Christopher Smith

Washington QB Halliday Throws 89 Passes Against Oregon

Created on Oct. 20, 2013 2:34 PM EST

It's Sunday, a day some attend church.

Someone in Pullman, Wash., thumbing through a bible in one of the pews may have stumbled upon Job 1:21 and been reminded of last night's record-setting performance by Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday.

"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away," it says in part.

Halliday isn't a deity, but otherwise exemplified that popularized saying during a 62-38 loss at No. 2 Oregon.

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound junior set an FBS record by attempting 89 passes and tied another by completing 58. His 557 passing yards merely broke a school mark.

Thanks to Halliday and an opportunistic defense, the Cougars, a 39.5-point underdog, drew within 27-21 with 5:35 left in the first half and trailed the Ducks, 34-24, at the break, no small feat.

Thanks to Halliday's mistakes, particularly three second-half interceptions, Oregon stretched its lead to 62-24 in little more than a quarter, capped by a 51-yard touchdown on an interception return by Terrance Mitchell with 13:01 left in the game.

Undeterred, Halliday ripped off 25 more pass attempts and helped Washington State score two late touchdowns, the last coming with 11 seconds remaining.

"I knew going in, on about Monday of last week, that we were going to throw it a lot. I mean, nobody ever thinks 89 is going to be the number," Halliday said, according to the Seattle Times. "My shoulder's pretty messed up, my ankle's pretty messed up, my hip's pretty messed up, so it's kind of a perfect time for the bye week."

Halliday finished with a representative four touchdowns and four interceptions, averaging a paltry 6.3 yards per attempt.

New Orleans Saints quarterback and former Purdue man Drew Brees held the previous record for single-game pass attempts at college football's highest level with 83.

Brees completed 55 passes for 494 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-24 loss to Wisconsin in 1998, according to The Sporting News.

Halliday previously had attempted 65 and 67 passes in games this season under pass-happy coach Mike Leach.

Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti wasn't pleased.

"I am kind of stunned that he would keep his quarterback and crew in there. And still he threw the ball with 20 seconds left. But he did," Aliotti said according to The Oregonian.

"That's total (B.S.) that he threw the ball at the end of the game like he did. And you can print that and you can send it to (Leach), and he can comment, too. I think it's low class and it's (B.S.) to throw the ball when the game is completely over against our kids that are basically our scout team."

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