WSU Goes to 10-1 On the Season in a 69-28 Route Over Arizona!

It was another Saturday night in Pullman with the Cougar football team coming off a huge victory over Colorado the week before. The Arizona Wildcats were in town after a bye week with their star QB Khalil Tate on a hot streak. ESPN was in town doing another broadcast on national TV, something WSU was getting used to this season. Arizona had always been tough on the Cougs and Saturday’s night game no one would have been expected any different. Wazzu was looking to win their 14th game in a row at home, with their last loss to the UW back in the 2016 Apple Cup. Once again, the Cougars lost the coin toss. No one watching or playing this game would expect what was going to happen next.

WSU’s drive started on the 25 and Gardner Minshew came out firing! He led his army of Cougars down the field in nine plays going 5-5 on the drive. James “Boobie” Williams finished off the drive with his first touchdown of the evening, a 1-yard run. WSU went up 7-0. The defense came out fired up as they held the Wildcats to negative yardage and the 3rd play from scrimmage Marcus Strong intercepted Tate for the 1st turnover over the night by the Wildcats. Minshew quickly turned that into points as Max “The Touchdown Machine” Borghi was the star of the drive as he finished it off with a 1-yard run. Wazzu was now up by 2 touchdowns.

Both teams went quiet on the next couple of drives, but the Wildcats eventually found the end-zone and cut the score to 14-7. Now it was a ballgame, or was it? Gardner Minshew drove the field in six plays, hitting WR Calvin Jackson for a touchdown, Minshew’s 1st touchdown pass of the evening. The first quarter closed with the Cougars up 21-7.

The 2nd quarter was probably the quarter of the season, not only for Wazzu, but for all of college football. By the end of the quarter all of Cougar nation, including the ESPN announcers, were wondering if the East Coast witnessed what had happened. “Mr. Heisman” hopeful Gardner Minshew would lead his troops down the field for 34 points in one quarter of football!! After a Wildcat punt, Minshew caught fire. The Cougars would drive and “Uncle Rico” would secure his 2nd touchdown pass of the night to Dezmon Patmon. Wazzu was now up 28-7.

Khalil Tate and his Wildcats would say “so what” as they quickly scored their 2nd touchdown of the evening in a little over a minute. Mr. Minshew responded with his own “so what” as he led a 7-play drive, going 7-7 on the drive ending in Calvin Jackson’s 2nd touchdown catch of the game. The extra point was botched. The Cougs were now up 34-14.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Arizona kick returner would fumble in the end-zone and Wazzu would recover for another touchdown as the fans in Martin stadium and across the United States went nuts. Wazzu went up 41-14 with still 7 minutes to play in the 1st half. Washington State’s “new and improved” defense continued to shut down the Wildcats as they punted again back to the Cougars.

Minshew wasn’t done as he continued to light up the skies of Pullman over Martin Stadium. He was unstoppable as James “Boobie” Williams would score his 2nd touchdown of the evening on Minshew’s 4th touchdown pass of the evening. Cougar Nation knew that they were looking at their 10th victory of the season and looking forward to next week’s Apple Cup.

Arizona got the ball back and went on a long drive that would end up with their running back fumbling the ball into the end-zone with the Cougar defense securing their 3rd turnover of the night. With less than a minute on the clock and Minshew behind the helm, Wazzu felt another score coming. Minshew didn’t disappoint as he threw passes of 30 yards to Max Borghi and 50 yards to Tay Martin for the touchdown and Minshew’s 5th TD pass of the night. With the score 55-14, Arizona got the ball back and went to halftime wondering if there was anything they could do right.

Arizona opened the 2nd half with a drive that ended in a touchdown to cut the lead to 55-21. Wazzu couldn’t do much with their offense while the defense continued to give up yards to the Wildcats. Washington State’s kicker would miss an easy field goal to give the ball back to Arizona. They would again drive the field and score another touchdown. The 3rd quarter came to an end with WSU up 55-28.

In the 4th quarter the Wazzu defense would come up with their 4th turnover of the ballgame. Minshew would quickly turn it into points for his 6th touchdown pass of the ballgame to WR Jamire Calvin. Arizona continued to struggle and Minshew continued to shine during the 4th quarter. The General would lead his troops on their last drive of the evening, a 7 play/ 75-yard drive. Minshew would throw his 7th touchdown pass of the game to WR Easop Winston. WSU led 69-28 with about six plus minutes to play. The score would remain 69-28 as the time clock struck zero. WSU was now 10-1, leaders of the Pac-12 north, headed into perhaps their biggest Apple Cup in quite a long time.

Takeaways from the Cougars Victory over the Wildcats:

⦁ The offensive line continues to be as perfect as an offensive line can be. Minshew did get sacked twice, but one was a coverage sack and to be sacked only 9 times, that is phenomenal. The running game combined for 23 carries and 123 yards with 2 touchdowns (over 5 yards per carry). A dominating performance!
⦁ Gardner Minshew “Mr. Heisman Hopeful” final stats: 43-55 for 473 yards and 7 touchdowns! He completed passes to 11 different receivers and zero turnovers. On national television, across the country, lets hope that the East Coast was paying attention.

⦁ The return of Tay Martin!! On a night where Patmon was held in check, Tay Martin rose to the occasion and came out of hiding with 7 catches for 124 yards and 1 touchdown with a couple of amazing catches. Cougar Nation can’t wait to see what he brings to the table next Friday night.
⦁ Wazzu’s defense was outstanding with this final line: 4 sacks, 8 tackles for losses, 4 turnovers. Arizona’s QB Khalil Tate had a great game with 4 touchdowns but they held him in check on the ground and they shut down one of the leading RBs of the Pac-12 J.J Taylor. He finished with 20 carries for only 69 yards.

Many great things can be taken away from Saturday night’s performance, but the most important thing was that the Cougars came away with their 10th victory of the season going into the Apple Cup against the U-DUB! Every year we get excited and every year we get disappointed. This year, our “Magical Season” Cougar Nation, that will change. General Minshew will lead his troops to victory. This is our special year Cougar Nation!

My Prediction: Husky RB Myles Gaskin will run all over our defense, but our offense will be strong enough to overcome the Husky D. Final Score Cougars 38, Huskies 34. The Apple Cup comes home to Pullman and the Cougars head to the play in the Pac-12 Championship versus Utah.

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.