Washington State coach Mike Leach speaks with quarterback Luke Falk during the first half against Boise State on Saturday. [THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]

WSU QB Falk to start vs. OSU

PULLMAN, Wash. — Luke Falk will remain the starting quarterback when No. 21 Washington State hosts Oregon State on Saturday.

Falk struggled in the second half of Saturday's victory over Boise State and was removed from the game. He later came back but was knocked out of action by the Boise State defense.

Tyler Hilinski led the Cougars to a 47-44 victory in triple overtime.

Coach Mike Leach said Monday that Falk played slow and conservative last weekend. Leach also complained about poor play by the offensive line.

Falk, a senior, holds numerous Washington State passing records. But the Washington State offense did not score a touchdown until the fourth quarter with Hilinski at quarterback.

Hilinski threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns in erasing a 21-point deficit.

Whoever they face, the Beavers will look to drastically improve their defense.

Both coach Gary Andersen and defensive coordinator Kevin Clune said OSU looked like it was solving its issues after two tough games to start the season.

The Beavers struggled to stay gap solid and assignment sound against Colorado State and Portland State, too often breaking down and allowing big plays.

Last Saturday, the Beavers showed some strides in the first half, but there’s still a lot of ground to cover after a 48-14 loss to Minnesota.

The Beavers (1-2) needed to improve greatly in their play against the run, which had been a major problem area.

There was some early success, but the Beavers seemed to wear down against the Gophers (2-0) in the second half and the tackling became sloppy. Minnesota finished with 253 yards and five touchdowns on the ground and had 411 total yards.

“Certain areas, some people began to break down, not wrapping up,” linebacker Jonathan Willis said. “Just a bunch of miscommunications.”

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