AUBURN, Alabama | Washington State had their chances in SEC country on Saturday night but sloppy play at crucial moments, including three interceptions, were too much to overcome en route to a 31-24 defeat at the hands of the Auburn Tigers.
Connor Halliday threw an interception late in the endzone after the Cougars marched inside the endzone to essentially end all hope of a Cougars comeback. However, on the ensuing Auburn drive, starting Auburn running back Tre Mason was hit by sophomore safety Taylor Taliulu, forcing a fumble and handing the ball back to the Cougars near mid-field with under three minutes to play.
That drive, though, ended in a awkward flying ball that landed in the hands of the grass as the Tigers took over and essentially ran the clock out with the Cougars owning just two timeouts.
Halliday finished the game 35-of-65 for 344 yards and a touchdown but threw three costly interceptions - one of which was very catchable that went threw the hands of sophomore wide receiver Brett Bartolone just before halftime.
The Cougars' running game - a unit that ranked dead last in the country last season - looked strong in limited work. Sophomore Teondray Caldwell rushed seven times for 57 yards and backup Marcus Mason carried the ball six times for 43 yards. Jeremiah Laufasa, a standout during the preseason, found the pay dirt twice during the first half en route to two carries for ten yards and two touchdowns.