The sequel did not disappoint. With yet another blowout by the hands of quarterback Anthony Gordon, the Cougars (2-0) whomped the UNC Bears (0-2) by a score of 59-17. In the final tune-up before a short week leading up to the first road trip of the season against Houston, many young Cougs got their chance to shine under the blue skies of a rare day game in Pullman, WA. CSN photographer Jack Ellis was in Martin Stadium capturing the games biggest moments and plays.
Offensive Line Coach Mason Miller has to be pleased with his unit’s performance in the early going, giving up just one sack in the first two games of the season, including a perfect performance Saturday afternoon. Keeping Anthony Gordon on his feet has allowed the Air Raid to flow seamlessly thus far this season.
Washington State University begins the season 2-0 for the third straight year under head coach Mike Leach. After Saturday’s performance, WSU improves to 15-1 in their last 16 games in the confines of Martin Stadium.
A week 1 injury scare left many WSU fans fearing the worst for star Linebacker Jahad Woods (13). Not only did Woods suit up against UNC, he ended up recording his second career double-digit tackle game (10 total, 7 solo), one short of his record (11 vs Arizona, 2018).
Sophomore Linebacker Willie Taylor III (27) reminds UNC QB Jacob Knipp why running on the Speed D is a bad idea. The WSU defense recorded just one sack in the game, but tallied nine tackles-for-loss.
This was the first ever matchup between the two squads, meaning WSU now holds a perfect record against the FCS Northern Colorado Bears. The 42 point margin of victory, while dominate, was not enough to cover the betting line of -44 at kickoff.
Brandon Arconado (19), have yourself a day! Arconado led the wide receiving corps in receptions (8), yards (128), and longest reception of the game (39 yards). The senior from Chino Hills, CA has been dominate as an inside receiver and seems primed for a breakout 2019 campaign.
Running Back Max Borghi (21) found the endzone three times against the UNCF defense, one through the air and two on the ground. Borghi’s rushing TD count increased to three on the year, well on pace to contest Jerome Harrison for the WSU single-season rushing TD record (16, 2005).
The first of four fumbles by UNC was recovered by redshirt freshman Ron Stone Jr. (10) after a strip by Jahad Woods. The UNC offense had been rolling prior to the fumble, and it gave the Cougs the momentum needed to set up a commanding 21-7 lead in the second quarter.
Max Borghi was limited to only 7 carries in the game, but he made the most of those touches in a split backfield. Newcomer Deon McIntosh, in addition to the rise of Full Back Clay Markoff, have given Leach more weapons to utilize in a diverse running game.
Northern Colorado ran for 216 yards in the contest, but it took over 50 attempts to hit that figure for a modest 4.0 YPA. The Bears broke off a few runs of over 20 yards, something WSU will need to correct if they hope to stand a chance against the increased talent of PAC 12 play.
UNC’s O-line simply could not figure out when to start the play, as they were called for a false start 7 times in the game. Will Rodgers III (92) and Willie Taylor III (27) celebrate a penalty in the second quarter that killed a promising UNC drive.
Cornerback Derrick Langford (2) earned his first career start in a Cougar uniform, and he did not allow a single reception in the matchup. Granted, UNC deployed a run-heavy scheme, but it was a good showing by the transfer from San Fransisco Community College.
Ron Stone Jr. (10) recorded the only sack of the night by either squad. Stone Jr. was ejected after a questionable targeting call by #Pac12Refs, but it was otherwise had a career night for the young Cougar.
Easop Winston Jr. (8) led the team with 2 receiving touchdowns against UNC, his second coming on the opening drive of the second half. After a too-close halftime score of 24-10, WSU opened the second half with three straight scoring drives to calm the nerves of even the most seasoned Cougar fans.
Kicker Blake Mazza is still perfect on the year, thanks in part to redshirt freshman Long Snapper Tyler Williams (76). Williams has displayed an admirable showing thus far in 2019, as he splits duties with fellow freshman Simon Samarzich (Williams handles field goals and PAT’s, while Samarzich works primarily on punts).
Dezmon Patmon (12) is one scary dude. Patmon made the most of his 4 receptions, putting up 72 yards on the afternoon with a long of 29 yards.
Easop Winston Jr. (8) tells a helpless UNC defender to “talk to the hand.” Winston Jr. and Gordon’s chemistry is clearly evident, and looks to be an intriguing storyline throughout 2019.
Quarterback Anthony Gordon (18) stands confidently in his own endzone, using his cannon of an arm to lead the Air Raid to another 400+ yard performance. Gordon threw completions to nine different receivers and controlled the game with an 81.6% completion rate (31 of 38) before taking the rest of the game off in the third quarter.
Long Snapper Simon Samarzich (Left) and Bryce Beekman (Right) celebrate with Tay Martin (Center) after a punt is successfully downed inside the 5-yard line. WSU has only had to punt three times through two games, giving Punter Oscar Draguicevich III one of the easiest jobs in the PAC 12.
Defensive Lineman Karson Block (50) jumps for joy after recovering a fumble on the UNC 10-yard line, forced by Sophomore Dallas Hobbs. WSU would find paydirt two plays later to go up 52-10.
Imagine thinking that it only takes one person to take down Full Back Clay Markoff (39)… Markoff drags a defender late in the forth quarter, showing off his strength and utility in short yardage situations.
Not to be outdone, former Notre Dame Running Back Deon McIntosh (16) scored his first touchdown in a Cougar uniform to finish the offensive onslaught. McIntosh led the running backs with 52 yards on just 4 carries.
Final Thoughts: While the defense has left something to be desired, it is safe to say that the offense has not missed a step after the departure of Gardner Minshew II and James Williams, something I did not expect to be writing in 2019. Now, the season gets real, as the Cougars travel to Houston for a “neutral site” matchup against the Houston Cougars in the 2019 Advocare Texas Kickoff. Will the Speed D step up to the challenge, or will it be a shootout for the ages? Only time will tell. In the meantime, enjoy 2-0 and another week of moving up in the national rankings. Go Cougs!
Want more Sights from the Field? Check out my previous posts!
2019 Sights from the Field: WSU Football v NMSU Aggies Edition
2019 Sights from the Field: Crimson and Gray Spring Game Edition
Sights from the Field: Valero Alamo Bowl Special Edition