Well, that sucked. WSU finished on the wrong side of an upset in recording-breaking fashion on the Palouse, as the Washington State Cougars (3-1,0-1) were edged out by UCLA (1-3,1-0) by a score of 67-63. The second highest scoring game in PAC 12 history included 16 passing TDs, 1,377 combined yards of offense, and several WSU single-game records were broken in the process. CSN photographer Jack Ellis was in Martin Stadium capturing the games biggest moments and plays.
Unlike the first three matchups of the season, the WSU defense did not improve in the second half – it got much worse. In fact, the Bruins scored more points in the final 18:48 than they had in their first three games combined (50 points compared to 42).
The Cougar Offense set a season high with 63 points, thanks to continued excellence by the O-line (minus the last play of the game, which we won’t talk about). The number of plays where Gordon had a perfect pocket were too many to count. The unit has given up just 5 sacks all year.
Freshman Wide Receiver Rodrick Fisher (88) hauled in 3 receptions for 71 yards, including a 58-yard catch-and-run that put WSU in prime position to score. Fisher looks to be an exciting addition to the WSU WR corps that graduates Patmon, Winston Jr., and Arconado after this season.
You can’t help but feel bad for Quarterback Anthony Gordon, who threw for a PAC-12 record 9 TD’s but still did not come away with the victory against UCLA. Gordon threw an ugly, yet familiar interception on the opening series of the game, but then went on to throw for nearly 600 yards.
UCLA Runningback Joshua Kelley (27) found major holes in the WSU D-line, tallying 90 yards on 20 carries.
Wide Receiver Easop Winston Jr. (8) was responsible for three of the five TD passes by Anthony Gordon in the first half. Seen above, Winston Jr. puts WSU ahead 14-10 at the start of the second quarter.
Sophomore Max Borghi (21) set a career high in yardage twice in the matchup, first on a 56-yard run in the second quarter (shown above) and later on a 65-yard receiving score near the end of the game.
Senior Dezmon Patmon (12) had another good night statistically, but from a fan’s eyes, it seems like he is frustrated with his performance so far this season. Dropped passes have been a significant problem for the receiver, one of which led to an interception by the UCLA cornerback.
When UCLA returned a kickoff 100-yards in the second quarter, the 32,952 fans in a sold-out Martin Stadium collectively held their breaths when another returnable kick was fielded. However, freshman Travion Brown (82) laid our worries to rest with a massive hit on UCLA returner Keegan Jones right before half.
Winston Jr. (8) did everything he could against UCLA to will his team to a victory, even fielding a punt and returning it all the way into the UCLA redzone in the second half. Will we be seeing more of Easop in Special Teams going forward?
Hey #Pac12Refs, when a player is being swarmed by five defenders and no longer has forward momentum, you call the play dead for the safety of the players. An inability to blow the whistle led to a strip of Rodrick Fisher (88) and the first of four(!) fumbles by WSU receivers.
UCLA Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) tore up the WSU defense for over 550 yards through the air and on the ground.
Wide Receiver Easop Winston Jr. (8) tied Cougar legend Gabe Marks with a career high 4 receiving TDs, a WSU record. Winston Jr. seemed primed to claim the single season record for receiving scores, as he is close to breaking the top 10 through just four games.
If you felt flashbacks to the 2014 Cal game, where WSU gave up two kick returns for TDs, you aren’t alone. Sloppy tackling and questionable kickoffs were in full force Saturday night, but we must give respect where respect is due: UCLA has returners with next level speed and agility.
Runningback Max Borghi (21) gets redemption for his called-back TD against Houston with a 65-yard reception that found paydirt to put WSU up 63-60 for Gordon’s 9th TD of the game. Borghi accounted for 203 total yards, but it was not enough to come away with the victory.
Final Thoughts: While this may have been another iteration of “PAC-12 After Dark,” its hard to not question everything we have come to believe about this Cougar squad. WSU’s opponents’ record so far this season? 2-14. A tall test looms this week in Utah, who also managed to blow a close game against an LA school. Is one week enough time to fix the abundance of issues that plagued the Cougars against UCLA? Will the defense ever leave Leach’s sand pit this week in practice? Only time will tell. Go Cougs.
Want more Sights from the Field? Check out my previous posts!
2019 Sights from the Field: Advocare Texas Kickoff Special Edition
2019 Sights from the Field: WSU Football vs UNC Bears Edition
2019 Sights from the Field: WSU Football vs NMSU Aggies Edition
2019 Sights from the Field: Crimson and Gray Spring Game Edition
2018 Sights from the Field: Valero Alamo Bowl Special Edition