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Concerns for Washington State after QB Luke Falk leaves Colorado game

Luke Falk threw for 199 yards and a touchdown before suffering a head injury and being taken off on a stretcher. James Snook/USA TODAY Sports

Washington State moved to 8-3 with a 27-3 win over Colorado in Pullman, but any celebration was tempered by a scary injury in the third quarter to quarterback Luke Falk.

A sophomore who has generated some Heisman buzz the past few weeks, Falk was carted off the field after his head collided violently with the turf on a sack in the third quarter. Falk was taken to Pullman Regional Hospital for observation, according to ESPN sideline reporter Mark Morgan.

What the win means for Washington State: The Cougars' hunt for a 10-win season is still alive, but all questions are now centered around Falk. Asked postgame about his QB's status, coach Mike Leach said, "I don’t talk about injuries under any circumstances." Falk gave two thumbs up as he left the field and was conscious when he left the stadium, according to Morgan. Redshirt freshman Peyton Bender replaced Falk and would presumably start against Washington in the Apple Cup in Seattle next week if Falk is unable to play. Bender completed 13 of 22 passes for 133 yards with a touchdown and interception in about a quarter and a half of action.

What the loss means for Colorado: The Buffaloes were without starting quarterback Sefo Liufau, who will miss the rest of the season with a Lisfranc injury, and without him, the offense sputtered. Cade Apsay completed 26 of 40 passes for 238 yards and thew a pair of interceptions, while the Buffaloes gained just 85 yards on the ground (2.8 yards per carry).

Player of the game: WSU running back (gasp!) Gerard Wicks became the first Washington State running back since 2010 -- and first under Leach -- to crack the 100-yard rushing mark in a game. He carried 13 times for 123 yards as the Cougars ran for 149 yards as a team.

How the game was won: Wazzu's offense gets a lot of credit for its recent turnaround, but the job defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has done in improving the Cougars defense might be more important. Saturday's win marked the first time since 2006 that Washington State did not allow a touchdown in a Pac-12 game.