One of college football’s breakout stars in 2014 – Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday- will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a broken ankle during the team’s 44-17 loss to the USC Trojans. Halliday was injured with 8:37 remaining in the opening quarter on a play where he connected for a 14-yard gain. While most fans had their eyes up field, a Trojan defender was blocked into the back of Halliday’s legs leaving him crying out in pain.
On Monday, head coach Mike Leach – usually very reserved when discussing injuries – elected to disclose the severity of the injury to the public. Still, the exact details regarding how long the Cougars will be without their leader remain a mystery, but don’t expect to see Halliday the remainder of the season. The team displayed an enormous amount of support for their quarterback with several groups of players visiting Halliday in the hospital.
Under coach Leach, Halliday had developed into the nation’s top passing quarterback, leading the NCAA in passing yards and setting pace to break several records. In 2014 alone, the senior threw for 3,873 yards with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions including a record-breaking 734-yard passing performance against California. Despite the injury, Halliday will finish his career with 11,304 passing yards and 90 touchdown passes, ranked fourth and third respectively in Pac 12 history.
The injury not only affects the 2-7 Cougars, but Halliday’s draft stock took a major hit Saturday as he will be unable to participate at the Senior Bowl and possibly more while he recovers. Halliday was already viewed as a late round pick, and a broken severely limits his ability to help his draft stock rise. Halliday, however, should receive his chance from NFL teams and expect him to be ready when his opportunity comes calling.
*Section Photo credit to Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Butch Dill, Associated Press