SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday suffered a broken ankle in Saturday’s loss to Southern California, an injury that will end the senior’s college football career.
Coach Mike Leach revealed the injury Monday, and said the nation’s passing leader remains in the hospital. The coach typically does not disclose injuries.
Leach said he did not know when Halliday would be released from the hospital, or when he might be able to play again.
Halliday was a leader for Washington State (2-7, 1-5 Pac-12), the coach said.
“He’s very key to this team and was on a pace to break national records,” Leach said. “He means a lot to this team.”
Halliday was injured with 8:36 left in the first quarter of Saturday’s 44-17 loss to the Trojans, after he had completed a 14-yard pass to Vince Mayle.
While most eyes were on Mayle, Washington State center Sam Flor was blocking USC defensive tackle Leonard Williams.
Williams fell into the legs of Halliday, who was twisting away from the action following the pass. The injury left Halliday screaming and writhing on the field.
Washington State personnel rushed to his side. Southern California quarterback Cody Kessler and linebacker Hayes Pullard offered words of encouragement to Halliday.
“We said we were going to pray for him,” Pullard said after the game.
Halliday was placed on a stretcher, his left leg was immobilized, and he was carted off the field.
Halliday had surgery on Saturday and has been receiving a steady stream of visits from coaches and teammates since, Leach said
The senior from Spokane finished his career with 11,304 passing yards, the most in Washington State history and fourth-best ever in the Pac-12. His 90 touchdown passes were third in Pac-12 history.
He had thrown for 3,873 yards with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season before he got injured.
Playing in Leach’s Air Raid offense, Halliday set single-game NCAA records with 734 yards passing — this season against California — and 89 pass attempts — last season against Oregon.
Halliday was replaced at quarterback by freshman Luke Falk, who began the season as a walk-on before earning a scholarship. Falk threw for 370 yards and two touchdowns against the Trojans in his first extended play of the season.
“A lot of guys would like to throw for 370 yards in their debut,” Leach said. “He (Falk) stepped up there without flinching and moved the team well … better than anyone would have expected.”
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