Luke Falk suffered a possible head injury as WSU played Colorado Saturday night. Luke Falk;s injury took place at the beginning of the third quarter as the Washington State Cougars were driving down the field. Samson Kafovalu of Colorado broke through the line and sacked Falk on a play at the 9:11 mark. Falk hit his head on the field and was down for quite a while. Falk had to be taken off the field on a stretcher and was replaced by Peyton Bender as quarterback.
After securing him and removing Falk from the field, he was examined inside Martin Stadium before being taken to Pullman Regional Hospital. The early reports state that he has been conscious and speaking with doctors, but that he was preparing to undergo a series of tests at the hospital. The immediate fear was that he suffered a bad concussion when his head hit the frozen ground. While he was seen moving his extremities before being placed on the stretcher, evening giving a thumbs up to the crowd, the game announcers were very careful about how they addressed the situation.
There will be more injury updates on Falk as they come from the hospital, with many fans hoping for a speedy recovery for the quarterback. The Washington State Cougars have a very short week to prepare for the next game, so it could be a tough week for Bender to take over the team if Falk isn’t healthy enough to take the first-team practice snaps.
Though Peyton Bender was put in a tough position by taking the field immediately after the Luke Falk injury, WSU head coach Mike Leach didn’t waste any time showing the Colorado defense what he could do. The first play was a long pass down the sidelines that resulted in a pass interference call and an important first down for the Cougars. Bender got the team into field goal range before WSU got stopped. Later in the third quarter, Bender connected with Gabe Marks on a big touchdown pass that basically put the game away.
Coming into the night, Luke Falk had thrown for 4,067 yards and 35 touchdowns this season. Before getting hurt, Falk had completed 27-of-36 passes for 199 yards and another touchdown against Colorado. For the season, that gives him 4,266 passing yards and 36 touchdowns, ranking among the best in college football. It had looked like he could be contending for WSU and Pac-12 records, but getting hurt may have derailed those efforts for this season.
In the updated Pac-12 standings, the Washington State Cougars maintain second place in the North Division. The team holds a 6-2 record in Pac-12 games, and an overall mark of 8-3 with one game left to play. That is just behind the Stanford Cardinals at 9-2 (8-1) and just ahead of the Oregon Ducks 8-3 (6-2). WSU wins the tie-breaker over Oregon after beating the Ducks 45-38 earlier in the season at Autzen Stadium.
The Washington State Cougars have just one more game to wrap up the regular season schedule. That comes in the form of the 2015 Apple Cup, where WSU will travel to play the Washington Huskies on Friday, November 27. The game has an early start time of 12:30 p.m. PT and will be shown on FOX for a national audience. It is a must-win situation for the 5-6 Huskies, raising the stakes for both sides in this game. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, some college football analysts are already picking the Washington Huskies to beat WSU in this important match-up.
Having Luke Falk back for the Apple Cup, as well as the upcoming bowl game, will be huge for the Washington State Cougars. WSU is a much better team with Falk behind center, especially as the team continues to gain national exposure.
[Photo by: Christian Petersen/Getty Images]