“King” Borghi Ends Losing Streak: Cougars Slaughter the Buffaloes!

Washington State Cougars running back Max Borghi (21) runs the ball during the second half of a college football game on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. WSU won the game 41-10. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Washington State returned to the Palouse on Saturday looking to end a 3-game losing streak.  Though the new defense had some bright spots in their loss to the ASU Sun Devils, they failed to hold on late as the Cougars fell to 3-3 on the season, pretty much eliminating all hopes of the Pac-12 North title.  Next up for the new and improved Cougars was a homecoming date with the Colorado Buffaloes.  Colorado also had a 3-3 record.  After starting out the season strong, they have quickly come back down to earth.  A game that had oddsmakers picking WSU to win felt more like a “pick-em” game as the 4pm kickoff quickly approached.  The weather was cold and wet and because of that, there were lots of empty seats.  Cougar nation knew that Colorado had their struggles but could cross the endzone.  The defense formerly known as the “Speed D” was about to be put to the test as WSU kicked off.

Colorado quickly drove down the field, but the defense eventually held the Buffaloes and forced them to line up a field goal that they failed to convert.  Anthony “Air” Gordon came out ready to lead his team to battle.  On the next two drives for Washington State, he would lead his team to two first quarter touchdowns.  Max “King” Borghi (Homecoming MVP, so why not the King?) would score from four yards out on a pass from Gordon.  Two plays later Skyler Thomas would pick off QB Steven Montez (who seems like he’s been at Colorado all this decade).  A minute later Gordon would hit Patmon from 22 yards out to put the Cougars up 14-0.  Montez would get his team back on track and lead his team to a field goal.  “King” Borghi would close out the scoring of quarter number one with a 47-yard rumble into the endzone putting his beloved Cougars up 21-3.  All looked bright on the Palouse, but there were three quarters to go.  The week before we thought the same thing and the result was not very good.

The 2nd quarter turned into a defensive battle, something we don’t see in Pullman, but it happened.  By half time, WSU went into the locker room with a convincing 24-3 lead after a quarter of punts, missed field goals and another interception by the Cougar defense.  It was nice to see something different from our Cougars, something positive.  The future was certainly looking bright again on defense for our Washington State Cougars!

Washington State received the opening 3rd quarter kickoff and failed to move the ball.  After both teams exchanged punts, the Cougars tried to shake off the rust and lost five yards on the ensuing drive.  What was going on at Martin Stadium?  The Cougars didn’t give up though.  Colorado got the ball back and drove the field and scored their first touchdown of the football game to cut the lead to 24-10.  Gordon, who hasn’t given up all year (though for a week I doubted his ability), never gave up on his troops.  He moved his team quickly down the field for another touchdown.  Brandon Arconado scored on a 44-yard touchdown pass, a welcome back to the offense.   After three quarters W.S.U had a commanding 31-10 lead.

With the 4th quarter looming, Wazzu Nation was wondering if the Cougars could hold their ground.  This last month had been a nightmare for them.  Now was the time for a change.  The defense would rise to the occasion as the quarter turned into another slop-fest.  Both teams would exchange interceptions and lots of punts.  Gordon would eventually lead his team to ten points, including a Tay Martin sighting!  The WR would collect a touchdown pass to put the Cougars up 38-10.  WSU would end the game on downs and victorious as the sent the Buffaloes packing with the final score 41-10.  With their huge win, WSU can now look forward to facing off against the Pac-12 North leaders, the Oregon Ducks in Eugene, Oregon.

Observations from their 41-10 homecoming slaughter!

  • Max Borghi was a “King” out there on the football field as his Sophomore season continues to excel. “King” Borghi was a beast.  He ran the ball 12 times for 105 yards and a touchdown.  Max also caught the ball 9 times for 57 yards and a touchdown.  We have been wanting this every game and on Homecoming 2019, Max was treated like a “King” with 21 touches for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Every time he touched the football, he averaged 8 yards per play. Can you say, “All Pac-12?”  On the year “King” Borghi has 70 carries for 512 yards and 6 touch downs, only a measly 7.3 yards per carry.  Out of the backfield he has caught 36 balls for 328 yards and 3 scores, averaging 9.1 yards per catch.  That’s over 800 yards from scrimmage in seven games, averaging only 15 touches per game.  Just think of what he could do with more involvement.  I realize in this offense it can be impossible, but Max is showing that he can handle whatever workload he is given.

  • Anthony “Air” Gordon continues to dominate. In a game with rain coming down and playing on a wet field, Gordon would throw four more touchdown passes.  He finished 35-51 for 369 yards and one interception, a pretty good outing for the Senior.  There were a lot of punts in this football game, but Gordon never game up.  On the year he is 246-347 for 2981 yards and 29 touchdowns.  He has completed 70% of his passes while maintaining a QB rating of 166.6, not bad for a kid who didn’t play QB until high school.  If this defense can hold up, expect more statistics and especially wins for Mr. “Air” Gordon.
  • The Defense was impressive. They could have collapsed under pressure, but they held it together for all four quarters.  Colorado was successful on the ground, but the new and improved Cougar secondary held together on their home turf, intercepting Colorado QB’s 3 times and allowing under 150 yards of passing, quite an improvement.  The secondary, lead by Skyler Thomas, held Buffalo star WR Laviska Shenault Jr. to only 4 catches for 46 yards.  For the game, W.S.U. held Colorado to only 320 total yards.  The Oregon Ducks are next up for this young defense.  Can they hold it together for another week?  We will soon find out.

https://twitter.com/SpokesmanSports/status/1186852836463857666?s=20

  • Linebacker Jahad Woods. I have talked about him many times all year.  Jahad had another dominating effort Saturday against Colorado!  He is on pace for nearly 120 tackles on this season.  I don’t see anyone stopping him.  Jahad is a treat to watch.  The passion he displays on the field and on the sidelines is contagious, and the rest of his Cougars are taking watch.  Keep an eye out on our boy Mr. Woods!

Bring it on Oregon.  The title is probably out of reach, but the Cougars can have some fun spoiling it for others.  Saturday night will be the next biggest test before the Apple Cup.  ESPN has the game and it starts at 7:30pm.  I expect only great things this Saturday.  My prediction is WSU 51, Oregon 45 in overtime.  What are your predictions?

GO COUGS!!

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News Reporter
Brian joined the SSU in 2017 and covers the Everett AquaSox. I'm a graduate of Washington State University and I'm a die-hard baseball fan.