“The Holiday Bowl–A Happy Time”
Tonight should be no different than many of the other nights we’ve had watching Holiday Bowl games in San Diego.
There will be fireworks in the sky, and of course, fireworks on the field.
Washington State plays Minnesota, and you can expect the Cougars of the PAC-12 conference to put on a show. Whether or not the Golden Gophers from the Big 10 can put a lid on the WSU passing package remains to be seen.
Luke Falk came to the Palouse as a walk-on quarterback, seventh on the depth chart. Hardly recruited, he wound up moving up the ladder quickly, when injuries and washouts, wiped out some of the other QBs.
It’s been a match made in heaven. A big lanky quarterback with a cannon for an arm, a fire in his gut, and with no fear, linked with a dynamic gunslinger of a coach.
Mike Leach did awesome things in the passing game at Texas Tech, and he has single-handedly revived Washington State football, doing the same thing again.
The school that once upon a time gave us the “Throwin Samoan”, Jack Thompson, Drew Bledsoe, Mark Rypien, Tim Rosenbach, Ryan Leaf, Jason Gesser, Connor Holliday, and so many others, is doing it again.
Falk has thrown 37-TD passes this year, and accounted for over 4,200-yards.
It wasn’t easy getting here. The Cougars were down forever. Injuries, attrition, mistakes in coaching hires after Mike Price left the conference, nearly buried the program.
Leach played Falk as a freshman. They lost, they suffered, they grew together. Now finishing up his junior year, he could come out early and try the NFL, or maybe stay another season up in the Pacific Northwest, and rewrite more record books.
You need dynamic people to fix things, especially at places where they don’t have lots of resources.
Dennis Erickson and Mike Riley restored the Oregon State Beavers program across the state line in Corvallis, Oregon.
Leach picked up the pieces in Pullman, recruiting from Southern California, landing JUCO transfers, and ‘coaching them up’.
They cannot stand in the trenches and slug with the cross-state Washington Huskies. They cannot match up 22-deep with USC’s Trojans. But what they can do, is get you into shootouts, with the spread formation, throw it 70-times a game philosophy.
So tonight should be a reincarnation of so many past Holiday Bowls.
Close your eyes and see Jim McMahon and Ty Detmer, Steve Young and the SMU-Pony Express offense. Colt McCoy and Todd Collins. Marc Wilson and Robbie Boscoe. Barry Sanders and Joey Harrington.
The history is one of big plays, big shows, and big time scores.
It may not be the Grand Daddy of them all, but it’s as great a night watching offense as you’d ever want to see.
Holiday Bowl. About to put on another passing show for college football fans in town, and those watching across the country.