Cougars Erupt in the 2nd Half to Take Down the Beavers

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Washington State went into their Saturday night match-up against Oregon State expecting an easy victory. What they didn’t expect was a battle until the final quarter of the ballgame. Oregon State had a record of 1-4 and were having trouble stopping their opponents, giving up over 40 points a game. They also had trouble stopping the run and pass. The Cougars were licking their chops, wondering how lopsided of a game this would be.

The Cougars received the opening kickoff and scored on a 3 play/ 75-yard drive, with wide-out Renard Bell scoring on a 6-yard touchdown pass. Moments later, the Cougar D stopped the Beavers and forced them to punt. Wazzu would block the punt and recover for a touchdown. Just like that, only 3 minutes in, the Cougars were up 14-0. The rout was on, right? The Cougars would learn quickly that this game would not be a piece of cake because of one man, Freshman running back Jermar Jefferson, who would score two first quarter touchdowns to tie the ballgame at 14 apiece.

Gardner Minshew would take the Cougars on an 80-yard journey down the field on the ensuing drive. He would hook up with his good friend Tay Martin for a 38-yard touchdown pass to put the Cougars up by 7 with plenty of time left in the 2nd quarter. Oregon State would score the next 10 points of the quarter as the Cougars offense couldn’t move the ball. The Beavers led 24-21 with just under 5 minutes to go in the half. This expected shoo-in victory for the Cougars was quickly going south. “Uncle Rico” with his followers in attendance, would lead the Cougars on a 12 play/ 78-yard drive as he would finish off the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to James Williams to put the Cougars up 28-24. Minshew was on fire as he quickly moved his Cougars down the field. Wazzu would go to the break with a lot on their plate to work on if they were going to secure their 5th win of the season.

Oregon State would receive the opening kickoff and return it 57 yards to the Cougar 43-yard line. They would score in 8 plays, led by Jermar Jefferson, who would score his 3rd rushing touchdown of the night. The extra point was missed as the Beavers went up 30-28. Wazzu would respond and quickly drive down the field in 11 plays, 8 of them resulting in running plays. Max Borghi, the “Touchdown Machine”, would score from a yard out to put the Cougars up by 5 points. After 3 quarters, the Cougars were quietly driving down the field, hoping to put the game out of reach.

As the 4th quarter opened, Wazzu found themselves on the Beaver 9-yard line. In 2 plays, Minshew would find wide-out Travell Harris wide open for the touchdown as the Cougars went up 42-30. The feeling on the Cougar sideline was that the game was finally theirs. Just as they started sensing that feeling, Oregon State moved down the field within 2 minutes, going 75 yards. Jermar Jefferson was running all over the Wazzu D. On the fifth play from scrimmage, he fumbled the ball into the endzone allowing the Cougars to recover and take over the ball.

Minshew would once again take over, driving the Cougars down the field 80 yards on 6 plays, ending in an amazing catch and run by his buddy Tay Martin for the score. Wazzu was now up 49-30 with 9 minutes to go. Oregon State would have trouble moving the ball due to penalties on the next drive and ended up punting on a rare 4th down and 54 yards to go. The lead would increase to 56-30 on another touchdown run by the “Touchdown Machine” Max Borghi for 30 yards. Oregon State would score a meaningless touchdown late just before the clock ran out.

The final score was Cougars 56 Beavers 37 as the Cougars would go into a bye week with a 5-1 record.

Takeaways from Wazzu versus Oregon State:
Can we please throw Gardner Minshew’s name into the Heisman consideration please? Forget this “East Coast” bias. He deserves to be recognized as one of the top quarterbacks in college football!!! He finished the game 30-40 for 430 yards and 5 touchdowns. He has thrown for 2422 yards and 19 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions. He has been sacked a whopping 4 times. Minshew is a true leader on and off the field. Minshew leads the nations in passing yards per game and has a passer rating of 151.2. Come on East Coast and ESPN take notice!
⦁ Tay Martin, where have you been? You came to play tonight son, but the inconsistency needs to stop. Tay Martin you are an amazing athlete and human being, but tonight’s performance is what you are made of. Cougar Nation hopes you realize that. Tay finished with 8 catches for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns, one heck of a ballgame for someone who has been struggling. On the season, Tay has 40 catches for 440 yards and 6 touchdowns. Great stats for the season overall but they could be greater had it not been for a couple of games where he couldn’t be found.

⦁ Easop, Easop, Easop!!!! Wow, you are becoming an amazing receiver coming into your own. Wazzu was blessed to find you. Keep that production coming and you will be playing on Sundays. Nice job tonight with 7 catches and 99 yards. Big game coming up in 2 weeks versus Oregon. Easop and Tay, it’s time to rise and shine on the national stage versus Oregon.
⦁ The Williams and Borghi show are unreal. Every time they touch the ball magic happens. Combined, the two have ran for over 400 yards and 10 touchdowns. Out of the backfield, they have a combined 51 catches for just over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns. Talking about a two-headed monster duo.
⦁ Peyton Pelluer with double figures in tackles once again. Where would this defense be without his production and leadership. Peyton deserves to be playing on Sundays next fall.

⦁ Wazzu’s Defense is going to give up lots of yards and points. We need to accept that and not let that get to us Cougar Nation (It gets my anxiety level up, I will not lie). The difference this year is that we have Minshew at quarterback and he will bring us right back in the ballgame. This is our season to shine. In “Uncle Rico” we believe. Remember that when we finally take back the Apple Cup this year.

Wazzu is off next weekend before the Oregon Ducks come to Pullman. If Oregon can get by the University of Washington next weekend, this will be a battle for the lead in the Pac-12 north. Perhaps ESPN GameDay will make an appearance in Pullman. We can only hope. We will see you on the 20th of October Cougar Nation for a huge battle against the Ducks. I know I can’t wait!

Go Cougs!!!


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