25 remaining for a 24-3 Washington State lead. It was Marks' 14th touchdown catch of the season, setting a new single-season school record. Marks also went over the 1,000 yards receiving for the season, becoming the 11th different wide receiver in Washington State history to reach that mark.

Gerard Wicks rushed for 123 yards, becoming Washington State's first 100-yard rusher since James Montgomery in 2010 against Montana State. Keith Harrington added a 1-yard TD run for the Cougars.

Colorado quarterback Cade Aspay was 26 of 40 for 238 yards in his first college start replacing Sefo Liufau, who is out for the season due to a foot injury. Aspay was intercepted twice and the Buffaloes (4-8, 1-7) got just three points out of six drives into Washington State territory, including a poor snap on fourth-and-goal at the 2 with 7:42 left that Aspay could only dive on.

Diego Gonzalez missed field goals of 47 and 33 yards in the first half and Aspay was picked off by Taylor Taliulu on fourth-and-19 early in the fourth quarter.

Gonzalez hit from 24 yards late in the third quarter, but the three points were the fewest allowed by Washington State to a Pac-10/12 opponent since beating Oregon State 24-3 on Oct. 12, 1996.

Nelson Spruce had 10 catches for 120 yards, his seventh career game with double-digit receptions.

Before his injury, Falk was content to throw underneath as the Cougars couldn't push the ball downfield. Aside from Williams' 29-yard reception on fourth down that set up the Cougars first score, Falk's longest throw in the first half was a 15-yard strike to Marks. Falk completed 21 of 23 passes in the first half, but averaged just 6.8 yards per attempt.

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