Commentary: Shaq and Connor - Deserving Our Attention

In a year that’s been forgettable on the Palouse and fairly average on Montlake, we pay tribute to a couple players who have given us a reason to watch.

Thank you, Shaq Thompson and Connor Halliday.

Halliday’s Washington St. career ended prematurely yesterday with a broken fibula, adding insult to an already dreadful season for the Cougs. It ended the most productive career by a quarterback in the school’s history – one that included the most passing yards ever in a single game.

I get it. Halliday was a product of a system that calls for video-game like numbers. But he also was fun to watch, at the very least, a fascination that his arm never fell off.

As Gameday’s Ian Furness said: “As a Coug fan, Connor Halliday made you proud. He played through incredible pain at times. Endured a coaching change and never transferred. And best of all, he represented the university well.

Plus, his candid nature and honesty was refreshing.

And speaking of refreshing – how about what Shaq Thompson is doing for the Huskies? Thompson is single-handedly giving college football fans a reason to watch, thanks to his versatility and talent on both sides of the ball.

As if four defensive touchdowns wasn’t spectacular already, his move to running back out of necessity has been just as effective. Yesterday’s 175 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown cemented his case for the most versatile – if not the most talented – football player in the country. In a Huskies season that’s been up-and-down, Shaq has been the one constant – exciting, flashy, and he simply gets it done.

Marcus Mariota might have the nation’s attention in the race for the Heisman Trophy. But Shaq is also deserving of a look – at whatever position the Huskies are having him play.

So props to both Connor and Shaq for keeping college football exciting in the Pacific Northwest.

The Huskies and Cougs might not be at the top of the mountain – but those two players have given everyone, regardless of loyalty, a perfect excuse to tune in.