The 2019 iteration of Washington State football came out firing on all cylinders, handling the New Mexico State Aggies (0-1) by a score of 58-7. The Cougars (1-0), led by new QB1 Anthony Gordon, proved why they are deserving of their ranking and have the potential to once again prove the media wrong in a big way. CSN photographer Jack Ellis was in Martin Stadium on a late August night capturing the games biggest moments and plays.
Coming off the winningest season in WSU history, the 2019 Cougars feature a promising amount of returning talent, along with several intriguing transfers and freshmen looking to make an immediate impact.
Defensive Line Coach Jeff Phelps enters his third year with the program. Phelps’ unit led the PAC 12 in sacks, and with new addition Lamonte McDougle, expectations are sky high in 2019.
Redshirt Senior DL Nnamdi Oguayo (30), coming off a season-ending injury in 2018, seems primed for an All-PAC 12 caliber season if he can stay healthy. Oguayo recorded 0.5 sacks and 0.5 TFL in the game.
Spokane native CB Armani Marsh (35) has earned high praise from assistant coach Darcel McBath, and earned his first career start against NMSU. Marsh finished with 2 tackles on the night.
Transfer Daniel Isom (3) got the start at Strong Safety after practicing with the first-team defense for a majority of fall camp. Isom played well in his WSU debut, recording 6 tackles and flying around the field all night.
WR Brandon Arconado (19), makes a cut on NMSU Free Safety Austin Perkins. Arconado seems primed for a breakout year at inside receiver, hauling in 5 passes for 57 yards.
Easop Winston Jr. (8) dives into the endzone on a 19-yard reception early in the second quarter, putting WSU ahead 21-7. Winston Jr. has fantastic chemistry with QB Anthony Gordon, dating back to their time at the City College of San Francisco in 2015-16.
Sophomore WR Travell Harris (5) spins the NMSU defense around as he bolts untouched into the endzone. Harris made this most of his 4 receptions, collecting 91 yards and scoring 2 TDs.
RB Max Borghi (21) became the go-to-guy after James Williams made his early departure to the NFL. The true sophomore could not be taken down, compiling 128 yards and a TD on just 10 carries.
WR Travell Harris (5) ran horizontally from the left side of the field to the right as he races past the entire NMSU defense en route to a 20-yard TD reception. Harris made his case for the highly-contested title of “fastest player at WSU.”
The Cougar O-line worked as a unit and kept QB Anthony Gordon on his feet, allowing him to tear up the NMSU secondary. Liam Ryan (63) and Co. allowed just one sack on the night, and often gave Gordon ample time to find an open receiver.
What a night for K Blake Mazza (40). The true sophomore went a perfect 7/7 on XP and 3/3 on FGA, including a 50-yarder in the 3rd quarter.
Nnamdi Oguayo (30) hot in pursuit of NMSU QB Josh Adkins. The pass would be deflected and picked off by CB Marcus Strong, leading to another Mazza field goal.
LB Justus Rodgers (37) trips up NMSU RB Jason Huntley, preventing a big gain. Rodgers has enjoyed increased playing time due to the graduation of Cougar legend Peyton Pelluer, recording 3 tackles (1 solo) in the season opener.
WR Tay Martin (1) congratulates teammate Renard Bell (9) on his 9-yard TD reception in the opening minutes of the forth quarter. Bell only had 2 receptions for 18 yards on the night, but his play-making ability hints towards a promising season in 2019.
QB Anthony Gordon began his inaugural campaign with a perfect 15/15 completion rate, racking up 266 yards and scoring 4 TDs in the process. Gordon quickly quieted all of the doubters in one of the most impressive offensive performances in recent history. He would finish the night 29/35 with 420 yards to go with 5 TD throws.
The Cougar Defense was the definition of “bend, don’t break” in this one. NMSU put up over 300 yards of offense, but still only managed a meager 7 points, off of a bizarre fumble and scoop-and-score in the first quarter.
EWU QB transfer Gage Gubrud (4) got his chance on the field and put up impressive numbers of his own (9 for 11, 76 yards and 1 TD). Gubrud is a capable back-up should anything happen to Anthony Gordon.
True Freshman Travion Brown (82) enjoyed valuable playing time in his first career game, recording 4 tackles (3 solo) in his collegiate debut.
The D-line recorded 3 sacks on the night, which is impressive considering the speed at which NMSU QB Josh Adkins got rid of the ball. Considered to be one of the Cougs best units in 2019, they certainly did not disappoint tonight. Freshman Nicholas Sheetz (99) seeks down the QB late in the forth quarter.
Final thoughts: Tonight, the WSU Cougars did exactly what a top 25 team is supposed to do — win all three phases of the game at a dominate level against a lesser opponent. One more week of preparation against FCS Northern Colorado lies ahead before their first major challenge, the Houston Cougars in the 2019 Advocare Texas Kickoff. This team seems up to the challenge. Go Cougs!
Want more Sights from the Field? Check out my previous posts!
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