Kragthorpe: Can Washington State’s Luke Falk beat a Whittingham-coached team, for once?

Logan QB lost to Cary’s team, now faces Kyle’s Utes<br>

(AP Photo/Young Kwak) Washington State quarterback Luke Falk (4) passes the ball before an NCAA college football game against California in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016.

Luke Falk’s Logan High School football career ended on an October afternoon when the Grizzlies fell so far behind Timpview in a first-round playoff game that the last five minutes of the game were played with a running clock as Falk sat alone on the bench.

Nothing like that will happen Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium, where Falk takes another shot at a team coached by one of the Whittingham brothers.

Washington State’s visit to Utah is not exactly a playoff game, but it is meaningful. The Utes (5-4) need one more victory for bowl eligibility. The way the math works, considering they’re unlikely to win next week at Washington, the Utes have to beat WSU or Colorado at home. The Cougars (8-2) are trying to stay in the Pac-12 North race.

And those goals will converge in Falk’s only college appearance in Utah, as a function of the Pac-12′s scheduling rotation. He dressed, but didn’t play, in 2014 when the Cougars rallied for a 28-27 victory over the Utes. Connor Halliday quarterbacked WSU that night, when the Cougars fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter before recovering. Falk would replace an injured Halliday that season and launch his progress toward becoming the Pac-12′s all-time leader in passing yards as a former walk-on.

No. 19 Washington State at Utah<br>When • Saturday, 3:30 p.m.<br>TV • Pac-12 Network

The irony is that with his college prospects uncertain as of October 2012, Falk seemingly needed a Class 4A playoff run to get noticed. But Logan caught a tough break with a first-round matchup vs. Timpview, which forfeited some games due to an ineligible player. Timpview fell in the standings, so the Thunderbirds went on the road for the playoffs — and eventually won the state championship in a dramatic game vs. Mountain Crest in Cary Whittingham’s first season as head coach.

In Logan’s 49-14 loss, Falk completed 23 of 44 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns, with three interceptions. Timpview’s biggest star that day was Dax Raymond, now a Utah State tight end, who caught nine passes for 167 yards. Britain Covey, who will come back to Utah next season after a church mission, returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Five years later, Falk will compete against coach Kyle Whittingham’s Utes. His visit comes in a year when Washington State-committed quarterback Cammon Cooper of Lehi will play in a state title game, while Cary Whittingham’s Timpview team absorbed a rare first-round defeat.

So only Kyle Whittingham’s team is left in November, trying to make it to December.