Oregon's win over Washington State was record setting. Not for the Ducks' ridiculous offense, but for Washington State's Connor Halliday, who set the FBS division record for pass attempts in a game with 89.
Halliday went 58-89 for 557 yards and four touchdowns and four interceptions in the Cougars' 62-38 loss. That's six more attempts than Drew Brees had for Purdue in 1998 against Wisconsin and ties the record for completions that Eastern Michigan's Andy Schmitt set in 2008 against Central Michigan.
Why did Halliday take it to the air so much? Well, his coach is Mike Leach, the former Texas Tech coach who became famous for his air raid offense that led Texas Tech to national prominence with quarterbacks like current Red Raider head coach Kliff Kingsbury, B.J. Symons and Graham Harrell. And also because Washington State has a horrible time running the football.
The Cougars entered Saturday's game averaging just 66 yards per game on the ground and against the Ducks had 12 carries for two yards. (Though it must be noted that in college football, yards accumulated on sacks count against rushing totals.) They were so ineffective running the football that the team's last 33 plays were Halliday passes.
Through eight games, Halliday has now attempted 428 passes, so Saturday night was almost 21 percent of his season's total. Will he have a chance to break his own record? Anything's possible with the combination of Leach and an awful running game, but Oregon scored so quickly against the Cougars that Washington State had the ball for almost 36 minutes. They likely won't have that much possession in a game the rest of the year.
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