PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State coach Mike Leach was of two minds after Jamal Morrow caught a 22-yard pass and dove across the goal line in the third overtime to lift No. 20 Washington State to a 47-44 comeback victory over Boise State on Saturday night. On the one hand, "it was a fantastic team win," Leach said.
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State coach Mike Leach was of two minds after Jamal Morrow caught a 22-yard pass and dove across the goal line in the third overtime to lift No. 20 Washington State to a 47-44 comeback victory over Boise State on Saturday night.
On the one hand, "it was a fantastic team win," Leach said.
On the other hand, "we were awfully one-dimensional for most of the first half," he said. "We played not to screw up."
Officials reviewed the final play to make sure Morrow remained inbounds as he ran toward the end zone and left his feet near the pylon. It was ruled a touchdown for Washington State (2-0), which trailed by 21 points in the fourth quarter.
Boise State quarterback Montell Cozart came off the bench to spark his team for the second game in a row, but the Broncos (1-1) could not hold their big lead.
"You don't stop until the clock says zero," Leach said.
Leach, however, was critical of his offense for playing poorly in the first half and failing to score a touchdown until the fourth quarter.
"That was one of the most constipated offenses on Earth," he said.
The Cougars trailed 31-10 early in the fourth but did not give up.
"You've always got to believe to come up with a victory," receiver Renard Bell said.
Both starting quarterbacks left the game. Cozart replaced Brett Rypien, and WSU's Tyler Hilinski came on for an injured Luke Falk.
"I thought we played with some guts," Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. "I thought we fought."
After Hilinski was intercepted by Durrant Miles at midfield, Cozart threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Cedrick Wilson on the second play and Boise State led 24-10 early in the fourth.
Curtis Weaver recovered Falk's fumble and ran 55 yards for a touchdown and a 31-10 BSU lead. Falk was injured on the play and did not return.
Washington State fought back with three touchdowns. Hilinski's 17-yard scoring pass to Jamire Calvin, and Peyton Pelluer's 36-yard return of an interception for a touchdown cut BSU's lead to 31-24 with 5:51 left.
Washington State was forced to punt, but Erik Powell's short kick hit Boise State player Reid Harrison-Ducros and was recovered by WSU's Dillon Sherman on the BSU 24 with 2:51 left.
Hilinski threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Morrow, and Powell's extra point tied the score at 31 with 1:44 left.
"Against an offense like Washington State's, you can only hold them for so long," Harsin said.
In overtime, Boise State had the first possession and Haden Hoggarth kicked a 29-yard field goal. Powell replied with a 22-yarder to tie it 34-all.
In the second overtime, Washington State's Gerard Wicks scored on a 1-yard run for a 41-34 lead. Boise State responded with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Cozart to Wilson to tie it again.
In the third overtime, Hoggarth kicked a 37-yard field goal for a 44-41 Boise State lead. Hilinski hit Morrow on the left side and he outraced defenders to the end zone for the winning points.
Boise State's Alexander Mattison ran in from the 4 on the Broncos' first possession for a 7-0 lead.
Rypien fumbled on a sack, and safety Robert Taylor picked up the ball and ran 7 yards for a WSU touchdown that tied the score at 7.
Cozart, a graduate transfer from Kansas, replaced Rypien late in the first quarter.
Hoggarth's 34-yard field goal put Boise State up 10-7. Powell's 20-yard field goal tied the score 10-all at halftime.
Cozart scored on a 14-yard bootleg for a 17-10 lead late in the third.
Last week, Cozart relieved Rypien and led the Broncos to a 24-13 win over Troy.
Washington State should rise after a stirring win over a quality opponent.
Cozart threw for 161 yards and gained 72 on the ground for Boise State. ... Hilinski completed 25 of 33 passes for 240 yards and was intercepted once.
BOISE STATE: The Mountain West Conference school is 4-1 against Pac-12 teams dating to 2014.
WASHINGTON STATE: Falk came in needing 101 yards passing to break Connor Halliday's school record of 11,304. He surpassed the mark on a 59-yard throw to Bell.
BOISE STATE: Hosts New Mexico next Thursday.
WASHINGTON STATE: Opens Pac-12 play by hosting Oregon State next Saturday.
A previous version of this story was corrected to show the winning pass play covered 22 yards.