Luke Falk remains the guy in Pullman. Mike Leach, however, wasn't happy with Falk in his team's comeback, triple-overtime victory over Boise State Saturday night and gave Hilinksi a series.
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It didn't start well for the sophomore, whose shovel pass was intercepted and contributed to the Broncos building a 31-10 lead in the third quarter.
Falk returned the next series and was hit hard on a third-down play.
Re-enter Hilinski, who lit up the scoreboard with his second chance, perhaps lending a glimpse into the near future for Leach's Air Raid offense.
The Cougars scored TDs on three straight possession to tie the game and force overtime, and scored a field goal and two touchdowns in those extra periods to seal the victory.
Hilinski finished 25-for-33 for 240 yards and three touchdowns, two in the final quarter of regulation and found Jamal Morrow in the third overtime for the game winner.
Prior to Saturday, Hilinski had thrown just 39 passes. But he'd connected on 31 of them for 295 yards and two touchdowns. But Saturday was different. Saturday night's Pac-12 After Dark Special on ESPN was a meaningful game and Hilinski was under center with the game in the balance.
Not only did he play well, but the Claremont, California native bounced back from the shovel pick to lead the Cougars to a 21-point comeback win. Falk finished 24-for-34 for 193 yards, no scores and an interception. He probably also is going to be sore after the hit he took that knocked him out of the game. While Falk isn't losing his starting job, how next season may go could be getting a little clearer for the Cougars.