Falk leads No. 18 Washington State over Nevada 45-7

Falk puts on clinic in rout of Nevada (1:01)

Luke Falk throws for 478 yards and five touchdowns as No. 18 Washington State beats Nevada 45-7. (1:01)

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Luke Falk threw five touchdown passes, and No. 18 Washington State beat Nevada 45-7 on Saturday for the team's best start in 16 years.

Washington State (4-0), which opened the 2001 season by winning its first seven games, piled up 560 yards of offense and five sacks.

Nevada was held to just 151 total yards as the Wolf Pack (0-4) fell to 0-17 on the road against opponents in the Top 25. Nevada came in as a 28-point underdog.

Falk completed 36 of 47 passes for 478 yards and was not intercepted. Washington State led 35-0 at halftime.

"I thought it was a really good first half," said coach Mike Leach, who improved to 33-34 in his sixth season at Washington State. "There were too many loose ends in the second half."

"It was a good overall game," Leach added. "We improved on yards after the catch and making people miss."

Nevada coach Jay Norvell felt his team was overmatched by the Cougars of the Pac-12.

"This is the first game where I felt that we didn't handle the physical matchup on the defensive line," he said.

A 52-yard pass from Falk to Tavares Martin Jr. set up Falk's 12-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Morrow in the first quarter as Washington State took a 7-0 lead.

Falk's shovel pass to James Williams went for 13 yards and a touchdown to put the Cougars ahead 14-0. It was the 100th touchdown pass of Falk's career, passing Matt Leinart of Southern Cal for third in Pac-12 history.

Nevada went three-and-out on its first three possessions and produced only seven yards of offense in the first quarter. Starting quarterback Kaymen Cureton was replaced by David Cornwell, but it didn't help much.

Martin caught a short pass from Falk and turned it into a 40-yard touchdown early in the second quarter for a 21-0 lead.

Williams ran for a touchdown and Jamire Calvin added a 6-yard touchdown reception before halftime.

Falk hit Martin for a 19-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Maliek Broady ran 3 yards for Nevada's first touchdown with 1:56 left in the game.


The rebuilding project at Nevada under new coach Jay Norvell is starting slowly, with previous losses to Northwestern, Toledo and Idaho State.

Washington State has finished the easiest part of its schedule, and the competition gets much tougher now.


Nevada opens Mountain West play at Fresno State next Saturday.

Washington State hosts No. 5 Southern California next Friday night in their biggest challenge of the young season. It will be the fifth straight home game for the Cougars, who have yet to play on the road.


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