Saturday afternoon Washington State rolled into Boulder, Colorado looking for their 9th victory of the season. Wazzu, winners of 5 in a row were looking to make Coach Leach a 1st time winner in Colorado. Coach Leach had an 0-4 record as a football coach when his teams came to play at Colorado. The Buffaloes, losers of 4 in a row, were looking to turn their season around and hoped to become bowl eligible with a win over the Cougars. Washington State knew that they couldn’t take this game lightly if they were going to continue their magical season. Kickoff was at a rare time for Washington State (12:30) as once again they lost the coin-flip and got ready to receive the opening kickoff.
— WSU Cougar Football (@WSUCougFB) November 10, 2018
WSU received the kickoff and wasn’t able to move the ball. Both teams’ offenses were lethargic as Colorado scored the only points of the quarter 3-0. “Heisman Hopeful” Gardner Minshew came out misfiring as Cougar nation was wondering if the “Magic” was gone. Minshew was able to lead the Cougars on a drive to close out the first quarter as Wazzu nation remained hopeful. He led the team on a time-consuming drive that took over 5 minutes off the clock. The drive resulted in a 39-yard field goal by kicker Blake Mazza to cut the lead to 7-3. Wazzu’s defense continued to hold their own as they shut down the Buffaloes to force another punt.
“Uncle Rico” Gardner Minshew seemed to wake up as he drove his team down the field in 7 plays. In a rarity, the team only passed two times on the drive that resulted in a 28-yard touchdown pass to Max “The Touchdown Machine” Borghi who was playing in front of his hometown fans (He was recruited out of Colorado). WSU took the first lead of the ballgame 10-7 and things were looking up. The remainder of the 2nd quarter turned into a defensive battle as both teams exchanged 5 punts as the quarter ended with Wazzu’s Logan Tago sacked the Buffalo quarterback as time expired. Both teams went into halftime with nothing but question marks. Can the Cougars hold on 1 more half and go 9-1 or would we see the Cougars of old?
— WSU Cougar Football (@WSUCougFB) November 11, 2018
Colorado received the opening kickoff of the 2nd half and on the 2nd play from scrimmage WSU linebacker Jahad Woods stripped the Buffaloes running back for a fumble that was recovered by the Cougars on the Colorado 32-yard line. Seven plays later, Minshew hit wideout Renard Bell for a touchdown pass to put the Cougars up 17-7. The tempo was changing, and Cougar nation knew it!! Things were looking positive for Wazzu.
WSU and Colorado exchanged goose eggs the rest of the quarter. The Cougars opened the 4th quarter with a “Heisman-esque” running touchdown by Minshew to put the Cougars up 24-7 with just over 14 minutes to go. The defense then took over for Wazzu to finish up this ballgame. After an exchange of punts, Colorado drove down the field only to have Cougar linebacker Willie Taylor forced a fumble.
Minshew and his army took over. He led a 13 play/ 68-yard drive that took over six minutes off the clock. The result was a game clinching touchdown run by James Williams as the Cougars went up 31-7. WSU’s Kedron Williams would secure an interception, the 3rd turnover of the ballgame for the Buffaloes. WSU would run the clock out and go 9-1 on the season! In perhaps Wazzu’s most unmemorable 1st half of the season, instead of hanging it up at halftime, both the offense and the defense had a sensational 2nd half and the Cougars turned the game into a dominating 31-7 performance.
"That sure looks like a Heisman moment to me … this kid has got to be in New York City in 3 weeks" — ESPN analyst @BrockESPN after @GardnerMinshew5 takes off and sneaks it inside the pylon for a 24-7 lead #GoCougs #Wazzu pic.twitter.com/73F1JFEhaw
— COUGFANcom (@COUGFANcom) November 10, 2018
— COUGFANcom (@COUGFANcom) November 10, 2018
I’d like to use this opportunity to honor a true American legend, Mr. Burt Reynolds. RIP Burt, thanks for everything. https://t.co/64qzCjUe8m
— Mike Leach (@Coach_Leach) November 12, 2018
Observations from the WSU’s win over Colorado:
- Another top-notch performance for the offensive line of the Cougars. They continue to protect Minshew as no sacks were allowed (been only sacked 7 times) and they opened holes as they ran for 131 yards on 33 carries.
- Gardner Minshew continues to make a case for Heisman. He deserves to be in New York for the ceremony. Minshew had an abysmal 1st half, but his final stats were what counted. He led the team to victory with 21 points in the 2nd half, including his “Heisman-esque” touchdown run. He passed 37-61 for 346 yards and two touchdowns. WSU held the ball for nearly 42 minutes of the football game, over 70% of the game. An absolute amazing stat. Minshew was the General in charge and deserves lots of the credit (as does his offensive line).
- Washington State’s new and improved defense continues to get better and better. They held the Buffaloes to less than 300 total yards (64 of those yards was on a run) and 7 points on Colorado’s home turf. The defense forced 3 turnovers and shut the Buffaloes out in the 2nd half. Talking about rising to the occasion! Nice job!!
- Defensive player of the game was linebacker Jahad Woods who forced one fumble and had 5 tackles. On a defense led by Peyton Pelluer, who had 0 tackles but 2 fumble recoveries, Woods rose to the occasion and made his presence known. It doesn’t mean that Peyton had a bad game, it just shows that others can make the plays besides Peyton. It was a team effort indeed by the defense to shut these Buffaloes down.
- Dezmon Pathmon, wideout, had perhaps his best game (I’ve said that before, but he continues to get better) of the season. He secured 8 catches for 103 yards including a 48-yard catch and run. Dezmon has taken over the top spot in yardage as he now has 52 catches for 724 yards and 3 touchdowns. Sorry Tay Martin, but Dezmon had taken over the number one wideout spot. With Tay being missing in action, it’s great that WSU has such a talented group of wide-outs. Cougar Nation can’t wait to see what he does against Arizona and UW to close out the season.
Washington State looks to go 10-1 this Saturday night under the lights of Pullman against a tough University of Arizona. Game time is 7:30pm on ESPN. We are expecting a high scoring game. In the past, WSU would be due for a letdown. This season is definite as “The Legend of Minshew” will continue to create his magic this Saturday. My prediction is 45-27, Washington State. I can’t wait until this Saturday night. Where will you be watching?
No. 8 Cougs host Arizona Saturday night on ESPN!
— WSU Cougar Football (@WSUCougFB) November 13, 2018